It had been a while since I’d picked up a Garth Nix novel when I came across his new book, A Confusion of Princes, at the library. As I often do, despite the saying that you aren’t supposed to, I judged the book by it’s cover and thought it looked pretty cool. Then I picked it up and judged it by the blurb on the inside cover sleeve…it sounded cool too. Guess what? It’s cool.
Prince Khemri wasn’t born a prince, no one is ever born a prince, he was selected. Every time a baby is born that has potential greater than others, he or she is selected to become a prince and taken away from their homes to be raised and taught in an environment where their potential may be realized. They can never know who their parents were or even what world they came from, they simply grow up knowing that they are special and dreaming of one day becoming a potential emperor. Khemri was convinced that this was his destiny. Unfortunately for the young prince, the Imperial mind (a force that connects princes to each other and to their households and that decides whether or not a prince who has died is worthy enough to be re-born) has other plans for him. Being a prince, as it turns out, is not what Khemri thought it would be. As he makes his way towards the goal that the Imperial mind has set for him, he makes enemies, friends, and risks life and limb to reach his potential. “I have died three times, and three times been reborn. This is the story of my three deaths, and my life between…”
I have always enjoyed Garth Nix’s writing style and this book is no different. I wasn’t far into the first chapter before I was already attached to the character and intrigued by his world. It has plenty of action in it and yet it doesn’t move at too quick a pace. The chapters aren’t as short as some other adventure filled books that are great for young boys, but I think that someone who doesn’t usually read much would still enjoy it without feeling overwhelmed by chapter size (after all, Harry Potter has far larger chapters than this book).
It is a great book and I would recommend it to teens, young adults, and even some adults. I love any book that feels new and is well written and that is definitely this book. I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoyed Skyship Academy by Nick James (which I reviewed earlier in the summer). Interestingly enough, I have another book with Princes in the title sitting on my night stand right now, we’ll see if it too lives up to it’s potential (I judged it by it’s cover). Until my next review, keep reading!