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A Confusion of Princes

Review

A Confusion of Princes

The rulers of the vast intergalactic Empire may be equipped with superhuman capabilities and talents, but the life of a Prince is anything but safe. New Prince Khemri finds this out right away after he is nearly assassinated a couple of times before he can connect with the Imperial Mind, the ruler of the Princes and the only chance for resurrection. Once Khemri does connect, though, he is immediately sent off on his first mission to the Naval academy to get more training. Like most Princes, Khemri doesn’t think he needs additional training, as he is far superior to nearly everyone, but sees the Naval academy as just a stepping-stone to the greatness he knows he will achieve.

"A CONFUSION OF PRINCES introduces readers to a whole world full of new technology, new dangers, and new and exciting possibilities. While Nix throws a lot of information at readers, it’s easy not to get bogged down with all the details."

Upon landing, Khemri immediately runs into someone he wasn’t expecting --- himself. Or, at least the other Prince looks like him. Atalin is actually his sister, but Khemri doesn’t have time to think about what this could mean as he is whisked off to training. He soon learns that his downloaded information about what it means to be a Prince is not exactly what it appears to be. There’s politics involved, different levels of Princes, and the fact that the Imperial Mind may not be the absolute authority on everything.

Before Khemri can plan what to do next, he’s drawn into a battle against the Empire’s enemies, saves the day, and is promptly killed. Thankfully, Princes can be resurrected if found worthy, and Khemri is soon sent to his next mission, the one that he thinks he deserves. But it turns out to be nothing like he expected. Khemri is asked to become an adjuster, Princes who go in and fix problems, and this requires that Khemri give up his superhuman body and become normal, practically human. He is up for the challenge, though, and excels before being sent to his first job as an adjuster.

Just when you think the pompous, arrogant Khemri has learned nothing about what it means to connect and care for others, he decides to save Raine, a young woman trapped on a dying spaceship and puts another’s needs before himself --- something very un-Prince-like. This one act sets in motion the unraveling of what Khemri has ever known and for what he has been prepared. Somehow his sister, Atalin, is involved, and everyone is confused as to who, what, and which Prince is destined for an inescapable future.

Creating good science fiction is not easy, but Garth Nix manages to create an entire intergalactic Empire out of nothing effortlessly. A CONFUSION OF PRINCES introduces readers to a whole world full of new technology, new dangers, and new and exciting possibilities. While Nix throws a lot of information at readers, it’s easy not to get bogged down with all the details. Instead, enjoy the wild ride as Prince Khemri jumps from adventure to adventure at a brisk pace that keeps the pages turning. I jumped on the Garth Nix bandwagon after reading The Keys to the Kingdom series, and his latest effort doesn’t disappoint.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on May 31, 2012

A Confusion of Princes
by Garth Nix