© 2018 by  J.J.Faulks

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    The Seer's Curse

    Life in the village is hard for Orleigh and Piprin. Orleigh is believed to be cursed following her mother's death in childbirth and seven subsequent poor harvests. Whilst Piprin suffers under the expectations of an overbearing and demanding father.

    Together they make a pact and the future seems bearable.  But just as the pact is struck, Orleigh is taken to be sacrificed to the Earth God, Teymos.

    Years later when Piprin learns that Orleigh might still be alive, he resolves to rescue her and to return her to the Land of Mortals. Guided by the Seer and the myths of his childhood, Piprin sets out alone on a quest to the Land of Gods, where mortals like him are forbidden.

    But will Piprin survive his quest? And why is the Seer so interested in Orleigh’s fate?

    A tale of friendship, acceptance and self-discovery, filled with a new mythology, The Seer’s Curse is a moving debut to be enjoyed by all fantasy fans.

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    Natasha Panakin - for the design and illustrations of the cover and icons.

    Lucy Courtenay - for editing the manuscript and for offering lots of advice.

    Reviewers -

    Evelyn Johnstone, Cherril Anderson, Anthea Millar and Patricia Quirk.

    REVIEWS

    Kirkus Reviews

    The line between the Land of Mortals and the Land of Gods is blurred in Faulks’ debut YA fantasy novel.

    During Orleigh’s birth, her mother dies. Ormoss, her father, sinks into a depression and is unable to care for her, so he has Meila, a villager who recently gave birth to a baby named Piprin, nurse his daughter, as well. Watching over all of this with displeasure is the Seer, as Orleigh is already defying the destiny that was written for her in the Script, because she was born in the wrong place without a mother. As the years pass and crops fail, the villagers blame Orleigh, believing that she’s cursed. Ormoss’ friend Scorlan seeks the advice of the Seer, who sees an opportunity to set Orleigh on the correct path; he advises Scorlan to give Orleigh to Teymos, the Earth God. When Orleigh disappears one night, the villagers believe that she’s dead. But 10 years later, Piprin, who’d been Orleigh’s childhood friend, overhears an old man tell a tale of handing a still-living girl to a god. Piprin sets out on a heroic quest, hoping to cross into the Land of Gods and find Orleigh. Along the way, he’ll meet the Seer, encounter a field of blood flowers, and attempt to pass through the Great Forest, which is full of creatures crafted from fallen mortals’ souls. Faulks’ worldbuilding is fantastic and intricate, weaving in elements of myth. For example, she tells of “the creator” unraveling herself to form the threads of the world and of flowers curtsying at Teymos’ feet; she also reveals that a vial of immortal blood worn around one’s neck can protect one from forest beasts and that the Seer sets figurines onto a map, just as everyday people set pieces on a game board. The only frustrating elements are the repeated insinuations regarding Orleigh’s fate; readers will quickly understand that she’s special, so the repeated hints about the “unraveling” of the Script seem excessive.

    Tales of myth intertwine in this lush and often engaging fantasy.

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