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A Confusion of Princes

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  5,940 ratings  ·  953 reviews
You’d think being a privileged Prince in a vast intergalactic Empire would be about as good as it gets. But it isn’t as great as it sounds. For one thing, Princes are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Khemri discovers that the moment he is proclaimed a Prince.

He also discovers mysteries within the hidden workings of the Empire. Dispatched on a secret
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by HarperTeen (first published March 21st 2012)
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Seana Utber Very, Very disappointed that this is a stand-alone. Admittedly am only only about 2/3 through so am most likely being premature in my statement, but I…moreVery, Very disappointed that this is a stand-alone. Admittedly am only only about 2/3 through so am most likely being premature in my statement, but I can see this expanding into so much more(less)
Barbara Douglas Certainly no worse than PG-13 (12 in the British system), and a good book for young teens to read as they try to sort out what love and responsibility…moreCertainly no worse than PG-13 (12 in the British system), and a good book for young teens to read as they try to sort out what love and responsibility really mean.(less)

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Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Kirkus
Shelves: sci-fi, ya, starred-2012, aus-nz, 2012, 3
As seen on The Readventurer

A Confusion of Princes me of a variety of "guy" space SF, both in book and movie form - Dune, Starship Troopers, Star Wars, Ender's Game, Star Trek. Let me clarify this statement a little further. Garth Nix's newest novel brought back the memories of the best parts of these books and movies, because I am certainly a fan of neither Orson Scott Card nor Robert A. Heinlein (or campiness, bigotry and misogyny).

What attracted me to all these stories and why reading A Confus
I just looked this book up and realized I had read it already??

WTF? I remember nothing.

Does this ever happen to you???

Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I was really looking forward to this book, so perhaps that's why I was a bit disappointed: expectations too high?

Khemri, our narrator, tells us straight up that he has died three times, and that this is the story of those deaths "and my life between." It's also made clear that although he is called a Prince, he hasn't been born into a royal family but, rather, effectively kidnapped - requisitioned might be a better term. The story is that of Khemri learning that much of what he knows about being
Sherwood Smith
A real page-turner, this novel set in the far future follows the tradition of Kipling's Captains Courageous with an overlay of The Chosen One and "for love of a good woman": a plot triad that has sustained human imagination and inspiration for millennia.

Nix's version is aimed at the teen audience, and it works like gangbusters for that audience. I think if I'd read this as a teen, I would have checked it out repeatedly from the library. The ending is terrific.

As an adult reader, I could admire N
Khemri is one of ten million princes. Taken from his parents in infancy, he's been bioengineered and indoctrinated to form part of the Empire's ruling class. His plan for his future once he is permitted, at sixteen, to leave his training 'temple' is basically = "Requisition Snazzy Ship + Roar About the Universe Having Fun + Be Hero + ?? = Become Emperor".

Naturally it does not work out like this.

The Empire is a horrible, horrible place, with a rigid class system which includes "mind-programmed" p
More like Confusion of Book Publishers... Are you seriously kidding me? Khemri is OBVIOUSLY dark skinned; it's referenced repeatedly in the book. And the cover model is OBVIOUSLY white. Who is the character on the front cover? Because it is clearly not the character narrating the book. This happens all the time (still? really?) and there's really no excuse for it.

As for the book... I love Garth Nix; I didn't adore this book, but it's just my personal preferences (video games tend to bore me). Bu
Originally posted here.

Sabriel by Garth Nix is one of my favorite fantasy novels. So when I found out that Garth Nix has a standalone sci-fi YA novel due to be released this year, I was immediately curious. I grabbed a copy of this when I saw the UK edition in a bookstore in Hong Kong. In his website, Garth Nix mentions that he doesn't have time to answer all of the emails that he gets but that you can get a postcard from him if you send him an email asking for one. Right after reading the Abhor
Leni Iversen
YA Sci-fi with intriguing world building, but the plot/storytelling isn't quite up to Garth Nix at his best. Still, it was fun. I'm going to join the chorus of reviewers saying shame on you to the publishers for the cover art. Do they really think that people won't pick up a book if it has a brown-skinned character on the cover?
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, 2020
I have to give Garth Nix credit. This felt like a very original science fiction story, and he managed to fit it in one book.

