At first, you´ll think this novel plays somewhere in the Middle Age. The story is set in a village; they train with ancient weapons like swords, knives, and whips. No electrical power, no Smartphones or other technical progress. But that´s only half the truth; Arwen Elys Dayton lets her story play in a world that could be easily the present of the world we know but in another world. Seeker contains a fantastic fantasy with unusual writing- and word style. You won´t get bored with it, and if you´re a fantasy fan you will like it very much that this isn´t casual. The novel gives you the pleasure of a new world.

by Arwen Elys Dayton
Seeker #1
Publisher Delacorte Press on February 10, 2015
Genre Young Adult
Pages 448
Format Hardcover
Source Library

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath; she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend. But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought. And now it's too late to walk away.
The Seekers have chosen to stay away from the big cities, from all the technical acquisitions and to do what they do with their own weapons and capabilities. When Quin, the main figure, sees with her own eyes what the Seeker really do and how they do it, she is not only shocked but also disgusted. What she thought was an honorable thing to do, to help the weak and keep the world in balance, turns out to be a game of money, power, and obedience. She has to follow every order she gets from her father Briac and he doesn´t like words of objection. He is ruthless, ice-cold and brutal.

The plot is set in Scotland, Hong Kong, and London and structured in three parts. There is also a part that´s called interlude where the reader gets a glimpse of how John got his knowledge about some secrets of the Seeker he shouldn´t have. And that knowledge is exactly what brings him and Quin into painful trouble. `Cause Quin doesn´t know that he knows and what she knows doesn´t know John. Sounds kind of complicated but it isn´t. That struggle between them is shown by the author in a wonderful way although she lets them suffer a lot.

There is a whole bunch of different characters here. John seems to be a nice guy but that changes the minute he realizes that his trainer Briac won´t let him succeed and do his oath to become a Seeker. What he does to convince his love Quin to help him achieve his goal is questionable. He claims to love her, but who does things like he does to the one he loves????

At some times I hated him really for what he did to Quin. He turns from the nice and handsome teenage boy, you fell in love with at the beginning of the novel, into a still handsome young man, but everything he does, he does to reach his goal: The dagger that´ll give him the possibility to do what Quin can do since she´s a Seeker. But unfortunately, she refuses to give him access to it, although this item actually belongs to John and his clan. And every try from John, to get it back, fails. Quin can´t trust him anymore, not since she´s seen what he all does to get that dagger in his hands again and not, since she´s witnessed with her own eyes what Seekers are really do and why. And as long, as she is alive and capable, she´ll do anything to keep John as far away from that dagger as she possibly can. And so John becomes the evil, and no matter what good he does to Quin, that won´t change any more. His promise to his mother and the legacy of his clan is too important.

Arwen Elys Dayton gives her figures depth, a lot to carry and shows in a beautiful but cruel way what power can mean to a single figure. The holy rules of the Seeker aren´t holy anymore – at least that´s the conclusion Quin gets out of all the things that happen and she might be right.

You won´t find a page that sounds the same. You won´t find an easy-going story with Seeker. But you´ll also find an interesting novel that shows you a lot of things you don´t expect at all. The mixture between old and new, this world and a totally different one and all those opposed characters makes Seeker a book that’s worth reading.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition published by Arena on April 30, 2015

Arwen Elys Dayton
Arwen Elys Dayton ©Denice Duff

Arwen Elys Dayton spends months doing research for her stories. Her explorations have taken her around the world to places like the Great Pyramid (which she explored by a single fading flashlight when researching Resurrection), Hong Kong and its many islands, and lots of ruined castles in Scotland. She enjoys creating complete worlds inhabited by characters who charm, frustrate or inspire. Arwen lives with her husband and their three children on the West Coast of the United States.


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