Seer and the Sword

Seer and the Sword

4.7 78
by Victoria Hanley
     
 

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Legend states that there exists a mighty sword that makes its possessor invincible to his enemies. But there is a curse on anyone who lifts the sword for conquest. King Kareed of Archeld goes after this sword anyway, winning it from the King of Bellandra. When he returns home from battle, he brings his daughter, Princess Torina, two special gifts. One is a unique

Overview

Legend states that there exists a mighty sword that makes its possessor invincible to his enemies. But there is a curse on anyone who lifts the sword for conquest. King Kareed of Archeld goes after this sword anyway, winning it from the King of Bellandra. When he returns home from battle, he brings his daughter, Princess Torina, two special gifts. One is a unique crystal, in which she can view visions of the future. The other gift is the defeated king's son Landen, who is to be her slave. Torina immediately releases Landen, who becomes a member of the King's army and her close friend.
But trouble is lurking in the kingdom of Archeld and people are accusing Landen of plotting against the King. Torina refuses to believe he would hurt her family. Then Torina begins seeing deadly visions in her crystal. Can she save her father's life and the future of her kingdom?

Author Biography: This is Victoria Hanley's first novel for young adults.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
PW called this novel about a bond of trust between a princess and her slave "a romantic tale of intrigue in the tradition of King Arthur." Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
British author Hanley pens a romantic royal tale of intrigue in the tradition of King Arthur. Princess Torina, "eyes sparkling, hair wild," is the only child of hard-hearted warrior King Kareed. After the king defeats the peaceful monarch of Bellandra, he brings home the country's famous sword and gives to his daughter a magic crystal and Landen, the prince of Bellandra, to be Torina's slave. What begins as an uneasy friendship between Landen and Torina grows into a bond of trust when the girl saves his life due to her ability to see the future in the magic crystal. Years later the two become estranged when Landen informs Torina that her lover, Vesputo, is deceiving her and has only ambitions to the throne. Vesputo turns vicious, and both she and Landen are forced to leave the country. They separate, travel far and wide, and eventually find themselves major players in a complicated political plot with Vesputo at its center. This is a lengthy novel, and the narrative's vacillation between different locations and points of view becomes disorienting; the pacing also suffers from fits and starts. However, Hanley's characters are heroic and vulnerable, smart and hot-blooded. The romance rings true and the action sings with excitement: the climax literally comes down to the executioner's scaffold in the penultimate chapter. Fans of romance and the Round Table genre will be swept up in the plot. Ages 12-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
Fantasy lovers will find much to entice and frustrate them in Hanley's tale of warring countries that are eventually united by two protagonists. As an exiled prince, Landen is forced to make a name for himself in a new and hostile country. His experience sensitizes him to the ways power can be used and abused. Landen also struggles to put his military skills to good purpose, always preferring demonstrations of loyalty and intelligence to those of brutal strength. His counterpart, Princess Torina, flees an unwanted marriage and forges a new life for herself as a seer. Her actions might be satisfying to modern readers, but the otherwise unmitigated sexism in this fantasy world is disappointing. Hanley makes use of many traditional fantasy elements, such as the prophetic crystal and the mystical sword, but she fails to root the magic in any clear framework. Readers never learn where the crystal comes from or why only Torina can read it. Consequently, such elements end up appearing convenient rather than being a structural part of the fantasy world. In other ways, Hanley works to generate a novel that escapes the typical ideology of fantasy tales. An ethic of peace and mercy is emphasized repeatedly, and the decision of the two protagonists to embrace these ideals, rather than to continue the warfare and revenge, drives them to their own eventual union. Fans of this genre will be likely to forgive Hanley any weaknesses in her vision, but the novel probably will not win many new readers to the world of fantasy. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Holiday House, 320p, . Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer:Megan Isaac SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
KLIATT
King Kareed has conquered a civilized land and brings back a special sword—and a "seer" crystal for his only child Princess Torina. He also captures the fallen king's son Landen to serve as a slave to his daughter, but she grants him his freedom. Landen is trained as a militaryman for the king, but escapes the kingdom when the king is found murdered and the princess is about to marry the killer, an ambitious and immoral courier. She too leaves the kingdom when she realizes that her fiancé is planning to reduce her to a virtual slave, but she is not sure about Landen's culpability. Surprisingly, both go to the same kingdom, each under a different disguise and leading completely different lives. He rises in that land's army, and she works on a small farm as a common laborer. However, she has developed her own skills as a seer, and helps that king defend his country against her old fiancé. Only when the land is seriously threatened do Torina and Landen meet; their pasts catch up with them as they try to save the future. Although the paperback suffers from a substandard cover, the story itself is well done. Characters are nicely drawn, and the plot twists make for good suspense. Treated as a coming-of-age and questing tale, this fantasy should interest both genders. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Random House, Dell Laurel-Leaf, 341p., Farmer
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Torina's father, King Kareed, has constantly expanded his borders through successful conquests. When he returns, celebrating his victory over Bellandra, he brings Torina two unusual gifts: a lovely crystal sphere and a young man to be her slave. Both gifts become valuable when Torina discovers that she can see the future in the crystal and that setting Prince Landen free enables the two of them to develop a deep friendship. The plot thickens when a traitor kills King Kareed, forcing first Landen and then Torina into flight. They each believe the other to be dead as they struggle to survive separately in a neighboring kingdom. Landen hones his skills as a fighter and becomes the leader of a renegade group of warriors who help good King Dahmis thwart a plot instigated by Kareed's killer even as Dahmis is secretly consulting Torina. Torina and Landen's joyful reunion is cut short when Landen is captured as he attempts to retrieve the magical sword stolen from his father's kingdom. This is a riveting story of adventure, intrigue, and romance. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-Princess Torina is delighted when her father, the King of Archeld, returns from his conquest of the neighboring kingdom. He has brought home the magical Sword of Bellandra; a crystal globe that he gives to his child; and, to Torina's horror, he presents her with the defeated country's now-enslaved Prince Landen. She immediately frees the boy, but the orphan remains in the king's household and trains as a warrior. Over the next decade, Torina becomes a seer (the crystal stone allows her to divine the future), while Landen sets aside his pacifist upbringing and becomes a skillful soldier. Both assist the high king in his efforts to unite several small, rival countries and repel the attack of brutal invaders. This political setting sounds much like Arthurian England, but Archeld's royal court has a more Elizabethan tone, being rife with poison, intrigue, and hidden alliances. Hanley competently establishes a large cast of secondary characters and neatly weaves together the far-reaching threads of consequence spun out from the cruelty of the king and the mercy of the princess. Fans of Tamora Pierce's books should enjoy this long, sprawling novel, which is less wryly humorous than Pierce's work but is often more thoughtful about the outcomes of peace and warfare, aggression and compassion.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“The action sings with excitement. Fans of romance and the Round Table genre will be swept up in the plot.”–Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780552552707
Publisher:
Gardners Books
Publication date:
01/05/2006

