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Three Princes

2.93  ·  Rating Details ·  167 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik a ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Tor Books
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Since I found out that Three Princes is set in an alternate reality where Egyptian empire never ceased to exist, I was looking forward to reading it. I’m crazy about Egyptian culture, history and mythology, so I was dying to learn how Ramona Wheeler imagined that the world would develop if the awesome empire who built the pyramids still existed. But when I actually started to read Three Princes my excitement soon died down and slowly became replaced by indifference. Finally at 42% (around 150 pa ...more
2.5 to 3.0 stars

In the beginning, there were only Two Princes - Oken and Mabruke, apprentice/journeyman and master spies of the Egyptian Empire, an empire that never fell and where Cleopatra didn't kiss an asp. The offspring of Caesar and Cleopatra multiplied and prospered across the centuries, bringing us to the golden age of culture and civilization we normally associate with the Victorian era. Never fear, Victoria and Albert have their parts to play in the political theatre bubbling across Eu
Despite what looks like some interesting world-building, the actual novel is borderline unreadable because of the poor quality of the prose. With this one I barely made it less than 10% in before giving up.

Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality!
I hate writing not-a-reviews like this. I truly do. I realize that the author spends a lot of time writing their book and then I poo-poo it like this. It’s gotta hurt, but I have to be honest with my readers. This book had such potential, and it just didn’t live up to it. When I get sent so many books in the mail each week, I start to realize that life is too short to spend too much times on books that you don’t enjoy, so I moved on. Perhaps this book will work for other people. In fact, I can ...more
Too much setting, not enough everything else.
Jenny Wiseman
By forty pages in, I had decided that I wouldn't be taking this book seriously and as a result I enjoyed it immensely. I loved Three Princes in the way that I love movies like Tremors, Independence Day and The Fifth Element. Go into reading it with these sort of expectations and a healthy dose of patience for ridiculous handling of female characters and you might enjoy it, too. Might. I have terrible taste.

Three Princes is less an "alternate history" and more a Monty Python sketch. My best in bo
I requested THREE PRINCES from Tor because Egypt is one of my NEED NOW topics and the fact that this book takes a concept, what would the world look like if Egypt hadn’t fallen, something I’ve often thought about, and did something with it. That got me doubly excited and I started salivating a little bit so I pounced. Unfortunately it fell a bit short for me.

Oken is a womanizing spy, a James Bond of this advanced Egyptian era, if you will, and Mabruke is your token wizened espionage agent and to
Jan 09, 2014 Jacqie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a galley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book reads a bit like an old-fashioned adventure novel. It's set in a complex alternate history, in which Christianity never took off and in which Egypt is still the center of the civilized world. The Three Princes are an English one named Scott Oken, from the colony up in the chilly north, an Egyptian one from the heart of the empire, and an Incan prince from the new world empire that the first two go to visit
Travis Starnes
This is a book I really wanted to like. I love Egyptian history and the Egyptian “style” so the idea of bringing that forward into modern times really intrigued me. And that is the big thing this book gets right. Add to that the fact that in the story the Incans also remain and are the Egyptians main adversary and I am totally on board. Ramona Wheeler is very good at describing the world in such a way that you can almost feel it. While the alternate history lover in me has serious issues with th ...more
Ramona Wheeler bring a different niche to the whole Steampunk genre with "Three Princes". A fascinating look at a possible history where the Egyptians of Pharaoh and Cleopatra still dominate the world. But its not only Egypt that has survived and flourished the Incas and the Mayas have also become world powers.
Steampunk in a non Euro-centric story. The cultural clash is very much worth reading and to find that even in that setting we still see the same issues just transferred to these civilizat
Fantasy Literature
Ramona Wheeler came up with a great setting premise for her novel Three Princes: an alternate Earth where neither the Egyptian nor the Incan Empires ever failed. Now, from their center in Memphis, Egypt rules an enormous swath of land across Africa, Europe, and Asia, though not all are happy with said rule, especially a resistance group led by Otto von Bismarck. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the Incans rule most of that area, which they crisscross in their Quetzal airships, the secret of which ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Feb 06, 2014 Blodeuedd Finland rated it it was ok
This was different, I do like the what if stories. Some take in a few things, some go really deep. Here we have an Egyptian Empire that never fell, oh and took over a lot of land. Cleopatra and Caesar lived happily and the rest is history. Europe is a bunch of states with princes under Egypt. Truly a mix of cultures.

But across the ocean the Inkas, The Aztecs, yes everyone got to flourish in their own ways so they are empires of their own. They can also fly, so the can rule the skies.

But what is
(Full review here:

Three Princes gets points on creativity for the alternate history and the rough planning of several centuries of civilization and development, and for research done on cultures less commonly seen in speculative fiction, as well as the expression of some very interesting protagonists on an interesting quest with plenty of potential for expansion. Points taken off, however, for the meandering plot, weak villains, and pointless end-of-the-
Jan 12, 2014 Tandie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Am I the only one who immediately heard the Spin Doctors singing in their head upon reading the title?

One, two princes kneel before you
That what I said now
Princes, princes who adore you
Just go ahead now
One has diamonds in his pockets
That's some bread, now
This one said he wants to buy you rockets
Ain't in his head, now

I know, I know, it's THREE princes, not two. This is just how my brain works!
Jul 07, 2014 Samantha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"The year is 1877, and the Egyptian Empire is alive and well. Lord Scott Oken and Prince Mikel Mabruke are part of that world, full of politics and betrayals. With a rival empire slowly encroaching, the two men face conspiracies, intrigues, and adventures they never dreamed of as they try to support their own Empire." Full review at Fresh Fiction:
Aug 17, 2014 Robert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As an alternate history, it's a complete mess. And as a general story, well, the two main protagonists never actually did anything.
Oct 15, 2015 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say that I do like a good alternate history. They seem to encapsulate the epitome of the what-if extrapolation, following through on ideas to often original ends.

