3 out of 4 stars
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In Pursuit of The Pale Prince is a coming-of-age story about Arestus, a twelve-year-old boy who has just lost his parents but who needs to set his grief aside in order to save the northern kingdoms from the looming threat of war. Though reluctant at first, he realized that it is his father's will for him to deliver the crown of Ellesund to the "Pale Prince" before it's too late.
Can an old crown really give hope to the people and unite them under the "Pale Prince"? Arestus had his doubts but there was one thing he knew he needed to do. He had to try.
Arestus thus finds himself on a hero's journey as he is forced to leave behind his childhood and face the reality of a new life away from home. Along the way, he meets other people who were able to help him travel across treacherous lands. He meets Cirin, a sailor who seems to have more history and experience than he could initially tell. He also meets Hendelf, an expert archer whose skills could defend them from various foes.
What I really liked about this book is the wealth of lessons a reader like me can learn about life as I accompany Arestus in his quest. The reader is able to grow with him and learn from the wisdom of those who have tasted both the sweetness and the bitterness of life before him.
I also like the author's ability to put a certain mood in various situations in the book. Using words that appeal to the senses such as how the sun would rise through a fog or how one can hear an occasional bleat of a goat, the author is able to transport the reader right where the story is taking place.
This book doesn't need magic in order to transport the reader into a magical place. It is sufficient that the world where the main protagonist lives in is filled with stories of it. It is sufficient that the characters can still believe in signs and in the power of something sacred. Reading this book is almost like reading poetry. It is like being able to admire a beautiful painting and then walk right through the wonder of it all. Even without sorcery, it is still possible for this book to be appreciated by those who like fantasy and mystery.
On the other hand, what I liked least about the book is the constant use of sentence fragments. This may be intended to make the dialogues sound more natural and to set a different style for the book but this may not be appreciated by all readers. Furthermore, the book contains various grammatical errors that can disrupt other people's pleasure in reading the book.
Overall, the book is something I can recommend to others. Young adults can enjoy it and learn much from it. They can easily identify with the young boy who eventually grows into an adult after the challenges he's been through. However, I encourage parental supervision because the book contains violent scenes caused by war. Adults like me can also enjoy its enchanting mood. It can take us to times both ancient and new, giving us a wealth of wisdom and inspiration we can take with us long after we're done reading the book. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I would have given it 4 stars were it not for the grammatical errors and for the use of sentence fragments throughout the book.
In Pursuit of The Pale Prince
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