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The Seer

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The Arunkel Empire has stood a thousand years, forged by wealth and conquest, but now rebellion is stirring on the borders and treachery brews in the palace halls. Elsewhere, in a remote mountain village, a young mother sells the prophesies of her sister, Amarta, in order to keep them and her infant child from starving. It's a dangerous gamewhen such revelations draw ...more
Paperback, 656 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Baen
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Sonia Lyris Yes, there will be a sequel. I can say this with a fair bit of confidence, since I'm writing it.


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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  113 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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I enjoyed this rather long novel. It might have been better had it been a tad shorter, but still, quite a good read.
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, e-book, for-review
This review originally appeared on my blog,


THE SEER is a complete, well developed, dark, realistic, and intriguing fantasy. While I would like another book (I’m greedy!), it was refreshing to get such a story in one volume, rather than having to wait and wait for sequels.

Amarta’s visions provide just enough coin to keep herself, her older sister, and her sister’s son alive. When Innel wakes her in the middle of a night to see his future, Amarta gets an inkling of what she’s
Clifton Hill
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazing-fantasy
The Seer is a masterpiece of Epic Fantasy in the vein of The Game of Thrones.

Amarta can see the future, but nothing is certain, everything changes, and a man made powerful by her own talent will stop at nothing to have her power for his own—or for none at all.

Innel is a man raised in the King’s Cohort, raised to fight, raised to command; raised for one to become the Royal Consort to the princess. With nothing to lose, everything to gain, he juggles plots and pulls strings to achieve what no one
Nessie Phoenix
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is not the first work of Sonia's that I have read, but it is the first that exists entirely within a world she has created, and the masterful way in which she builds worlds definitely shows. I found the world immersive, the characters compelling and multi-layered, and the plot delightfully difficult to predict. Normally I would give a more detailed review, but she wrote so skillfully that to give away anything about the story would be to do it a disservice.

Suffice to say that this book
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a good one-and-done epic high fantasy! The focus is on two main characters: Amarta, a seer who we first meet as a child, and Innel, a potential Consort of the Princess who could help rule the kingdom if he can win over his King. Their meeting sets both of their futures in motion, adding several more voices, including my favorite, Maris. It's a little dark, this book, (the torture, the horrible things Innel does and how they seem to be the way it's always worked in the kingdom) and it is ...more
Karen A. Wyle
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm rounding up about half a star.

This book combines rich worldbuilding with beautifully conceived characters and an intricate yet largely comprehensible plot. The world Lyris constructs so well is a fairly depressing one, with brutality and warfare a near constant. Indeed, many of the important characters are ethically compromised by their participation in the worst aspects of this world. Yet the author does an excellent job of engaging our sympathies with such characters, and avoiding neat or
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc-fantasy
A very good book. It says "Sword and Sorcery" on the cover, but it is much better than that. Sword and Sorcery usually implies lots of Thud and Blunder, as Poul Anderson would say (see link below).

This book is never stereotypical. High praise, indeed.

One of the best references of all time, for fantasy writers:
"On Thud and Blunder", by Poul Anderson
note: "SCA" stands for the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Scott Phillips
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was sad to see the book end...I wanted more. Ms. Lyris created an interesting world and populated it with complex characters facing difficult questions. What I liked best was the unclear boundaries between good and evil - everything and everyone was a shade of gray. Both the story and the characters have depth. I got to know these characters, I shared their ambitions, their successes and their failures. You are guaranteed to lose some sleep, staying up late to see what happens next.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book does a great job of pulling you in with a combination of interesting characters and an intelligent, multilayered story arc. There's an enjoyable blend of political intrigue, inter-personal conflicts, and backroom espionage that goes well beyond what is offered by most fantasy novels. Lastly, the "rules" constructed for the story's fantasy elements feel realistic and fit comfortably into the richly imagined world in which the book takes place.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
RTC, also note that I finished reading this on 7/15/2019 but Amazon decided to provoke a strike and I ain't no scab.

ps I love this book a LOT a lot and cannot wait for the sequel
I'M A LITTLE TORN ON THIS RATING TBH but in the end i gotta go with 4 stars, bc while there were some things i rly didn't like i think the stuff i did like outweighed it. i may change my mind later, idk. just know this lies somewhere between 3 & 4 but in this case i decided to round up instead of down.

so there were some bits where this draaaaaaaaaaaaaaagged on, like, wow. this book is over 600 pages!!! somehow i didn't realize that going in. the pacing was honestly very strange, bc sometimes
Karla Meursing
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Which I did not expect to do, as I normally don't read fantasy novels. I began reading it at the urging of a friend. She said "read the first two chapters and then, if you don't like it, I let you off the hook". Well, I read those first two in one day. And then I thundered through the book in the next few days, and finished it in no time, regretting the ride was over!
The world which Sonja creates is complex and described with great skill. I love her attention to detail, and
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, one of the good books I've read recently.