And as alternate histories go, this one’s great. Here the idea is that (unlike our world) Caesar and Cleopatra survived, creating a Empire-dynasty that has continued through to the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar. In the age of the Egyptian Empire, Memphis, Egypt is recognised by many as the capital city of the world, the lat

Another recommendation from Maria, plus it has awesome cover art. This one was a miss for me, though.

Synopsis: In an alternative reality, where the Egyptian Empire flourished and went on to dominate the world by what would be our 16th century, Lord Scott Oken is a spy for the Empress against her enemies, Victoria and Albert, who want to bring the empire down. Along with his mentor Mabruke, he is sent to the New World of the Inca Empire to investigate strange h
It's the year 1877, but not like we would recognize. Egypt's capital Memphis is the center of civilization, its Pharaoh the lord over Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. Scott Oken and Mikel Mabruke are agents of the Pharaoh, even though they have royal titles of their own (like the Pharaoh, they are descended from Cesar and Cleopatra). They travel the world to secure intelligence for the empire, to keep it safe and strong.

Oken is called home from an assignment and Mabruke out of retirement to be
Lis Carey
Aug 10, 2016 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, fiction
This is an alternate history set in a timeline where Caesar lived, he and Cleopatra prevailed, and the line descended from them continues to rule an empire dominated by Egypt over 1,800 years later. Lord Scott Oken, a British prince, a younger son of a line descended from both Caesar and Cleopatra (not just one or the other), is a young man who has made his career serving as a spy and agent for the Egyptian royal court.

His mentor and friend, Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke, is a Nubian prince, as
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
3.5 Stars

Three Princes is a quick venture into the question of ‘what if ancient Egypt continued to thrive and grow?’ and Ramona Wheeler paints a very beautiful and decadent picture of that world. If I had to choose three words to describe this book it would be detailed, deliberate, and meandering.

I personally adore ancient Egypt, with it’s incredibly rich history and amazing features of architecture. So I had no doubt in my mind that I would enjoy this one, and I truly did…though with a few iss
Jul 12, 2014 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Princes is a book that seems to be based on the question “What if Egypt never stopped being great?” In Three Princes,The eastern hemisphere is ruled by a civilized, modern Egypt; the western by a fusion of the Incan and Aztec empires. The novel is apparently set in this alternate universe's early 19th century. There is a bit of a steampunk vibe accompanying the strange melange of speculative fiction that Wheeler has committed to the page. The story itself is excellent, especially if you li ...more
Lianne Burwell
As a fan of Egyptian history, I really wanted to love this book. Really. Mind you, I didn't hate it. It was a fun read, it just was a little half-baked in places.

The world is a sort of steampunk world, where the change in history is that Julius Caesar was not assassinated, and he and Cleopatra went on to control all of the known world. This does not make much sense, since Rome was heavily against them at the time, and Egypt was on the wane. The idea that their descendants are still ruling all of
Arif Aksit
Sep 15, 2016 Arif Aksit rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
its like sex in the city meets sci fi but worse because the author cant write for shit.
This is rare, but I'm basically going to concur with most of the reviews about this book. I second (or tenth) the opinion that the scenery and world are immense and well-described, but that the characters are simple and boring. I would much rather read a book with a less intricate world if it has compelling characters who make me care whether they live or die. Honestly, I didn't care for a moment for anyone in this book, except possibly the villains which...I am not even sure what that says. The ...more
Kay Hudson
I love alternate history, and the premise of political intrigue in a nineteenth century dominated by Egypt sent me to the bookstore. Unfortunately, while there's lots of fascinating world building, there's not much of anything else. We learn very little about the two thousand years since the turning point of Caesar and Cleopatra's establishment of the Empire, and not much more about the current politics. The Red Hand and Black Orchid movements are forgotten almost as soon as they're brought up, ...more
Clay Kallam
Jul 30, 2014 Clay Kallam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Maybe “Three Princes” (Tor, $25.99, 349 pages) isn’t technically the start of a series, as it’s a self-contained work with a beginning, middle and end in just 349 pages (what a concept), but Ramona Wheeler has built an elaborate alternate history with three dashing, swashbuckling heroes who certainly could come back for another adventure – or two or five.

The premise, though not laid out in much detail, is that Caesar and Cleopatra stayed together to rule Egypt and the Incas discovered Africa and
This book is exactly what makes taking a chance on a novel so risky. I was intrigued by the alternative history offered in the story. Who wouldn't want to see what an author imagined the Egyptian empire to be? Half way through, though, I lost interest. It makes me wish I'd signed up for a review site like this sooner, and I would have known not to take the chance.

Here is exactly why I lost interest; 1) The story is boring. It's as if the author imagined the world she describes as being played o
Jenn S.
Sep 13, 2016 Jenn S. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-requested
While we did manage to finish this book I honestly feel it should have been shelved and no review written. However, since we did finish it I will write and post the review for all to read. First off, the writing was poorly edited and contained entirely too much in the way of fancy descriptions for nearly everything the characters could see or feel. This gets distracting and annoying after the first scene. The characters were unimaginative, flat cardboard cutouts and never developed along the way ...more
Andrea McDowell
It's interesting. The writing was dry and overly-descriptive in parts, but the world she built was so different from our own that I suspect the level of detail was sometimes unavoidable. The characters were not bad, and the plot was interesting.

I have two major quibbles:

1. The characters talk a lot about the gender equality of the Egyptian empire, but it doesn't show much in the charaters: all of the spies and soldiers were male. Generals, scientists, explorers, priests, all men. Women were prin
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