Review: A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

You’d think being a privileged Prince in a vast intergalactic Empire would be about as good as it gets. But it isn’t as great as it sounds. For one thing, Princes are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Khemri discovers that the moment he is proclaimed a Prince. 

He also discovers mysteries within the hidden workings of the Empire. Dispatched on a secret mission, Khemri comes across the ruins of a space battle. In the midst of it all he meets a young woman named Raine, who will challenge his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself.

____________________________________
I’ve always been a huge fan of Garth Nix and his writing, counting all three books in his Abhorsen trilogy among my top fantasy novels, but A Confusion of Princes left me unimpressed. I really liked the idea of A Confusion of Princes. The competitive nature of all the princes, the plotting and assassination attempts, and the secrets were all interesting, but everything seemed so vague and shallow. I never felt like the reader was given any in depth descriptions or explanations, which made it too easy to forget what I’d just read… something that isn’t good in any novel, let alone a science fiction novel. 


My biggest complaint regarding A Confusion of Princes is the main character and narrator, Prince Khemri. I felt no connection to him at all. In fact, I found him to be quite whiny and annoying. As the novel progressed, he did improve slightly, for which I was grateful, but I still never found myself actually liking him. Instead, I sometimes wished he would die and stop being reborn so I could somehow have a different main character. Harsh? Maybe, but Khemri and I didn’t see eye to eye on much. And, even when I thought that I might be able to connect with him (once he grew up a bit), Nix seemed to rush through situations where I might have come to build a bond with Khemri. This was very disappointing. 


The writing, however, is wonderful. I expect nothing less from Nix. 


Unfortunately, A Confusion of Princes fell short for me, but I wouldn’t discourage you from giving this book a chance if you’re a big Nix fan or a devoted lover of science fiction. Personally, I prefer Nix’s fantasy novels… and if you’re reading this review and are reconsidering picking up this book up, PLEASE consider reading any of Nix’s other novels, especially Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen! They’re excellent!

HarperCollins, May 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780060096946, 352 pages.
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Review: A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

  1. I thought there were a lot of positives to this story. My main complaint was with Khemri's decision to opt out of the game rather than try to change it. My review is here. I wouldn't hesitate to read more books if this should become a series but I don't intend to re-read this one.

Comments always welcome, but be sure to whisper, I'm hiding!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s