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