by Garth Nix
Allen and Unwin. Young Adult. Science Fiction. Paperback RRP $22.99By Sandy Fussell
Khemi is a Prince designate of the Empire, selected and removed from his family, and physically and technologically enhanced to be trained for a life of power and privilege. Connected to the Inner Mind, Princes assist the Emperor in ruling the Empire. They can even be brought back to life if they die while still connected to the Inner Mind and are deemed worthy of rebirth.Khemri is certain great glory awaits him but on the day his training is completed he learns an uncomfortable truth – being a Prince is very dangerous. Especially for a new one. There are ten million Princes and they all want their rivals dead. There’s no rebirth from assassination.
A Confusion of Princes is the story of Khemri’s three deaths. Although he is one of many, his feeling of importance is vindicated when he is chosen for a special mission and ultimately for a very powerful role. But the training for this path involves Khemri revisiting his human nature that has been subjugated by the Prince process. He discovers compassion, self-sacrifice, family, community and even love.Khemri must decide whether he wants to be a Prince or forgo power for riches of a different kind.
I found this book difficult initially, the concept is unique and I struggled to find my reader’s reality. However, I persevered because I have always enjoyed books by Garth Nix and have read most of his work to date. The Abhorsen Trilogy has a premium place on my bookshelf of “keep forevers.” Within a chapter I was hooked, and the very alien uniqueness of the characters and setting became the reason I could not put the book down.Recommended for science fiction and fantasy fans looking for something different.