Seekers: Book II of Mud, Rocks, and Trees
I have a soft spot for fantasy series. In book one of this saga I was thrilled by the cultural creativity, the world building, and the strong characters. This installment is no different. RA Denny comes back with the same wonderful writing and excellent storytelling.
On that note, most of Seekers is about Brina, Moshoi, and Amanki hopefully meeting up…? As much as I enjoyed this book, I’ve got to be honest, at its heart it was just a really long, three-part road trip. I’m not complaining…there was still plenty of Denny’s classic action, pacing, and overall skillful storytelling. But the story was just an informative, entertaining filler—in my honest opinion.
That being said, this was probably the most well-written and developed filler I’ve ever read! I read the description and when I got to the part about killer monkeys I almost burst out laughing. I just don’t think I can take killer monkeys seriously—The Wiz kind of ruined my idea of ‘horrifying’ monkeys but knowing Denny’s writing I was more than willing to give it a chance and I’m glad I did! There’s always an understanding that main characters don’t get killed off but as we watched our three protagonists struggle through woods, lands, and seas, I felt a very real sense of worry. The emotion was right on point and the writing was strong enough to stand up to the task of honoring the first book in the series, while carrying audiences through the next act. Its really hard to center one story around three characters in separate locations with different skills and a slightly vague destiny. BUT Denny does it!
My only complaint is that I truly wish Brina could explore other weaponry besides archery. Unfortunately, Katniss Everdeen will forever be stamped into the minds of readers whenever a female protagonist picks up a bow, HOWEVER, that isn’t why I wish Brina would use other weapons. I’d just like to see a female lead get more physical with her enemies. Women are often distance fighters in fantasy typically because its hard to imagine a small woman taking down a six-foot centurion or a herd of killer monkeys. But…I mean…is it any harder than imagining three teenagers getting banished from their homelands and travelling the world to *possibly* meet up and do something with a stone that involves their destinies?—all because something in the sky said so??? I think not.
Firstly, that last statement is NOT a knock against this excellent story. What I mean is, I’d like to see a story where the woman skillfully wields swords she crafted by hand in the dead of night. I’d like to see Brina with twin axes or I don’t know, a steel baseball bat knocking moneys upside the head! No matter what happens with the characters, I love the story exactly as it is and—really—I can’t complain when Brina’s mastered archery, Moshoi is a swordsman, and Amanki has mastered the very threatening and dangerous, most definitely frightening task of…sailing. It’s a cool skill and all, but I’ve got to say Brina or Moshoi are definitely my first pick when teaming up for a zombie apocalypse.
One of the best parts of this series so far is the inclusion of faith. As a Christian I love seeing books that somehow tie in religion in a way that works with the story and actually plays an active role in the plot. Some readers complain whenever religion is involved but I praise it. If I had to complain I’d say that there should be a stronger element of faith in the stories. Its just hard to imagine this rich culture with only a little aspect of faith.
In the end, I enjoyed this book probably more than the first and I look forward to reading more from this author. I would certainly recommend this series to readers of all ages, but it will be most appreciated by fantasy readers and anyone who loves a good adventure.