Title: Prodigy Prince
Author: Natasha Sapienza
Page Count: 334
Release Date: December 12, 2017
At seventeen, all Prince Nuelle had ever known was safety and peace while living in the Supreme Palace of Zephoris.
But one night, his older brother, Tane, defies their father by traveling to a cursed land. Now Nuelle holds the signet-ring and carries more responsibility than even Tane bore. Thrust from the palace and sent to a knight-building academy, Nuelle must discover his purpose for the entire kingdom’s sake.
From his place of banishment, Prince Antikai has been exacting revenge through fear and rebellions. Nuelle has the potential to defeat him, but he needs the help of a powerful book and six gifted youths.
Summoned by Antikai, shape-shifting beasts and other enemies hunt Nuelle and the Acumen. If either is destroyed, the faithful citizens in Zephoris will perish, and darkness will rule forever.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my overall rating of this book.
This was a really fun book. It’s been a few months since I picked up a fantasy book – I know I know I claim it as my favorite genre, I just haven’t been reading it as of late.
The synopsis mentions a Prince that has to defeat evil before it reigns terror upon the kingdoms, but what the it doesn’t mention is the Prince and his six sentinels that he travels with. These sentinels are trainees from the knight-building academy his father sent him to for safety.
I loved this group of characters so much. They were all so unique and their interactions with one another were the best part of the book (besides the wonderfully-imagined beasts). We’ve got a runaway undercover princess (whom I’m 99.9% sure is ace), a pair of twins, a strong man with a heart of gold, and a loyal friend that’s the definition of soft and smol.
Our heroes go on an adventure battling creatures as well as their inner demons. Prince Nuelle has the power of healing and discovers his limits as they travel. Princess Sophana ran away from an arranged marriage and uses leaf-blades that are attached to her arms (cool, right??) as a weapon against her enemies. Ave is basically a human sponge, possessing the ability to make his limbs stretch.
Riff wields a rock as his form of attack, along with his fists, and Elisena has the ability to read people’s emotions, using her umbrella as a form of defense in combat. I honestly forgot what her twin brother does haha.
I absolutely adored every last one of these characters. They felt so real, like they were standing right in front of me. One of my favorite things is when the characters in the book I’m reading practically leap off of the pages.
There were some issues discussed such as social expectations whether it be from family or the general public. Princess Sophana has to deal with the constant pressure of being married off to some prince she’d never met or seen. But the problem is, she’s not interested in romance. She doesn’t want to be married. She’s independent and strong and that’s what I loved about her. I was scared that she would end up being with Nuelle by the end of the book but I’m happy I ended up being wrong.
Although the powers of the characters weren’t explained, I was able to figure out what each character did when they used their powers. It wasn’t all explained which was both refreshing to see since I had to figure it out, though confusing at first.
I’d have to say the same about the world. There was world-building and the world felt real enough, but there wasn’t anything special about it. The royalty also never seemed very… royal. They just didn’t have that presence on the page like a character with power usually would.
I also have a minor complaint with something that I found in the book. One of the characters was revealed to have an eating disorder but it was kind of… brushed aside. Basically, one or two characters told her that she should eat and that she means a lot to them and then viola, she’s all healed! It just doesn’t work like that. It was glossed over a bit. If you’re going to mention such a heavy topic like that, you have to deal with it correctly. An illness – especially something like an eating disorder – doesn’t just disappear with one conversation. It takes a lot of time and hard work. It would have been better if that was shown.
Finally, the ‘big battle’ at the end… didn’t feel that big. Maybe it was because when I was reading it, it was nighttime and I kind of just wanted to finish the book so I might have missed something but I also for some reason can’t remember what happened to the bad guy?? I didn’t think he died but then Nuelle said he was taken care of so I’m still questioning whether I read it right or not.
Rating: 4 Stars
Overall, a solid debut fantasy that I would recommend for fans of Lord of the Rings. There’s lots of action, adventure, and funny character interactions that make an entertaining read despite a few issues I had with it.
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What kind of fantasy books do you like? Adventure, whimsical, urban, etc? Have you read this book? Do you think you’d read it? Let me know!