Seeker (Noble Warriors Series #1)

Seeker (Noble Warriors Series #1)

3.9 23
by William Nicholson, Michael Page
     
 

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On the rocky island of Anacrea, in a garden within the great castle-monastery called the Nom, lives the All and Only, the god who made all things. He is protected by an elite band of fighter monks. These are the Nomana, the Noble Warriors.

Seeker, who lives on the island, is now sixteen, at last old enough to follow his brother into the ranks of the Nomana.

Far

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Overview

On the rocky island of Anacrea, in a garden within the great castle-monastery called the Nom, lives the All and Only, the god who made all things. He is protected by an elite band of fighter monks. These are the Nomana, the Noble Warriors.

Seeker, who lives on the island, is now sixteen, at last old enough to follow his brother into the ranks of the Nomana.

Far away, Morning Star, also just sixteen, is leaving home to achieve her lifelong wish to join the Nomana.

And when a beautiful, violent river bandit know as the Wildman finds himself helpless before two Nomana, he, too, is determined to become a Noble Warrior.

But these are dangerous times. Secret enemies have sworn to destroy Anacrea, and in the imperial city of Radiance, where human sacrifices are thrown to their deaths every evening, elaborate plans to attack the Nom are in place. Soon, in a shocking turn of events, Seeker, Morning Star, and the Wildman are caught up in a bloody and harrowing race to save the god of the Nomana – and themselves – from destruction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nicholson (the Wind on Fire trilogy) begins his massive tale, the launch title of the Noble Warriors series, with a creation myth of sorts, introducing an abandoned baby that is adopted by a warrior and becomes "one god with the many names: the Wise Father, the Loving Mother, the Lost Child, the Quiet Watcher, the All and Only." In time, a fortress called the Nom is built to shelter the child, his protectors are known as the Noble Warriors or Nomana. As the empire of Radiance decides to wage war against Nom's homeland of Anacrea, three different people are drawn to Nom to join the fight: 16-year-old Seeker, who follows his brother into the ranks; Morning Star, who follows her mother; and the Wildman ("They called him the Wildman because he had been known to kill those who did not delight him, and it did not delight him to be unloved"). The soldiers of Radiance emerge as ruthlessly single-minded: when one of their scientists invents a way to turn blood into an explosive (its trigger: any shallow cut), an eery parallel to today's suicide bombers begins to unfold. As with his previous trilogy, screenwriter Nicholson (Gladiator) shows his skill at constructing a fantasy realm, lacing his narrative with customs and norms that give the land of Anacrea a palpable feel. His Noble Warriors and their moral code are particularly intriguing, and the book concludes with a terrific set-up for volume two. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - Lesley Farmer
Seeker (of Truth) wants to be a Noble Warrior like his older brother, but their father wants Seeker to become a scholar. Seeker is rejected by the Nomana, but he tries to prove his worth by finding and disarming a weapon that would destroy the realm. In the process, Seeker encounters Morning Star and Wild Man, who have both been rejected by the Establishment but have important skills that can facilitate the ultimate goal—and issues they have to deal with. This fantasy traces the growth of three likeable characters. The plot does a good job of contextualizing their challenges and efforts. The writing flows well, but is not riveting. Nevertheless, fantasy readers may get involved in the story of these three young people, which is good since a sequel (or two) is in the offing.
Children's Literature
Seeker, an intelligent and precocious teen anxious to prove himself, falls into a harrowing adventure to save his world from a destructive secret weapon in the first book of this promising trilogy. Destined to follow a path of educational boredom in the great city of Anacrea, Seeker decides to change his destiny. He attempts to become a "Noble Warrior," called a Nomana, by presenting himself at the annual "Congregation" where these sacred warriors are selected. When Seeker is rejected, he meets up with two other rejects, a girl named Morning Star and a thief named Wildman, and they embark on an adventure that they hope will eventually prove their worthiness to become warriors. At times Nicholson's story relies a tad too much on coincidence, but the characters are interesting, flawed, and courageous, and they ultimately overcome any deficiencies in the plot. Morning Star, for example, can sense emotion in individuals by using her unique ability to see the colors of personal auras. This could have been a contrived plot point, but Morning Star uses her ability adroitly and intelligently and it eventually becomes an endearing character trait. While the book is marketed to an audience of 12 and up, it might be better suited for older teens as it includes scenes of gratuitous violence, including human sacrifice. 2006, Harcourt Children's Books, Ages 12 up.
