Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prince Kristian's Honor by Tod Langley

Prince Kristian, soon to be ruler of Erand, has been sent on a mission.  Rumors have been circulating that Erand's ancient enemy, Belarn, is preparing to go to war and try to conquer the kingdom.  Kristian has been sent to Duellr, where he is to propose to the princess Allisia, and cement a relationship between the two countries so that they can oppose Belarn.

Kristian is a young, spoiled man, unloved by his country due to his superior attitude and determination to have to his own way regardless of the merit of his plans.  He is furious at having to propose to please his father, the King,  and be used as a pawn in the country's future plans.  When he actually meets Allisia, though, he is instantly charmed and pleased at her beauty.  He proposes and is disconcerted to realise that she is no happier about the marriage than he is.  But as they talk, they begin to form a relationship, and Kristian starts to realise that he has a long way to go in terms of likeability and interactions with others.

Then tragedy strikes.  In Belarn, the mad prince, Ferral, has used his unholy knowledge of the dark arts to kill his father and take the throne.  He undergoes a ceremony that brings a demon-woman to life, and sends her to Duellr.  The demon appears in court, kills the Duellrian king in front of Allisia and Kristian and then kidnaps Allisia, taking her back to Belarn where she is under Ferral's control.

Pandemonium erupts in Duellr.  Kristian realises that it is time for him to grow up and take leadership, whether he is ready or not.  He rallies his guard and the Duellrian army, and they start to Belarn to defeat Ferral and rescue Allisia, leaving word for his country to raise an army and come to their support. 

Still headstrong and unpracticed in military matters and leadership, the war does not go well.  Kristian makes decisions against the advice of his military staff, and along with the evil magic of Ferral, these decisions lead to a massacre of the troops.  Reeling from the disaster, Kristian and two of his military staff flee, the only survivors.  Can Kiristian grow up and take control as he is destined to do?  Will he be able to rescue Allisia from Ferrel's control before she is killed?

A new voice in fantasy, Tod Langley has created an exciting new world.  Krisitian is not the typical hero.  He is vain and stubborn, detested by the men he needs to lead.  The other characters are skillfully drawn, and the plot is engrossing.  Prince Kristian's Honor is labled Book One of The Erinia Saga.  Readers will be well advised to wait for the rest of the series to see if Kristian can become the ruler and man that he needs to be.  This book is recommended for fantasy lovers.

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