Sarah's Stars

Victoria Hanley. The Seer and the Sword
Holiday House  $27.95   ISBN 0-8234-1532-5   340 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 14

"If he is my slave,” she asked, “does that make him my own?”

“All your own.”

“I can do whatever I want with him?”

The king nodded. The princess shivered. “What is your name, son of a king?”

“Landen.” The boy’s manner, still that of a prince, contrasted oddly with his dusty rags and bruises.

“Vesputo,” Torina said.

“Princess?”

“Cut his ropes, please.” The commander looked to his king, who inclined his head. A blade was drawn. Vesputo severed the ropes carelessly, trailing fresh blood. Landen rubbed his wrists as Torina stepped closer to him. “Landen,” she whispered. “I never had a slave.” The boy stood quietly.

“And I never will,” she continued, lifting her chin. “Papa,” her voice rose. “You gave him to me. I set him free.”

Torina never could decide whether it was right for her father to conquer the kingdom of Bellandra, legendary for its peace, wisdom and magic Sword. But she knew it was wrong for him to make Landen, once prince of Bellandra, a slave. Since the day she freed him, an unshakable bond grew between the two children. They were the best of friends, telling each other all the secrets that no-one else knew. But as they grow up, they grow apart and when Landen delivers a cryptic warning about a threat to her father’s life and then flees Archeld, Torina isn’t sure what to think. Then her father is murdered and Landen is blamed, though Torina knows in her heart that he is innocent, she is the only one that sees the truth. While Archeld is plunged into turmoil, she and Landen must fight, each in their own way to set things right.

he Seer and the Sword is a marvelous read, full of action, intrigue, surprise and just a dash of romance that all adds up to an awesome story. Victoria Hanley is an amazing writer, though her style is simple, the words have power and the plot is rich with detail. I enormously enjoyed reading The Seer and the Sword and it immediately gained its rightful place among my list of favorite books. It’s one of those stories that never gets old, you can read it fifty times and you still feel surprise and outrage and joy as the plot unfolds.

I would recommend Seer and the Sword for tweens and teens, mainly girls, ages 11 to 15. The font is large and easy to read and the language is easily understandable. I highly recommend this book, it’s simply wonderful.

I’d give The Seer and the Sword five huge stars.

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