*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: I survived a murderous raid and a raging storm in a small sailboat. At last, I have arrived in a splendid city of islands that rises from the sea to the sky. It seems like paradise: a welcome resting spot on the way to Tzoladia.
But nothing is as it seems. Even me. I don’t know who I am anymore.
The evil emperor is one step ahead of me. He knows the prophecy. And he wants me dead. Because he knows who I am. Why has Baskrod led me right into his clutches? Maybe I was wrong to trust him. Sometimes I don’t know what to believe anymore. Is the star I follow guiding me to my destiny or leading me straight to my doom?
Seekers is the second book in the Mud, Rocks and Trees series and you really need to read Refugees first as that sets the scene and introduces the characters and plot. Seekers continues from where Refugees left off, and yes, I will warn in advance that it does end on a cliffhanger as well!
The storyline is one of distraction and delay, as the reader and characters are led away from the main quest, even as it becomes more imperative. Brina is travelling away from the meeting place on orders from her Elders and is so distracted by Metlan, the manipulative-yet-charming cat-rider, that she forgets her duty and makes some dangerous errors. Moshoi is heading in the right direction but on a completely different quest, led by morality and his loyalty to his race. As his brother tries to remind him of his main mission, Moshoi is torn by his conflicting priorities and distracted by his desire to impress his father. Amanki is facing the oldest distraction of all: a beautiful, intelligent woman! He attempts to stick to the plans, but allows himself to be swept up in cultural issues and white-knight rescues, risking his seal along the way.
As a result of the characters all following their separate paths in this installment, the bigger picture and the links between them are less distinct. However their individual paths are gripping and the first-person narratives are immersive, so I found myself frequently on the edge of my seat as they journey into ever-deeper peril.
The differences between the races become more obscure here too (other than the physical distinctions) as the three main characters turn more determinedly from their own cultural traditions and rituals to cleave to their new monotheistic religion. There was more reliance on Adon in this book too, with the main three often turning to faith and prayer in their moments of need.
I am still finding Metlan the most fascinating character, as it is unclear what his motivations are but he is clearly capable of playing a long game in his own best interests, yet his love and loyalty to his big cat are touching and redemptive.
This is another great installment in this clean fantasy adventure, with plenty of action and intrigue. Books 3-6 have already been released as of the date of writing, so I look forward to finding out where the trio’s travels lead them next!
Kalpok in danger? But my family is back there! And the city has a strong defensive force. It can’t be! Suddenly, I felt the urgency of my mission. Is my family in danger? I wanted to tell Garwin and Barque about the prophecy, the seal, and the strange boys from other races that I was to meet in Tzoladia. But my papa had told me to keep these things a secret. So I kept quiet.
– R. A. Denny, Seekers
Plus, check out my review of Refugees right here!