The Seer of Truth – Tambo Jones

The Seer of Truth

The Seer of Truth

Summary

Dubric Bryerly, cursed with ghosts and anxious to find a serial killer, has let the Lord's grandson be seen as the culprit, but called on outside reinforcements. When they arrive, they may cause more problems than they solve.

Review

With the previous book – Protection of the Holy Knights, the second in this fork of the series, the first after the branch, I found the first half of the book to be the same as its alternate, and some interesting but non-essential divergence in the second half. It was academically interesting as an alternate version, and a strong book on its own, but I wasn’t convinced of its need to exist.

In this third book in the series, the alternate fork begins to come into its own. The lead characters are largely the same – with some important exceptions – but the story is now solidly established on its own track. So far, I still lean toward the original track, but this one is certainly interesting.

As a thumbnail, I’d say the original series (Ghosts in the Snow) is cleaner, neater, smoother. This series is richer, but more muddled, and has more weak points.

One of the intriguing things about the Snow fork is what a good job Jones did of setting the stage of a land in the aftermath of epic, dangerous events. We get hints about what it was like; little crumbs strewn here and there, but that fork leaves the bulk of the magic in the past. In this fork, we get morsels rather than crumbs, and the magic is much more obtrusive. It’s interesting, and very fun to try to piece together what happened in those past wars – as much fun as following the detective puzzle in the present.

This book, unfortunately, somewhat looses its grip on the strong characterization that the prior one offered. Some characters don’t seem to stay quite in character, and there’s a fair amount that rushes past without a great explanation. I don’t know which fork came first, but this one could have done with more editing.

Definitely interesting and worth exploring for Dubric aficionados. If I had to make a decision now, I’d probably argue for the Snow fork and a separate series of novels exploring all this rich magic, but we’ll see.

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