This was a very quick read. I have to admit that I almost put it down a few times because of the way that the main character slept with courtesans who are basically mind programmed to sleep with him because that creeped me out a bit and I wasn't sure if it was meant to be an awesome aspect of the world or a character flaw. Fortunately, it was an intentional character flaw.
rachel ☾
When I said I was eager to finally pick up a book by the legendary Garth Nix, I didn’t mean I was eager to read a book like this. Science fiction is not my genre of choice at the best of times - even if I have been reading a lot of it recently - and this certainly reminded me of why I avoid space books. To say that I am merely disappointed by my introduction to Nix’s work is an understatement: I’m crushed.

From the very beginning, I had a problem with the protagonist. Khemri was completely unlika
Melissa McShane
This book left me terribly conflicted. On the one hand, I love Garth Nix's writing, and I love the worlds and ideas he comes up with. This one is no exception. Much as Prince Khemri's arrogance and selfishness is obnoxious, it's also justified by the world he lives in, and ultimately he overcomes it enough to be someone you can cheer for. Khemri's adventures take him through many different places and cultures, all of which interested me (I think inventing new cultures is something Nix is consist ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many argue that the story is weak in comparison to the world. I beg to differ. I agree that the story world is rich, beautifully crafted and lovingly thought out - Psitek, Bitek and Mektek, shiplice, Princes, Priests, singleships, acceleration gel, rebirth, the Imperial Mind - these were all great elements of a fantastic sci-fi story. But more importantly, A Confusion of Princes is in fact a powerful story about self-discovery and finding your individuality.

Khemri, the main character of this sto
Tremble Cup
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Honestly, I didn't really end up enjoying this book. It started out decently interesting, as my guilty pleasure has always been stories about "chosen ones" and the like. Khemri was a bit obnoxious and unlikable at the beginning, which I'm sure was the point. However, I never grew to truly like him despite his maturation (which was far too quick and rushed). The problem I've had with previous Garth Nix books is that I find all his protagonists hard to relate to. His style of writing is very emoti ...more
Anika Claire
Review originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase, April 22, 2012.

Khemri was taken from his parents at a young age and trained, enhanced with “bitek” and brainwashed, ready to become one of thousands of Princes. The Princes are the ruling class of the Galaxy, taking orders from the Imperial Mind and ultimately, the Emperor. Khemri is looking forward to acquiring a ship and heading off with his household of mind-controlled servants, priests and lackeys to explore the Galaxy. He soon finds out that t
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was awesome, I’m completely torn about not giving it five stars, but after being absolutely blown away by a certain fantasy last month, I just don’t have it in me to give anything else five stars yet. Maybe I need to reconsider and I’ll rerate this five stars (along with two other books), but probably not.

So, on to all the awesome stuff – character, world building, the perfect balance of action and humor. Khemri is an excellent narrator with the kind of wry humor that’s almost impossib
Sara Grochowski
May 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I've always been a huge fan of Garth Nix and his writing, counting all three books in his Abhorsen trilogy among my top fantasy novels, but A Confusion of Princes left me unimpressed.

I really liked the idea of A Confusion of Princes. The competitive nature of all the princes, the plotting and assassination attempts, and the secrets were all interesting, but everything seemed so vague and shallow. I never felt like the reader was given any in depth descriptions or explanations, which made it too
Sep 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I wanted to listen to an overprivileged male whine about his circumstances, I'd watch the news. Yikes.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

I'm not sure this story was exactly what I was expecting, but I did enjoy it.

In a galaxy where an empire spans systems, the Empire raises Princes* to rule over the territory. But the Princes live a sheltered life or seeming privilege, not really knowing what life is like for regular people - but once they ascend from training, they find out that life isn't as privileged as they thought, as Princes constantly vie for attention and commendation, which might just include killing off your competi
The first time anyone recommended a Garth Nix book to me, I was in sixth grade. Due to a misunderstanding about its subject, I didn't read Sabriel until a year later - and immediately fell in love with the characters and the worldbuilding, and devoured the rest of the series as fast as possible. Since then, though I haven't read all of his works, he's become one of the authors to whom I have a great loyalty. It is therefore safe to say - if not an understatement - that I had high expectations go ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been on a distinct science fiction jag lately, and I’ve noticed that hard sci-fi is starting to pop up more often in YA lit, which makes me extremely happy. I’ve never read Nix before, but Sabriel has been on my to-read pile for quite some time. Even without his name attached, though, I would have jumped on this one; after hearing it summarized by a fellow librarian, I practically ripped an advance reader’s copy out of her hands. While I did have a few issues with its execution, A Confusion ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Garth Nix,

