Official Review: Crown Prince by W.D. Kilpack III

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Cristina Chifane
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Official Review: Crown Prince by W.D. Kilpack III

Post by Cristina Chifane »

[Following is an official review of "Crown Prince" by W.D. Kilpack III.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The more you grow accustomed to a specific literary genre, the more critical you become of either the worldbuilding or the author’s style. I plead guilty to such charges when it comes to sword and sorcery fantasy. With the growing number of books being published in this genre, I have had the chance to read plenty of them over the last few years. I can thus safely say that Crown Prince by W.D. Kilpack III stands out from the crowd. The novel impressed me with amazing descriptions, complex characters, and intriguing supernatural elements.

Although this is only book one in the New Blood series, the storyline is incredibly promising. The author has a flair for setting the scene and creating memorable characters. Natharr, the Guardian of Maarihk, is endowed with Sight, an exceptional ability to look into the past or foretell the future. Both a blessing and a curse, this ability makes him responsible for all the inhabitants of Maarihk, be they Aa or Firstblood. Like his grandfather and father before him, Natharr needs to give up his personal life and be ready to defend the kingdom at all costs.

When the adventure begins, Maarihk is torn apart by a war of succession. Brandt of the Green has breached the Riverside Gate of Erig, the capital city. Meanwhile, King Valane is on the verge of losing his beautiful Firstblood bride, Queen LaNila of Nordaal. If Brandt’s army conquers the capital, the fate of Vikari, the newborn Crown Prince, is sealed. Natharr’s duty is to make sure the prince is safe. Together with the little boy and his wet nurse, Darshelle, he seeks refuge in the depths of the Ancient Wood, a primal forest populated with Wild Beasts and various tribes of woodfolk. Their survival is a must, especially since the Year of New Blood is coming with major changes.

The 13 chapters of the novel are long and elaborate, each of them focusing on a significant moment in the development of the plot. The third-person narrator mostly switches between Natharr’s and Darshelle’s perspectives, occasionally focusing on Vikari/Nathan too. Natharr’s visionary skills favor flashbacks and flashforwards that add more mystery to the story and keep us in suspense. Apart from this, I absolutely loved the descriptive prowess of this author. It was the thing I enjoyed most about the book. W. D. Kilpack III genuinely takes the time to help us immerse in the fantasy world. No matter if he describes a battle scene, a peaceful moment, or a mythological creature like a Hamadryad or a Manticore, he always manages to conjure the best images in our minds.

The Ancient Wood is the perfect magical setting. The author does a great job of incorporating the supernatural elements in a general atmosphere of myth and legend. Time and space have different coordinates matching the fairy tale narrative network. There was nothing I disliked about this novel. Natharr is an interesting character who is not depicted in black and white as typical protagonists in fantasy literature. Despite his bravery and resilience, he has doubts and fears and is willing to admit his mistakes. I was particularly happy that Natharr had an equally strong feminine counterpart in Darshelle. Belonging to the Qaan nation, Darshelle was still a young girl when her own father gave her as a gift to King Valane. The comparison between women’s position in Qaan and Maarihk is only the pretext for more extensive discussions on women’s roles in society and gender equality. Talika, the elder huntress of the lion-folk tribe, and Ulla, Darshelle and Nathan’s Atomie companion, are also skillfully described.

All things considered, I am rating Crown Prince by W.D. Kilpack III 4 out of 4 stars. The author’s storytelling gift is doubled by an excellent editing. Ancient prophecies and rituals complement a passionate love story flourishing in the most unexpected circumstances. There are some intense erotic scenes, so I would say the book is more appropriate for young adult and adult readers. No matter how rough the physical confrontations get, they are not excessively graphic. Profanities are absent altogether. Fans of sword and sorcery fantasy will definitely find this novel a delightful read. I am convinced the series has the potential to acquire epic dimensions in the next books. I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Order of Light.

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Post by Elvis Best »

Crown Prince by W.D. Kilpack III stands out from the crowd.
I'll take your word for it and check this book out. Thanks for this excellent review, Cristinaro. Good job!
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Post by Ashley-Osuna »

I am a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi genre so I am always in the lookout for new books to read and this one seems amazing. Nothing is better than a novel with well-developed characters and a world that is described in detail. Thank you for the recommendation!
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Post by Dayodiola »

A well-developed story is easier to fathom, thanks for the nice review
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Post by Nath_chuks »

This book seems entertaining and intriguing. Your review makes me want to read this book.
Excellent review.
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

This sounds like a must-read for fans of medieval fantasy fiction! I was attracted to this book due to the eerie cover image of a foggy forest.

I enjoyed your thorough analysis of the plot, characters, and setting. I'm especially interested in the character named Natharr because of his supernatural abilities.

Thank you for another one of your well-written reviews.
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Post by Tjbarn86 »

Wonderful review. Science fiction is more or less one genre that is always so fascinating and this review gives me a longing to sure have this as a to read in the near future and swerve right into the world of Nathaar and his sight abilities.
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Post by Star_and_Buck »

I will try to read the book. Thanks to the great review.
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Post by NetMassimo »

This seems an impressive fantasy novel, well developed under every point of view. There's also a sequel, so I'll look into this series. Thank you for your great review!
Ciao :)
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Post by Valkyrie9 »

W. D. Kilpack III is clearly an immensely skilled writer and has put his skills to good use in the crafting of this novel. Great attention has been paid to world and character building, and it is fantastic that this is only the first book in the series. I hope the author keeps the same level of energy as the series progresses. Thank you for an excellent review.
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Post by Kola+wole »

Very descriptive review. I love the flow of the review, it's exciting.
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Post by Echez_ »

Wow good review. I really enjoyed going through. I'm probably checking this book out
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Post by Tablito »

I find it creepy that Darshelle, Prince Vikari's wet nurse, was given as a gift to King Valane by her own father at a young age.
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Post by Nonny2208 »

I loved your review, it has really made me want to read this book. Thanks a lot for the well-detailed review. Kudos. I really loved your writing style.
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