Spirit Sight (Last of the Gifted)

Written by Marie Powell
Review by J. Lynn Else

Wales, 1282: Hyw and his sister, Catrin, are gifted. Hyw can control animals, and Catrin is a seer. But neither is prepared for the ambush on the Prince of Wales. Hyw touches the prince’s mind at the moment of his death and ends up drawing the prince’s soul into his own. With the guidance of Hyw’s uncle, he will learn to control this internal duology while gathering information on the English forces. But these gifts are dangerous and often feared. Without drawing suspicion, can Catrin convince the Welsh Princess of the death she’s foreseen before it’s too late for her people?

Powell does a great job mixing elements of fantasy, mythology, and historical conflict. The plot develops through unexpected twists and turns. Hyw is particularly well developed. He has to contend with the Prince of Wales in his head, the loyalty to his people, in addition to loyalty for his best friend and the family he fostered under, who march with the English invaders. Through Hyw, readers are treated to both the English and Welsh sides of the war. Some of the names get a bit confusing, and I found myself flipping back and forth to clarify who was who. However, Powell makes an effort to clarify names and even includes a helpful pronunciation guide and glossary. I’m impressed with her research and ability to keep the different storylines flowing. The landscape and the castles, especially, are delightful to explore. Powell’s prose has a lyrical quality, and dialogue construction enriches the cultural flavor. Overall, a meticulously researched young adult medieval fantasy with compelling characters and high-stakes action. Recommended.