—Tom Jones
VOYA
The island of Anacrea is home to the All and Only, the god who created everything. This sacred place is guarded by the warrior monks known as the Nomana, or Noble Warriors. Seeker was raised on Anacrea and wants nothing more than to be a Noble Warrior. Morning Star is determined to follow her mother's path to the home of the Nom. The Wildman knew nothing of the Noble Warriors until they defeated him in battle. Now he wants to become one of them. When these three unlikely heroes band together in their quest to join the Nomana, they find themselves caught up in a battle of faith that will take them all the way to the Imperial City. This first in the new Noble Warriors series from Nicholson has the same originality that made his Wind on Fire Trilogy popular. The classic coming-of-age tale is combined with a rich setting of cold villains, strange powers, and disturbing warriors. As in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials books, Nicholson's world deals with the complex problems posed by religion that all teens ultimately encounter. Even though Nicholson's treatment of the subject is simpler than Pullman's, it will raise powerful questions for readers. Fantasy fans will devour this book and eagerly anticipate the next one. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Harcourt, 432p., $17. Ages 12 to 18.
—Leslie McCombs
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-On the island of Anacrea, monks protect and serve the All and Only god, who created the world. Seeker has always wanted to be a Noble Warrior like his older brother. Morning Star, a hill girl, wants to become a fighter for justice. Wildman, a river bandit, decides he wants the peace and power of the Nomana, a revered order of warrior monks, for himself. Each hopes to be selected to join the community. Together, they forge a bond that tethers them through a storm at sea, a kidnapping, and a plan brewing in the golden city of Radiance to destroy Anacrea. The scheming Soren Similin's complicated maneuverings are thwarted by coincidental meetings and the hand of fate, leaving plenty of room for sequels. Anacrea and Radiance, with their attendant theologies, are built carefully in this slowly paced story. The main characters struggle to find their identities and places in the world, and begin to show the characteristics they will need to fulfill the larger destiny that the All and Only has in store. Michael Page does a fine job with the narration of this first book (Harcourt, 2006) in William Nicholson's projected series. Seeker's quiet determination, Morning Star's soft sarcasm, and Wildman's exuberance are deftly conveyed, and Soren Similin shines with devious greed. This fantasy will be popular with fans of the genre in public and school libraries.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this spectacular first installment of Nicholson's new fantasy series, readers meet Seeker for Truth on his eventful 16th birthday: He has a religious vision, sees his brother disgraced and leaves the land of his birth. Aided by two companions, he must disarm an ancient enemy that hunts Seeker's people, the Nomana, the barrier to the telepathic race's ability to envelope the world. A tricky, complex plot will snare teens with its sharply rising suspense and a trick or three tucked in throughout. Enough of the story's threads are tied up in the climax and resolution to satisfy, but there are still questions left to justify sequels. Characters are clearly defined through actions and dialogue, with an excellent balance between "show" and "tell." Strongly defined secondary characters-including villains-support the complex plot and strengthen the surprising climax and resolution. Expert world-building, great teen characters and complex plot supply a combination with appeal to fans of Nicholson's Wind on Fire trilogy and other fantasy worlds. Try giving this to readers of Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series and Garth Nix's Sabriel saga. (Fiction. 12-15)
From the Publisher
"Nicholson's real strength is his ability to create vivid scenes full of dynamic action and quirky characters, keeping things moving in cinematic style for an entertaining read." --Locus

"Nicholson is a brilliant storyteller. And his newest book is both profound and realistic in the most important ways: It's honest, vibrant, and filled with the beautiful and painful details of real life."—The Philedelphia Inquirer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423318378
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
05/01/2006
Series:
Noble Warriors, #1
Edition description:
Abridged
Pages:
4
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Seeker

Book One of the Noble Warriors
By Nicholson, William

Harcourt Children's Books

Copyright © 2006 Nicholson, William
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0152057684

Sunrise

Seeker woke earlier than usual, long before dawn, and lay in the darkness thinking about the day ahead. It was high summer, with less than a week to go before the longest day of the year. In school it was the day of the monthly test.

