Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Garth Nix - A Confusion Princes - Book Review


book cover of 

A Confusion of Princes 

by

Garth Nix
                                    

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books (17 May 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0007298358
  • Age: 13+

It has been such a long time since I picked up my very first Garth Nix book and read it. In fact venturing back to 2001 was when I first found myself holding the US proof in my hands. Interestingly, this had a much better book cover than the UK version, in my opinion. Nevertheless, as soon as  I had finished reading it, I was amazed as it was brilliant - such a great book. Even today, I still love to think about the story and the different characters. This book turned me into such a big fan that I've just about loved and collected most of Garth Nix's other books - Shade's Children being another one of my personal favourites.

When I first received this book, I was very excited for two reasons. Firstly, it was a sci-fi book written by Garth Nix for older readers (or more precisely teenagers). Secondly, the blurb on back was perfectly written to entice my reading appetite. To be honest, not many good books have been written, or published in recent times with either of these aspects in mind.


A major standalone space opera, this is Garth Nix’s first novel for older readers since the conclusion of the Old Kingdom trilogy… and it’s worth the wait.

A grand adventure that spans galaxies and lifetimes, A Confusion of Princes is also a page-turning action adventure.

These are the three deaths of Prince Khemri. Told in his own words, we follow him as he trains to become a Prince of the Empire, an enhanced human being, equipped with biological and technological improvements that make him faster, stronger and smarter than any ordinary person. Not to mention the ultimate benefit: should he die, and be deemed worthy, he will be reborn…
Which is just as well, because no sooner has Prince Khemri graduated to full Princehood than he learns the terrible truth behind the Empire: there are a million princes, and all of them want each other dead, because there can only be one Emperor…

So, was it a page turner? Definitely, yes - the beginning of the book was packed full of information. Although, at times, this perhaps slowed down the start as there was a lot of explanation required to describe the technical, scientific and historical aspects. Especially in order to help you develop a better grasp of both the story and the characters. However, once this was established, the story flowed like a well oiled machine with Bitek ,Mektek, and any other imperial technology that you can find.

This is another book that I'm sure to look back on in years to come - it's a brilliantly engaging read that I really loved. Garth writes about a fantastical world that takes you on a journey through the galaxy, but all the time with a take on a advanced life of the future. Told through the eyes of Prince Khemri - emotionless and almost robotic. That is until the very end, when the story takes you on a galactic voyage of discovery which is told in a very poignant way.

This book is brimming full of space action - like you would see on Star Trek, or something of that nature. Although this is much better. In fact it would be great to see this as a mini TV series; I think it would be fantastic to watch, providing it was produced correctly of course.

I'm not actually sure if there will be any more books to come from Garth. Although it really would be a shame as he has started something that I would really love to continue to follow. This is fantastic entertainment; YA at it's best. Buy, beg or borrow this book, but make sure you read it. This is easily one of the best reads of the year. 
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