Review Blog

Aug 06 2010

The rebel prince by Celine Kiernan

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The Moorehawke Trilogy, book 3. Allen and Unwin, 2010. ISBN 9781741758719.
(Age 15+) Highly recommended. The concluding volume in The Moorehawke trilogy, The rebel Prince does not disappoint. Wynter, Razi and Christopher finally reach the camp of the exiled Prince Alberon where they are embroiled in the intricacies of the political plots that Alberon has hatched and his desire to keep the kingdom safe by using the death machine that Wynter's father invented. Razi has to use all his diplomatic powers to convince Alberon that he is not after the throne, while Wynter is forced to look at her relationship with Christopher and all its complexities. The complex diplomatic ties that Alberon is trying to forge with traditional enemies are also a source of dismay. When the Wolves, led by David le Garou, arrive as envoys, it takes all of Christopher's loyalty to Razi, not to enact revenge on them for their evil enslavement of children and disfigurement of his hands. Finally it is up to Wynter to make decisions that will either preserve the kingdom or plunge it into chaos.
After a slow start in the first chapters, where background details about the exiled Prince's allies and camp are given, The rebel prince moves into some of the most gripping action scenes and emotional tension of the series. I loved the way Wynter had to decide whether she wanted to be a woman of the court and help decide the future of the realm or remain true to Christopher, who just wants them to go on their way and be happy. Razi, too, is faced with a complex diplomatic task, reassuring Alberon that he is the heir to the throne, while plotting a way to get the prince back to his father. The action packed finale, with its cliff-hanger battle is breath taking and I had to re-read the last chapter to finally make sense of the denouement.
This series is fantasy at its best. If you have an older teen who wants something with werewolves in it, give them this - the romance between Wynter and Christopher is gripping and demonstrates the values of loyalty, trust and caring. Full of emotion, action and beautifully developed characters, this is one series I will not be lending to anyone for fear of not getting it back!
Pat Pledger

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