Saturday, February 19, 2022

Review: Kirins: The Seer of Serone by James Priest

by James Priest
Beaver's Pond Press
YA Fantasy
366 pages

A race of tiny magical beings lives on Earth today.
They are kirins.
Due to ancient frictions, kirins have concealed themselves from humans for millennia. When a disgruntled kirin high magician interrupts the global invisibility spell, however, kirins everywhere are momentarily visible to humans. Taking advantage of this breach, a vicious Alaskan fishing boat captain, Jeremy Bailey, captures a kirin named Till and, under threat of torture, exploits Till's magical abilities for Bailey's benefit.
A kirin party fights back to deliver Bailey to The Seer of Serone, an esteemed kirin wizard who brings the infamous human to trial. Peering into Bailey's mind, The Seer will show mercy only if Bailey is a truly changed man.
This lovingly crafted story in the classic fantasy tradition explores the power of empathy, friendship, and forgiveness to heal the rifts that divide.


Fans of 'old-style' fantasy are going to get lost in these pages and enjoy the mix of modern meets a fantasy world.

The Kirins are a small, magical folk, who live hidden away from modern life in the forests and such. These creatures are well described and come across surprisingly naturally. The logic and world are built up just enough to make it 'work' without becoming overly long or dredging, and still hold enough depth and description to bring the scenes to life. I especially enjoyed the Alaskan moments and the boat, and found the author did a lovely job and sliding the two very different worlds together.

This is written in a more traditional style and reminds a bit of Tolkien's books. I'll admit that it's not quite my thing, but I do believe that epic fantasy fans will enjoy every moment. The characters are given enough depth to make them interesting, the logic, in general, gains a good foundation, and the plot pulses along with enough twists to keep the reader in the pages. There were some passages, which were a bit more built out than seemed necessary and slowed the pacing, but it wasn't enough to hurt the read. 

There are, of course, messages, but these don't over power the plot of reading enjoyment. Fantasy readers will want to grab up the next book to find out what happens next.

And here he is...

James D. Priest, M.D., majored in English at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He studied English in the masters program and received a Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Minnesota. He spent three years in Japan as a physician in the Army of the United States caring for casualties from Vietnam, and four years in orthopedic residency at Stanford University. He practiced orthopedics in Minneapolis for twenty-one years. He has authored or co-authored approximately thirty medical articles, and received the Minnesota Medicine Outstanding Writing Award.

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