And it was his sixteenth birthday.

Unable to sleep, he rose and dressed quietly so as not to wake his parents, and went out into the silent street. By the light of the stars, he made his way to the steps that zigzagged up the steep hillside, and began to climb. As he did so he watched the eastern sky, and saw there the first pale silver gleams on the horizon that heralded the coming dawn.

He had decided to watch the sun rise.

At the top of the steps the path flattened out and led into the stone-flagged Nom square. To his right rose the great dark mass of the Nom, the castle-monastery that dominated the island; to his left, the avenue of old storm-blasted pine trees that led to the overlook. He knew these trees well; they were his friends. He came to this place often, to be alone and to look out over the boundless ocean to the very farthest edges of the world.

There was a wooden railing at the far end of the avenue, to warn those who walked here to go nofurther. Beyond the railing the land fell away, at first at a steep slope, and then in a sheer vertical cliff. Hundreds of feet below, past nesting falcons and the circling flight of gulls, the waves broke against dark rocks. This was the most southerly face of the island. From here there was nothing but sea and sky.

Seeker stood by the railing and watched the light trickle into the sky and shivered. The band of gold now glowing on the horizon seemed to promise change: a future in which everything would be different. With this dawn he was sixteen years old, a child no longer. His real life, the life for which he had been waiting so long, was about to begin.

The gold light was now turning red. All across the eastern sky the stars were fading into the light, and the feathery bands of cloud were rimmed with scarlet. Any moment now the sun itself would break the line of the horizon.

How can a new day begin like this, he thought, and nothing change?

Then there it was, a blazing crimson ball bursting the band of sea and sky, hurling beams of brilliance across the water. He looked away, dazzled, and saw the red light on the trunks of the pine trees and on the high stone walls of the Nom. His own hand too, held up before him, was bathed in the rays of the rising sun, familiar but transformed. Moving slowly, he raised both his arms above his head and pointed his forefingers skyward, and touched them together. This was the Nomana salute.

Those who wished to become Noble Warriors entered the Nom at the age of sixteen.

He heard a soft sound behind him. Turning, startled, he saw a figure standing in the avenue. He flushed and lowered his arms. Then he gave a respectful bow of his head, because the watcher was a Noma.

"You're up early."

A woman. Her voice sounded warm and friendly.

"I wanted to see the dawn."

Seeker was embarrassed that she had seen him making the salute to which he was not entitled; but she did not reprimand him. He bowed again, and headed down the avenue, now flooded by the brilliant light of the rising sun. As he passed the Noma, she said, "It's not necessary to be unhappy."

He stopped and turned back to look at her. Like all the Nomana, she wore a badan over her head, which shadowed her face. But he sensed that she was half smiling as she met his gaze.

"I am unhappy."

The Noma went on gazing at him with her gentle smile.

"Who are you?"

He gave his full name, the name his father had chosen for him, the name he hated. "Seeker after Truth."

"Ah, yes. The schoolteacher's son."

His father was the headmaster of the island's only school. He was raising Seeker to be a teacher like him.

"Your life is your own," said the Noma. "If it's not the life you want, only you can change it."

Seeker made his way slowly back to the steps, and down the steps home, his mind filled by the Noma's words. All his life he had done what his father had asked of him. He had always been top of his class, and was now top of the school. He knew his father was proud of him. But he did not want to live his father's life.

Seeker wanted to be a Noble Warrior.

Copyright 2005 William Nicholson

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc.,
6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

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Continues...

Excerpted from Seeker by Nicholson, William Copyright © 2006 by Nicholson, William. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

William Nicholson is the author of the acclaimed Seeker and Jango, books one and two of the Noble Warriors trilogy; the Wind on Fire trilogy; as well as the screenplays for Gladiator and Shadowlands, both of which were nominated for Academy Awards. He lives with his wife and their three children in Sussex, England. www.williamnicholson.co.uk

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