Kirins: The Seer of Serone Review by James D. Priest
Out now from Beaver’s Pond Press, 318 pages
About the author: James D. Priest, M.D., majored in English at Carleton College in Northfield,
Minnesota. He studied English in the masters program and received a Doctor of Medicine degree
at the University of Minnesota. He spent three years in Japan as a physician in the Army of the
United States caring for casualties from Vietnam, and four years in orthopedic residency at
Stanford University. He practiced orthopedics in Minneapolis for twenty-one years. He has
authored or co-authored approximately thirty medical articles, and received the Minnesota
Medicine Outstanding Writing Award. (Bio taken from BooksForward website).
Follow James D. Priest on the following platforms:
The fourth book in a decades-long YA fantasy series, Kirins: The Seer of Serone is James D. Priest’s
newest epic and action-packed tale. Once again following the kirins, hobbit-like creatures that
live secretly in the human world, Priest upsets the carefully crafted lives of the kirins when their
hidden existence is revealed by one of their own. When an Alaskan fishing captain captures a
kirin following the reveal of this secret, the kirins must launch a high-stakes rescue mission to
save Till, the kirin who has been kidnapped. In a story unlike any other Priest has written, the
kirins and their world are pushed to the brink.
Kirins: The Seer of Serone was an interesting read. Having read the first three installments years
earlier during my middle school days, cracking this open was like a blast from the past. While
the story is a bit convoluted and meandering at times, Priest manages to continue the striking
world-building of the first three novels to maintain the unique and fascinating existence of the
This story was not the most riveting tale I have read, but where it lacks a compelling plot it
excels in its writing. Priest has a talent for crafting realistic and engaging characters. They speak
with an aurora of the fantastic without being pretentious. Despite being a book marketed towards
teens and children, this story is not watered down or simplified in an attempt to engage a younger
audience. Priest treats the reader as a formidable opponent in their own right, challenging them
to come face to face with his magical world and accept its premises. This aspect of Priest’s Kirins series is what I loved most early on, and it remains my favorite element of his stories. Fans of Tolkien, Orwell, and any other classic fantasy series will want to pick up Kirins: The Seer of Serone for a taste of fantasy stories gone by.
Pine Reads Review would like to thank BooksForward for providing us with a copy in exchange
for an honest review.
PRR Assistant Director and Writer, Sophie Applin