I so did not expect to like this book; I actually thought I'd end up abandoning it because I was not really in the mood to read about a school shootinI so did not expect to like this book; I actually thought I'd end up abandoning it because I was not really in the mood to read about a school shooting the day I started reading it. WOW. To say that I enjoyed reading it probably sounds macabre, but I really sucked this story down. It would be great for book clubs--I just want to talk about it to someone else who has read it. It was really intense, and surprisingly, a page-turner. Took me forever to finish though--I read several hours for four days, but is was slow-going because of the unnecessarily flowery language. I felt like I needed to keep a dictionary next to me while reading! The language was really over-the-top, and I found that unrealistic for this story. I just don't buy that a woman writing to her estranged husband in modern times would be so formal in writing about her mass-murderer son. I hated the cold, snooty narrator for about half of the book, then I really started to see her side. Other than the incongruous language and the admittedly disturbing subject matter, I really did enjoy reading it and recommend it to anyone who can handle a heart-wrenching story about the family of a teen murderer. WOW....more
WHAT I LIKED: I read and loved The Seer and the Sword about ten years ago when it appeared on the Texas Lone Star Reading List. As a librarian ten years later, I have tried many times since to promote it to my students, but I couldn't remember the story well enough to really do it justice; all I remembered is that I really loved the story.
Every school year, I select 10-15 books to add to the Lone Star list for my students to read for a district-wide reading incentive. I decided to add The Seer and the Sword this year, and I reread it so I remember it clearly.
I loved this book years ago, and I still love it. With plenty of action, romance, and tension, it's just SUCH a well-told story that will keep readers turning pages. I can't imagine anyone not loving this book, even if they are not huge readers of the fantasy genre. Readers will root for Torina and Landen, both privileged children of kings, both teens forced into exile. The story spans about nine years of their lives as both grow in strength, wisdom, and character. This book is one of my all-time favorite YA reads; if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Such a great book; such a TERRIBLE front cover! Torina looks crazy and evil on the cover, which is not at all the case. I know for a fact that the red-haired girl on the cover definitely keeps boys from checking it out. Two different boys at my school (who read and loved it) told me that they were embarrassed by the cover and tried to keep it hidden as best as they could.
I'm sure there are reviewers out there who will criticize the writing style of The Seer and the Sword, and I will give it to them that Hanley's writing style (particularly the italicized "thinking moments" that appear throughout) can be a little disjointed at times. To those critics, however, I have one thing to say--who cares? The Seer and the Sword is just plain engrossing and fun--storytelling at its best.
Sexuality: mild--some kissing
Violence: mild-medium--some murders and attempted murders, sword fighting
Drugs/Alcohol: mild; one character becomes unknowingly addicted to sedatives; adults get drunk and pass out
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have it, and I am ordering additional copies since I am adding it to our Lone Star Plus this year. I have recommended this book to many, many students and teachers. The ones who check it out come back raving about it. The problem is the terrible front cover, which I believe deters many students from experiencing the book's greatness. So sad. I have plans to re-cover my library copies with a removable plain black cover. ...more
Wow, what an incredible read! It was a little slow to start, but once the 4 kids got kidnapped, it was a page-turner! I learned an awful lot about comWow, what an incredible read! It was a little slow to start, but once the 4 kids got kidnapped, it was a page-turner! I learned an awful lot about computer hacking, gaming, and surveillance. It leaves the reader wondering how successful terrorism has really been and who the real terrorists are.
The characters are believable, and Doctorow clearly did his homework on the computer stuff. It is definitely worthy of being 1984's younger sibling. Amazing....more