Meet the Author

This is Victoria Hanley’s first novel for young adults.

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The Seer and the Sword 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was younger and I love it still! I originally bought this as a paperback, but I have read it so many times, it began to fall apart. I finally purchased a good quality Hardcover that will hopefully last me many more years!
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iWrite16 More than 1 year ago
One of the best medieval books I've read! Unpredictable and romantic, this book will keep you reading until the end, and you will only want more after that! Written in the style of a folk tale, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, romantic, dramatic, and highly entertaining story!
Jussy More than 1 year ago
loooved it...it was not predictable at all..very different..and i love the characterss very unique...all around great book i couldnt put it down!!
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XCgirlTX More than 1 year ago
This book was AMAZING. Hanley ping-ponged between the different characters' situations perfectly, and the character development was believable but not overdone. I loved how she followed the characters from childhood on to adulthood; it gave the book strength and a satisfying ending. Kudos to Victoria Hanley for an extremely well-written story!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! all i can say is wow! This book has got it all and i mean everything. i have read and re-read this book over and over again. It is filled with twists and betrayal, forbidden love, murder, war! hanley has done it and boy did she succeed! i was thinking about this book and everything in it and i just need to read it again so now i read it for the 4th time and i am still in shock of how wonderfully amazing this book is. highly recomended
Guest More than 1 year ago
I re-read this book untill had most of my favorite parts memorised. i highly recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an exquisite novel this story holds, it is suspencefull, creative, and profoundly wonderful! Victoria Hanely has done a wonderful job in weaving together this story, and I highly recomend this book to all who love to read restoundingly amazing books. I simply could not leave this book lying down, it is truly a glorious page turner!
Guest More than 1 year ago
How can I not adore it? Hanley's way with words leaves her book among the top of memorable and favored must reads. The characters speak on a level you just cannot resist loving. I could read it over and over. In fact, I have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book grips our mind and doesn't let go this book is everything you want to read in a book it has action drama romance and suspenc all over best book ever love it