I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
I came out of this one with some mix feelings. There were parts I really liked...and then parts that kind of left me kind of on the fence.
So, what I liked:
1. The characters. I liked both the Prince and “Fairfax”. I found that they were both relatable and they well drawn enough that you could root for them. In fact that was the strongest part of the book, which is what made it get a higher rating from me. You actually did care about the 2 mains and what happened to them. You cared about their relationship, it progress and their continued good feelings towards each other. You cared if they were hurt, scared, and sad. Seems odd to pointing this as something great, when you would think all books make you care...but really...not all books do...sometimes the characters are flat and predictable and boring. And while some things...story wise were predictable in this tale....the characters weren't really in fault for it. The intrigue of the Prince hiding in plain sight and working from within...despite all the agents with eyes on him and trying to box him in, was really exciting and done well. Him not only not knowing who to trust, but also unable to make real friends or have someone to confide in due to his circumstance...really made him sympathetic despite some of his questionable actions towards “Fairfax”. I really related to the Princes’ plight more than Fairfax in the end. He really had to sacrifice a lot and work hard towards his goals, and as far as he knew he would get nothing for it. Even the side characters I thought shined and were made real. So that was what kept me reading. Along with...
2. The world created and the magic used was pretty interesting. It had a similar feel of Harry Potter and some other books in that there are magical realms that exist along the non-magical, and the regular non-magical people don't know about it, but it was also unique in its execution. Yes, there were wands, and portals, and magical jumping from place to place, and dragons and all kind of magical creatures we have seen before, but they were used in interesting ways. It was different and interesting enough to make things exciting and a bit mysterious. But even saying that...
1. Even though I liked the world and magic, I thought it was still too much at times. It was like every magical thing the writer could think of...she just threw into the story to make it a big spectacle. Sometimes less is more and keeping simple is best, because there were times I was totally confused in parts about what was going on and why. It's like things were made up and magical plot points pulled out of hats as we went along...and it was just a big confusion at times. It like there were no rules. And yes, it's magic and not real, but if magic were real...it would have some limits and rules. Or at least I like it that way. I don't like when I feel there is no conflict because the hero or villain is too powerful or magic just solves everything. That use of magic has no consequence or downside. I found many parts relied on the magical "Deus ex machina." So the issue really is that the potential was all there for everything to flow perfectly, the characters were good, and the world created has a lot of potential....but the plotting, pacing and overall storyline was weak, so it took away from the reading experience.
So, sometimes the words I want to say don't always translate on paper, but this is why I had mix feeling. It was right there…moments that was great…and it almost great overall. But just fell short.