Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Chosen Prince by Diane Stanley

The Chosen Prince by Diane Stanley is a tale of mythology and destiny.

The auguries at Prince Alexos' birth pointed to an interesting collection of traits: strength and weakness, wisdom and foolishness, virtue . . . and greatness. Is Alexos the chosen prince, prophesied long ago to heal a kingdom split apart by pointless war? When tragedy strikes, it seems as if Alexos cannot be the chosen one, after all -- but perhaps the goddess Athene still has other plans.

I wanted to like this book -- and I did, to some extent. I think the main barrier to my mind was the writing style. The author chose to use third-person present tense, and that unusual choice meant that the writing never got out of the way of the story; I was always aware of it, never fully immersed. I found the main characters satisfyingly complex, though some of the secondary characters (the king, for instance) were hardly more than stock characters. The plot moved along smoothly and I never felt that it was dragging, and the book deals with interesting themes of morality, destiny, and freedom. If you can get past the narrative perspective, I think this is a worthwhile read, particularly to readers who enjoy books set in the ancient world with overtones of mythology.

(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)


  1. Felt the same way. So many fantasy books, so few fresh ones.

    1. It seems like there's so much juvenile fantasy being published right now that I have a hard time telling it apart and remembering what I've read and what I haven't! I'm all for good juvenile fantasy, but I feel like publishers are trying way too hard to find the next bestseller, just throwing everything up there to see what will stick.