Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: The Oracle’s Sprite
SERIES: The Oracle #4
AUTHOR: Mell Eight
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 25,000 Words
At just eighteen years of age, Keir became the leader of the army fighting against the usurper king while Princes Edan and Egan led the navy. At his side, willing to help from time to time, was Sprite.
A friendly ghost, Sprite likes to keep Keir company and occasionally play tricks on Keir’s sister. When the Oracle demands Keir’s presence, he expects Sprite to travel with him.
He doesn’t expect the gale that knocks him overboard and into an adventure that might just kill him.
To be honest, I’m not really sure why I started reading this series. Another reviewer had requested the books but then left the blog and for some completely inexplicable reason, I agreed to take over the first two stories. I never read fantasy, I don’t like fantasy but I’ve completely fallen in love with this series, and here’s me now, getting all excited over the release of book number four.
This story takes us back to the kingdom of Altnoia where young Keir has just discovered the murder of his parents. The timeline here makes several jumps forward and my only criticism of this book is that I was a bit lost trying to follow the jumps. One moment Keir was eighteen and the next, he was ten years older and his baby sister was a teenager. Add to that the flashbacks, which are admittedly in italics, and it took me a while to get my bearings.
We get to see the moment Keir and Sprite first meet, when Sprite appears to die practically in Keir’s arms, but when the story truly picks up our two main characters have already been friends for ten years. And it’s certainly an interesting friendship, because when Sprite died he turned into a ghost, and he has been hanging out with Keir ever since. Actually, both of them have feelings beyond friendship for each other, but neither of them can see how that could ever work out.
I loved that this book finally gave us some of the story we missed out on between books one and two. At the end of book one the MCs from that story are headed to Altnoia to battle the evil king and win back their kingdom, but book two finds that battle long won, and the true kings back on the throne. I’m not normally a fan of flashbacks, but the only part of this series that has ever disappointed me, was not knowing how that war played out. I felt as though a big part of the story was missing but we’re shown some of what happened in this book, through the eyes of Keir who became leader the army.
Once again with this series I’m struck by how well this author can set a scene. Like I said, I’m not one for fantasy but even I can appreciate the skill with which every new location is presented to us, the reader. The Monastery is still my favourite place to be in this series, and I was glad that we went back there in the end and got to see some of the Oracle and the Dragon of Earth.
I wouldn’t recommend reading these books as standalones. I think that this book more than any of the others referenced characters and spoke of events that happened in previous stories. To appreciate the world that Mell Eight has crated you need to start at the beginning.
The Dragon of Water is the only dragon remaining who still needs his story told, although, the author already sneakily added one extra dragon. I was excited to see that Lichen, only a young child in the third book, becomes one of the main characters in what could possibly be the final book of the series. Now I just have to patiently wait…