Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee's Reviews > A Confusion of Princes

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
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Jul 10, 2012

really liked it

Bitek, Mektek, Psitek, shiplice... finally a scifi with actual "sci"

Garth Nix's CONFUSION OF PRINCES reminds me of the classic scifi that I grew up with. Sort of a combination of Robert Heinlein's early work with a transfusion from Larry Niven and maybe a wee bit of Keith Laumer's RETIEF liberally sprinkled about.

As a consequence you can expect more science speculation than you get in most current YA literature, and some cleverly humorous observations about the way the Universe and it's inherent beaucracy works --now and apparently in the far future as well.

The world building in this book is excellent. The story is told in First Person but beautifully done so that you get a real feel for what it feels like to live in Prince Khemri's world. Khemri's been augmented in dozens of ways. Made into a real super human, but despite that, Nix manages to make the super-abilities not so much of an advantage, and the prince comes off as vulnerable, and frequently naive.

Which brings me to another wonderful aspect of this book: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Hot D*, it's nice to run across because it's not something I find in the YA dystopias I've been reading. For while I truly enjoyed Divergent/Insurgent, Enclave, and Partials, their heroes and heroines really all find themselves at the end of the book with the same over-achiever competence they began with. You don't see anyone's eyes opening, nor any shocking internal revelation.

Now, on the downside, the secondary characters weren't that well developed. I understood the main character perfectly, and comprehended his culture and biases very well, but there was a wall that existed between me and other characters. It might be a result of the First Person telling, but they remained flat for me.
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Final Notes:
CONFUSIONS OF PRINCES is not a quick read. It's not frothy and fast. It's intelligent and 'full bodied'.

There's no swearing (that I recall), but there is more than one mention of drug use and courtesans of all genders who tend to the princes' pleasures. Nothing 'raw'. Mild violence.

I recommend this books to adults that like classic scifi, as well as it's recommended YA audience. I wish it was a series.

Pam T~
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