Prodigy Prince by Natasha Sapienza
Published by Natasha Sapienza on September 19, 2017
Series: The Seven Covenant, #1
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 335
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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 called the Acumen, 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.
Prodigy Prince is a fantasy that tells the story of Prince Nuelle, who is thrust from his palace and sent to a knight training academy to discover his purpose for his kingdom’s sake. There is a lot that happens within these pages, and I had a lot of feelings about them. Let’s break it down.
“Wisdom, like everything else, has a beginning. All wisdom comes from a source.”
This was a bit of a slow start for me. Beginning by dropping the reader in when Nuelle is awaking one morning and immediately introducing several characters, it took me a few chapters to acclimate to the setting and learn the characters. Once I adjusted it became easier to immerse myself and was quickly curious to know more. The world Sapienza created is rich and imaginative, but I wanted a little more out of the world building, magic system, and backstory for it to come alive in my mind. Intrigued and wanting to know more, I checked to see if the author had a Pinterest board for the book and found some incredible reference images. I do believe all the details I want to hear more about are in the author’s mind and hope to find out more in future books.
The story itself was fascinating, mostly plot driven with plenty of twists and turns along the way. After the first few chapters, it moved along at a nice clip and kept a consistent pace right up until the end. There was less character development, with some strands that could have been expounded upon for greater character depth. As this is the first in a series, though, I expect there will be more in latter books. Some of the dialogue was a bit stilted, but some moments were so perfectly worded I simply had to copy them down.
“Tell me, Young Prince, if your father is so good, why does he allow such innocent souls to die?”
Clearly a Christian allegory, Prodigy Prince works on multiple levels. On the surface, it’s a fun and entertaining fantasy with plenty of action, adventure, and intrigue. But dig into it a bit and you’ll notice the symbolism within. There is loads of potential here and I’m excited to see what Sapienza does with the next installment.
*Thanks to the author for providing an advance copy of this edition in exchange for an honest review.