the Harbinger series
By Jeff Wheeler
Though relations between Princess Seraphin Fitzempress and her father have been strained, Sera’s royal position has remained unchallenged. Filled with self-doubt, she struggles to grasp the Mysteries—her greatest trial yet.
An education in the enigmatic magic is a necessary one, should Sera plan to rise in her station and invoke her powers during the war. But the emperor’s death now leaves both Sera and her ambitious father eligible for the throne—a contest the prince regent intends to win. Even if it means an alliance with a rival empire.
Sera’s hope lies in Cettie, a waif raised in the world below, whose life has intertwined with Sera’s in the most unexpected ways. The Mysteries come easily to Cettie, and her studies have begun to yield new insight into her growing powers. But those same powers put Cettie in the path of those who would destroy her.
Now as the threat of war ignites and an insidious sickness spreads throughout the kingdom, Sera and Cettie will need to gather their courage and fight for each other’s lives…and for the future of their endangered world. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Jeff Wheeler, and this is no exception. I didn’t realize how the world Cettie and Sera live in relates to his Muirwood series until this book. I still think you can read the Harbinger series without having read the Muirwood books, but it will add more depth to your understanding of this world if you’ve read the series that was the springboard for all of his series. The Harbinger series also connects with the Kingfountain series, but again it isn’t absolutely essential to have read that series to understand the current.
My two favorite characters are Sera and Cettie. They’re different from each other and both learning new lessons about their roles and their limitations.
Sera and Cettie have been roommates at school, even though they are quite different and from different backgrounds. Sera has been whisked away for a meeting when her grandfather has passed away without an heir. She doesn’t feel like she’s made a very good showing in front of the council. When a threat arises at the school, everyone assumes it’s directed at Sera, as a potential heir to the throne. This dynamic combined with politics directed at Kingfountain’s prince, and the old letters Sera gave to Will, creates a set of circumstances where the hopeful princess must make a series of choices. Being naive she doesn’t always choose well, but she is honest. Through her quest for the crown, she discovers her desire to rules stems from being able to help the people rather than to aggrandize herself.
Cettie has always been humble and is in awe over learning the Mysteries. She also discovers that many others support her, like teachers, her “adoptive” parents, and other friends. Even with their support and her newfound knowledge, it is up to her to face her fears. She is the only one who can dismiss them. Cettie worries for the future, but is ready to accept challenges. One of the problems being set up for another book is her love life. She is sought after by one and loves another. And it’s more complicated than that, but I don’t want to spoil too much. She is of such high moral character I wonder how everything will work out. From past experience, I know Wheeler doesn’t feel like he has to give us the answer we want.
I highly recommend this book along with all of the others written by Jeff Wheeler.
4 out of 5 stars