I will buy any and every book you write – and often extra copies for gifts. Seriously. I think your work is fantastic. Shade’s Children chilled me to the core years before dystopian fiction got big. My copies of the middle grade fantasy Keys to the Kingdom books are well-loved and much-read. And I don’t think I can say it any better than Amanda of Dead White Guys did on twitter: “The best YA trilogy I've ever read was Garth Nix's Sabriel. I don't know why I just remembered that i
May 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Wow. A Confusion of Princes surprised me in lots of ways. But firstly, can I sing the praises of the title? A Confusion of Princes, doesn't it just beg italics in the pronunciation? Fabulous.

So, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but hard sci-fi was not it. Not necessarily a bad thing - I really enjoyed the world I found myself unexpectedly in the midst of and the first section of the novel was extremely promising, as Prince Khemri navigated his way through the world of Princely politics and gre
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
First thing to note: the protagonist of this seems to be a person of colour. It's only mentioned a couple of times, and the cover obscures this fact, but I'm pretty certain of it. Yay for Garth Nix; ugh at cover design.

A Confusion of Princes is really fun. I enjoy most of Garth Nix's stuff, and it was interesting to read something that is more technology-based than magic-based. I think I might prefer his fantasy work, but still, I found this very enjoyable and I liked the concept of the world he
I have never read a Nix novel before so all you fans don't rip me up for not liking this book. It just wasn't my thing. It was very well written and thought out. It was just a little too Sci-fi for me. I like sci-fi don't get me wrong but there was way more technical stuff then I can handle. I read Dune and kinda compare the two in my head because they were similar. There was a very short love story in the middle that helped change our character around and I actually started to like him about th ...more
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
The Old Kingdom within the past five years has been a series that I have come to enjoy - tremendously. I like Garth Nix and I am wanting to read more stories that he offers.

This was a buddy read with Sophie!

Finishing this book I'd probably say that Garth Nix is not bad when it comes to science fiction, like fantasy he gives you stories / situations that really focus on the crux of humanity. In this case, A Confusion of Princes, focuses on the prospect of 'being' , 'belonging' and 'love'.

Our mai
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fun fast paced scifi adventure with a nice message. The main character was interesting and more or less likeable (and when he wasn't, he was meant to be that way). Nix introduces a fascinating world without going into too much tedious detail. The story is very action packed and even though never completely surprising, always entertaining.
usagi ☆ミ
This one was a really fun read. I can see the potential for a series within it, but I’m just as glad that it’s a standalone. “A Confusion of Princes” is a crazy ride through a crazier universe, complete with biogenetically enhanced “Princes” – “higher” beings within the Intergalactic Empire (far, far in our future) that basically help to rule over the whole universe. But what goes into making a Prince and being a Prince, the differences between what you’re told to do, what you’re expected to do, ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Standalone. Science fiction. Both things I've been craving lately.

Garth Nix's first novel for older teens since ABHORSEN. Garth Nix's first standalone science fiction novel for older teens since the classic SHADE'S CHILDREN. Not many new releases have those bona fides.

A CONFUSION OF PRINCES is narrated by Khemri, one of the Empire's millions of Princes. He is making a recording of the story of his three deaths, to be accessed only by a non-Prince. ("I am presuming you're not an Imperial Prince,
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sorry I have to come right out and say it, I did not enjoy this book. The author, Garth Nix has a clear issue finding the characters voice. He is seemingly very formal and to the point but all of the sudden the author tries to sneak in a colloquialism. I also really don’t enjoy being talked at through the novel. I read books to find another world and experience characters lives, I do not want them to physically be talking to me. (As an example, “Let me take you through the bare facts of my child ...more
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Garth Nix is a writer whose books I want to like. I didn't really succeed with this one.

On the good side, there's a huge great human diaspora across galaxies, all run by these millions of Princes under the Imperial Mind, and all sorts of cool world-building there. There's Our Hero being a distinctly unreliable narrator, and also growing and changing over the course of the book.

And really, the tiresome-brat-learns-a-few-things-and-eventually-earns-a-sort-of-happy-ending story is quite good.

On the
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Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.


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