A real strength of the books are the characters. Seeker has two friends, Morning Star and the Wildman, and they all have their own journeys across the three books. Morning Star has the ability to see a person’s colours, a sort of aura that shows how they’re feeling. Wildman is a spiker, a type of wandering outlaw who kills and robs for money, and has a distinctive cry of ‘Do you lo-o-ove me?’. The ways in which they change and grow is one of the most rewarding parts of reading the series.
Another aspect I found interesting was the lore. There’s a real sense of history to the Noble Warriors that makes you believe in the way they’re revered. The first thing you read about them is the legend of their creation, and throughout the books Nicholson explores it and calls it into question. It provides a backbone for the series, a foundation on which everything else depends.
What’s clear from reading is that Nicholson had a lot more on his mind than creating a simple fantasy adventure series. The books give you a lot to think about, touching on themes such as power, goodness, faith, knowledge, belief, and strength. The third book, Noman, is the one in particular that goes into detail about what it means to believe in something, and how stories can form the basis of who we are. This intelligence and depth is what separates it from a lot of the children’s fiction that was released in the post-Harry Potter fantasy boom.
Seeker, Jango, and Noman were among the books I left behind when I moved away for university. After living out for a few years, I came back in July 2019 to find them and a lot of other books from when I was a teenager that I’d never read. I went through all three in one go, and enjoyed them a lot. Reading these books has been a nice way to connect with my younger self and get a bit of closure. When I review one for the blog, I’m going to mark it as a ‘Teen Read’, to collect them all together, as I’ve done above. I hope it provides some interest and provokes nostalgia, if only for me!
Review by Charlie Alcock