I was a bit uncertain at first, it starts like a Young Adult book, but as the story develops, more and more characters make their entrance. At some points this becomes a bit confusing, but eventually they will all interact in a complex dance. The book is very dark by moments, so definitely not YA after all. The world is complex, and there are lots of things hinted at but never really explored in detail. The characters make sense, and even the
An okay fantasy novel about a young woman who can basically see the future. I'd call this book pretty original, if I hadn't read two others basically like it in the last couple of years. But still, an untrained precog in battle is still interesting. Too long, with too many unnecessary details. Too many unnecessary characters. This book would have been improved with a bunch of trimming and tightening. Not that the magic horses and underground cities and magician's weren't interesting and well ...more
Kris Sellgren
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This sword and sorcery novel has an interesting premise: the heroine is a seer whose visions of immediate danger keep her just ahead of the tracker who is paid to capture or kill her for the (royal) villain. But too much time is spent on the POV of the villain, whose casual descriptions of torture and mass murder are stomach-turning. (view spoiler) I hope this promising ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This book wound up surprising me a bit. I spent the first half of it annoyed at the seemingly shallow characters and utter vileness of the players in one part of the storyline. But as the action picks up, at least the main character, Amarta, is given more depth, and things roll along to a remarkably satisfying conclusion (for most characters. One or two are basically written off, which is unfortunate). So.. eh. Potentially rewarding if you're patient for the first part of the book.
Kevin Brown
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A thoughtful look at someone with the ability to see the future. Coupled with two very complex men who elevate the scale at which the seer operates at. I found it fascinating and very enjoyable.
Joel Tone
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The world was fascinating. The author didn't cheat with the seer's ability to see the future. The characters are solid and interesting.
Jeffrey Grant
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can't articulate exactly why I liked this book so much.

On the face of it, it's a relatively standard fantasy story; there's a man who worked his way up from the common folk and has positioned himself with the nobility, getting his hands very dirty on the way up, and there's the young girl who can see the future who is going on a sort of hero's journey, and the bounty hunter who is trying to find her and being constantly frustrated. Eventually there's also the mage who doesn't operate like the
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Seer has a good hook and for the first few chapters, I wanted to know more. But at over 900 pages, there was a LONG slog in the middle where I wondered where we were going and whether I cared. There was a semi satisfying resolution in the end, but the conflict being resolved is not the one I expected or one I was particularly invested in.

Plotwise, I was left with a lot of complaints and questions about why the editor didn't rein in and redirect the author to tighten the plot. If the story
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I don't usually read fantasy, but I heard the first chapter of this book at a reading and it intrigued me. After the first chapter things began to bog down a bit and I remembered why I don't read fantasy very often. However, things did pick up as the groundwork laid in the earlier chapters began to pay off. I found myself eagerly looking forward to finding out what would happen next.

I liked that some of Lyris's characters surprised me. I'm used to fantasy having good guys and bad guys. Many of
Douglas Harper
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sonia Lyris writes with heart and power. You will feel for, and fret for, her characters as she moves them along this knife-edge plot through a vivid, treacherous world. I was bowled over by the calm power of her prose and her unerring sense of her characters in even their most casual interactions. You read her, like the best fiction writers, aware that her knowledge of her world extends well past the edges of the plot.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was quite good overall. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, but it did wrap things up in a mostly-satisfying wY.
cultureulterior -
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
One of those books that began really well, but started sputtering about midway through.

I mention in particular never seeing the meeting between the Queen and Marisol which might have been fantastic, when instead we spend page after page on the Seers monotonous flight.

Everything eventually collapses into self-parody when she decides to go back, Marisol coming with her (despite knowing her presence could be detected)

A good book could be written about trying to capture a seer, attempting to close
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating characters and societies, especially the blonds! I'd love to find out more about the cohort, the politics and the mages. Anyone know if there will be a sequel?
EIK Mittendorf
rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2016
James Stewart
rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2017
rated it liked it
May 11, 2016
Roy D
rated it did not like it
Dec 13, 2017
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Sonia Orin Lyris attended the Clarion West Writers' Workshop in 1992. She writes science fiction and roleplaying game-related fantasy.
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