Title: The Oddling Prince
Author: Nancy Springer
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Page Count: 275
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Type of Book: Paperback, Library Loan, New Release, Netgalley ARC
Rated: 5/5 stars
This was an arc that I received from Netgalley, but also a library book as well. I read the paperback edition instead of the PDF file version, but plan on reading that as well sometime in the future to build upon this review. This is my first read from Nancy Springer, a rather prolific author who generally writes fantasy and young adult. While I really enjoyed this, enough to give it five stars, I’m not entirely sure it’s my most favorite book of the year.
Let me explain.
This book was odd, in the fact that it had beautiful prose, epic battles, family in distress, fey, a magical ring that causes a lot of trouble, and brothers who love one another but are worlds apart. It’s a cleverly told fantasy story that builds up to a happy ending.
It comes from the title ‘odd’, due to the fey characters. The way the characters speak seems so strange sometimes, “Forsooth” and “Troth” are two of the many words throughout the book that seemed strange to me. I understand it comes from that time period, from the Scottish Highlands a place that I love to read about. Though it didn’t feel like it was of the scottish moors, rather it felt like an entirely different world that this book took place in, with a different language structure. While not at all unpleasant, it was definitely odd and unusual.
I did like all of the characters, aside from King Bardaric who seemed to be a bit of an ass for reasons unknown towards his two sons. While it was explained later on towards the end why he was so hateful and cruel towards them, I was still unsatisfied with those explanations. And his constant worry for others attempting to overthrow him to take the throne-what of it? It’s just a throne, it’s not like it’s the most important thing in your life, which is actually that of your wife and sons. You need to pay attention to them, not that chair that holds such power. Power isn’t the best thing ever, you know.
I did like how the women were represented in the book, though there was one instance where women who were close to thirty were represented as ‘old maids’ whereas it was perfectly logical to marry a 13/14 year old girl instead. I get that in that time period, people died closer to their 50’s, than they did nowadays towards their 70s/80s, but I still didn’t care for that at all.
The two main characters, Aric and Aldaric, were both interesting and unusual. I liked both well enough, but I felt that Aric could be a bit dense from time to time, while Aldaric was a bit strange, due to having been raised with the fey. I also liked their horse, Bluefire, who was pretty badass for a horse towards the end of the book.
The story was entertaining, and I definitely want to own my own copy eventually, preferably in a nice hardback edition that will sit with the rest of my favored fantasies. It’s a beautiful, unique, and gorgeous story that should be read by all ages. Nancy Springer has shot up high onto my list of favorites, and I am determined to go out and find more of her books, and devour them.
Final rating is 5/5 stars.
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.