Friday, July 16, 2021

Elizabeth Hunter - The Seeker

He’s a scribe looking for answers. If only a cagey—and frustratingly attractive—singer will let him help.
Summoned to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Rhys of Glast, Irin archivist and scribe of Istanbul, must convince a legendary Irina singer to trust him. His success could shift the balance of power all over the Irin world and give singers an important key to their past.
Meera didn’t call for Rhys’s help and she doesn’t need it. The scribe’s mission is to bring more martial magic into the Irin world while Meera has been looking for a path toward peace. She’s convinced that some other motive is at work, and his stubborn arrogance doesn’t pass for charm in her hallowed opinion.
Discovering ancient Irina magic should be something both scholars can agree on, but can these two rivals find any common ground? Neither Rhys nor Meera can ignore the simmering heat between them, but will attraction overcome the caution that has shaped both their lives?

Comment: This is the last installment in the Irin Chronicles series by author Elizabeth Hunter. I've been following the series for years now, and it does feel like a goal accomplished to think this is the final one. However, it wasn't the amazing experience I imagined, for more than one reason.

In this final story, we follow Rhys, a recurrent character, as he travels to the US to work with an Irin said to be as dedicated to the tales of the Irin as he is and that she might have new information which could help the future Irinas to be more successful in fighting the Grigori. He does like Meera's intelligence and certainly he likes her looks, but she seems to be hiding something...
Meera is the embodiment of all the previous Irinas, meaning she was chosen to perpetuate the story and the abilities in an immense memory, which makes her someone to worship and to follow but although she embraced her role and she wants to do her duty with an open heart, she also knows her life choices are always a little limited. In fact, her parents thought Rhys would be a good match for her but can she accept him if this is an obligation? Ans what about the common enemy they have to defeat?

I liked the book but not as much as I thought I would. Somehow, the pace and the romance didn't grab me as much as Hoped, especially because I had had good experiences with the previous books. There was the fact I wasn't in the mood for reading in some days and my beloved grandmother had died, so less time to leisure reading...all combined made it bad timing to be reading this one. However, I admit I don't feel the will to try again at a different time, so my initial impression will remain.

This is actually a story with an interesting premise. The idea that there is a way for the memories, traditions to be known and shared by one person, with all the challenges it can mean... the role of Meera as an Irin and what her knowledge can do to help the Irinas to survive the change of times was interesting but I'll be honest, I didn't connect with Meera as a female protagonist. She is a good person, wants independence while keeping up with tradition, so quite relatable, but I did struggle to care to know what her steps would be next.

Rhys was a character I liked following, but probably because he had been in other books, so it was easier to be invested in what would happen to him. I liked how dedicated he was to his task, to his work as a scribe and I even liked how he wanted to be with Meera...their meeting was fun and slightly provocative, so it seemed they would be a love-hate courtship. The problem was that the romance was heavily influenced by both their roles in the Irin world and the fight against the angels and at some point I simply lost interest.

Truly, after a while I was reading to finish the book because it felt like I had to, I was curious about where this would lead, since it seems it was the final story in the series, but it was difficult to feel that interest, it's true. This ends with a sort of epic battle against an enemy, some new information about the past of the Irinas and Scribes comes to light because of a new character but it didn't feel like this was a goodbye to the series...there were still some loose points... I wonder if maybe there will be more stories...

Still, if so, I'll think about if I want to keep going. If I had to make a decision right now I wouldn't, but who knows. The author clearly has imagination, the construction/world building of her worlds is certainly captivating, the romances often work but there is something extra I can't explain which didn't fully work for me in this one.

Grade: 5/10

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