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The Emperor’s Trap (formerly Seekers) by R.A. Denny


4 Stars


Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Number of pages: 238

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Mud, Rocks, and Trees

Refugees – Book 1 (review here)

Seekers – Book 2

Captives – Book 3

Warriors – Book 4

Where you can find Seekers: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

I can see the future, but it’s muddy.  A dream led me to Baskrod when I was a small boy. A dream showed me the emperor’s mad ravings in his throne room. And a recurring dream reveals that I will ride a lion into the city of Tzoladia at the head of a victorious procession.

But what if I’m wrong?

Prophecies, dreams, and signs are easy to misinterpret. Why else would the wise men of the Society of the Word hide in caves, carry swords, and employ spies? I thought they would know where to find the other deliverers.

But nobody knows what has happened to Brina and Moshoi.  For all I know, the emperor may already have them in his trap.

Trigger Warning: None

My Review:

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In my experience, 2nd books in a series usually aren’t as good as the first one. It puzzles me because you would think that book 2 would go beyond what book 1 was. But, there are books that continue strong into book 2. Seekers in one of those books. I was actually very excited when I was presented with the opportunity to review Seekers. The world building that R.A. Denny did was beautiful and I was curious to see if she continued it in this book. She did and it made for an amazing read.

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Seekers starts off where Refugees ended. Each of the main characters is presented with unique challenges as they try to meet up in the city of Tzoladia. Danger runs rampant for Amanki, Brina, Moshoi and their travel companions. This danger hinders Brina and Moshoi’s journey to Tzoladia. Amanki’s biggest challenge is to keep out of the guards’ eyesight and to keep his traveling companion safe. The biggest question….will they meet up to bring the seals together?

Amanki is in Tzoladia with his healer friend, Manhera. Baskrod, the priest who saved him in the first book, has set them loose in the city. The only thing he says is that they have to meet him by the large bridge behind the marketplace. He is told that the Harvest Festival of the Berserker is happening the next day. They are closing down the central bridge for the festival. Amanki leaves Manhera, with his seal, to look for Baskrod. When he returns, she is missing. Baskrod and Amanki soon find out that the festival has taken an ominous tone. The new emperor has decided to include rituals form a couple of cults. These rituals include human sacrifice. Amanki is frantic to find Manhera before something terrible happens. Will he get to her in time?

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Moshoi and his brother, Tuka, found the exit out of the underground city of Rhabdom. They were being hunted by a pair of guards who thought they were spies. But something didn’t sit right with Moshoi. Even with the people hibernating, he would have seen some sign of life. But he didn’t. So, he makes the choice to go back and investigate. What he finds shocks him to the core. He makes the decision to wake up the hibernating men to tell them what happened. When he does, the men are infuriated. They had trusted those guards to watch over them while they hibernate. Not to kill. The main Watcher, Telepinus, is heading towards Tzoladia with the hands of those he killed. Moshoi, his brother and the husband of one of those killed follow them at a distance. But a natural disaster happens, leaving Moshoi injured and trapped. Will he make it?

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Brina has landed on the opposite side of the river with her friend, Barque. Brina is confused by her banishment and she doesn’t know how she is going to travel to Tzoladia. The colony she is traveling to is in the opposite direction. The travel to the new colony will not be an easy one. They have to go through a forest that is the home to lormonkeys. Lormonkeys are very dangerous. Not only do they eat Gliders but their bit is poisonous. Brina also has to deal with Metlan, a cat rider, who has been banished along with her. When lormonkeys attack the supply line, Brina releases Metlan from his cage and he leaves. Metlan returns with his lioness, Pergassi, and save a young Glider from a lormonkey. But Brina soon finds out that she and the other Gliders are in much more danger. She also finds out that she is heading to Tzoladia but not in a way that she wanted.

The world and character building of Seekers were fantastic. I could picture the worlds she created by closing my eyes. As for the characters, they had layers. You peeled one layer back and another one appeared. I loved it!!

There is a slight religious undertone throughout the book. What I enjoyed is while it was there, it was not shoved down your throat. I have read a few fantasy books with religious undertones. Most of those books have religion mentioned several times within a chapter or paragraph. That turns me off. In Seekers, religion is mentioned but it is isn’t the main focus.

Seekers are billed as a young adult book. I am comfortable saying that I would allow my 12-year-old to read this book. There is some mild violence but nothing that would traumatize a kid that is reading it. It is also clean. No sex or kissing. There is a slight emphasis on how the women in Tzoladia dress and how shocked Amanki/Manhera were to see it. Again, nothing that I have a problem with.

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The end of Seekers was a bit of a cliff hanger….for all the main characters. I was left wondering what will happen to Amanki, Moshoi, and Brina. I do not like cliffhangers but this one made me want to read book 3. I need to know what happens to that.

Seekers is a great fantasy book that is 2nd in the Mud, Rocks, and Trees series. This is not a stand-alone book, so if you do decide read it, you need to read Refugees first. That aside, this was a fast paced book with great world building. It also had great character building. I would read this book again and hope to read book 3!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Young Teen

Why: No violence, sex or language

I would like to thank R.A. Denny for allowing me to read and review Seekers

All opinions expressed in this review of Seekers are mine

 **I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

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