Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book: The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer
Release Date: May 15th 2018
Tags: Fantasy / Fey / Standalone / Siblings
In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.
The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place
When it comes to books I consider myself not a very harsh critic. Average I would say. I rarely give out 1 star and it makes me feel bad if I do. But if I wouldn’t do it this time I would not be honest with myself or all of you. The Oddling Prince unfortunately did not live up to its promise and left me very unsatisfied.
The biggest problem I had with this book was that I was bored. It is that I read this in one sitting because if I had stopped I probably would not have picked it back up again. The synopsis sounded very engaging. A sibling relationship in the backdrop of a war with an added in bonus of the Fey. But the execution left no thrill of enjoyment possible for me. The plot just didn’t seem to know where it was going itself. And for a book with not even 300 pages that is not easily overlooked. It trudged on in that direction and then decided it was going to go there with an ending that didn’t make any sense at all. The war or conflict the country was in felt like an afterthought tossed in amidst the family drama.
Our characters didn’t stand out at all to me. Alric is our prince who is at the death bed of his father when a fey stranger arrives to save his father. This stranger turns out to be his half brother. I did not understand Alric. He was written like the perfect person. Always making the right decision. His connection to his half brother, Albaric, also felt weird as there was this instant loyalty and closeness between the two that didn’t make sense or was very well explained. I have to say that before it was revealed (at the very start of the book already though) that Albaric was his half brother it felt like Albaric was meant to be his love interest with the way Alric described him. And that little disturbing line continued on throughout the rest of the book. Never crossed but it was uncomfortable to read. Then he suddenly falls in love with a 14 year old girl which came out of nowhere.
Albaric was like a puppy dog, getting endlessly kicked by his father who would not accept him. I think I actually liked, and I am stretching the meaning of this word, the king the best because at least he wasn’t perfect. I can understood why he would have such a hard time accepting Albaric from his time with the Fey he didn’t remember. But the book came again with some other halfheartedly explanation and then completely overdid the king’s reaction.
Overall this book was just too messy for me to enjoy.