Top positive review
Good read for those loving underdog stories
Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2016
What happens when a prince born with a birth defect that makes him physically weak is seen as a threat to ascension to a throne by his siblings? Bullying and then assassination attempts, that's what. Good thing Prince Pol is intelligent and overly mature for his young age and he has some very solid allies who help him avert death. Of course the path through this nest of adders is sometimes bloody and not without losses. As he tries to weave a safe path through treacherous waters, Prince Pol learns about patterns in life around him and is able to extend that to basic magic which helps him survive overwhelming odds. By the end of the story he's learned a few hard truths, especially that friends are more trustworthy than the people he called family.
While I sometimes found it difficult to fully accept the murderous motivations of all his siblings, the story was otherwise believable and did a decent job of keeping you in suspense for the next plot he'd have to overcome. There were moments in the middle where the pacing slowed down but then it would pick back up as another plot to take the prince's life happened. I guess the only other negative I came across was a lack of feeling any real emotion when some people died.
I liked how there were multiple mini plot arcs yet an overall arc that was solved right before the end, making for a decent conclusion. And yet there are a few mysteries sprinkled in to make the reader want to read more, but without creating a serious cliffhanger that would make you want to scream.
I liked the pattern take on magic and felt the world building was in general pretty decent. I also felt the magic was fairly well balanced with the kid's current set of foes - not too overpowered. And while he came up with new ways to use his ability, he was also limited in how much he could do. Though I'm sure he will increase in power over the next books and can't wait to see him eventually return and kick some butt!
In summary, I liked this story well enough to want book 2 and I'm going to take a look at the other books this author has published. If you are looking for a 'puny kid overcoming severe odds using his intellect and developing magic' type story, then this is one you'll probably enjoy.