by William Nicholson
Seeker (Book 1 of The Noble Warriors)
Harcourt, May, 2006.
Trade paperback, 432 pages.
Ages 12 and up
On the island city of Anacrea, the All and Only is protected by a highly trained group of warrior monks who carry no weapons, yet wield great power. They are called the Nomana or the Noble Warriors. Each year, all the 16 year-olds gather at the monastery, hoping to be chosen to be taken into training in the order. 16 year-old Seeker After Truth has always wanted to be a Noble Warrior but his father has mapped out his future: he is to be a teacher (just like his father). Seeker's older brother is already a Noble Warrior and Seeker would do anything to follow in his footsteps. A young girl named Morning Star also wishes to become as Noble Warrior: she is following in the footsteps of her mother. Both Seeker and Morning Star eventually meet up with a third teen named Wildman. Wildman (who is aptly named) was a river pirate but has now decided that being a Noble Warrior sounds like a pretty good deal. None of the three teens is chosen by the monks; bitterly disappointed, the three band together in a mission to the enemy city of Radiance in order to save Anacrea from a doomsday weapon and prove to the monks that they are worthy of being Noble Warriors.
Bestselling British author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands) hits a home run with this new fantasy series aimed at teen readers. Nicholson excels at creating interesting characters: Seeker is a boy who wants to prove himself and who isn't really sure yet what his strengths are; Morning Star can read people's auras and determine their true character; and Wildman is a young man who turned to piracy to escape poverty. His exuberance (he demands "Do you LOVE me??) to everyone he meets, for example) is at first rather annoying. But as the story evolves, Wildman shows some very interesting depths to his character. The mythology of the series is just beginning to unfold and it has an intriguing mystery about it, with clever foreshadowing of some very evil entities who haven't fully made their appearance into the story. Things are not quite as they seem in this very entertaining and vividly imagined coming of age fantasy.
--Claire E. White
Seeker (Book 1 of The Noble Warriors) is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the April, 2006 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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