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The Stone Prince (Pelican Governors Series) [Mass Market Paperback]

Fiona Patton

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc USA (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886777356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886777357
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 10.7 x 17.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 673,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Characters, Intriguing World, But a Little Slow 26 Jun 2002
By Silmarwen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Stone Prince is the story of Prince Demnor and his Companion, Kelahnus. Demnor has been taught by his mother that only flawed vessels show emotion and have feelings for others. And flawed vessels crack under pressure. When he was sixteen, Demnor fell in love with Kelahnus, but they were separated by his mother's command. Demnor eventually wins Kelahnus back, but then he is forced into marriage with the Duke Isolde. Despite Demnor's affection for his male companion, he starts to have feelings for the beautiful Isolde. When Demnor's mother is suddenly murdered, he becomes the Vessel of the Flame. As the Vessel of the Flame, Demnor is the political and religious head of the country (think Louis XIV) and is almost worshipped as a Deity. Just when Demnor begins to gain control of his kingdom, one of their conquered territories rebels (think Scotland v. England) and Demnor is drawn into war. There he has the opportunity to prove himself and to make peace with his mother.
The characters in this novel were intriguing, especially since there really was no gender role separation. Males and females are both referred to as Prince, Duke, etc. It was a refreshing change and interesting to see Patton's concept of gender equality. Demnor is a classic flawed hero in that he has weaknesses and makes mistakes, but he has loyal companions, such as Kelahnus and later Isolde, whom Demnor eventually learns to trust and feel for.
The School of the Companions was also an interesting concept. There the most beautiful and talented youths in the kingdom are trained in politics, court manners, sex and assasinations. Every noble has their own Companion, or several Companions. The nobles never sleep alone. The Companions are not supposed to fall in love and their ultimate loyalty belongs to the School of the Companions. One of the subplots of the book is Kelahnus' inner struggle as he tries to keep himself from falling in love with Demnor and to stay loyal to his teachers and his school.
The reason why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that it is a little slow at times and can be confusing as the author jumps back and forth between past and present and different characters. Also, it was a disappointment that Kelahnus was potrayed as a typical gay male - jumping from bed partner to bed partner, always concerned with his looks, etc. Still, it was a very enjoyable read and recommended.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I GIVE UP!!! 14 May 2003
By Kieri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well, I've tried three times now to finish it, and you know what? I have better things to do with my life.
The idea of the gender-neutral society is cool, but when you're trying to keep track of charcters who mostly go by their last names anyway, a "Duchess," or "Lady" would be nice. (For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, in this land (Branion), all the titles are gender-neutral. I.e., when they say "Prince" or "Earl" or "Count," they're not necessarily talking about a guy.)
Also, the pacing in this book is...wonky. I don't know if I can think of a better word for it. For example, one minute our boy is remembering a battle he'd had against his mother, and the next minute, we're "back to the future", and his mother is dead. There's no transitional sequence, nothing to indicate that all of this was a reverie...
All in all, if you enjoy slogging through epic books with character clutter, then you'll enjoy this. I, on the other hand, am just going back to Dune, where things make sense.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wellwritten and interesting 11 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Stone Prince is wellwritten - but not outstanding - fantasy, based on the British Isles cirka 1600 (?) The main characters are engaging - the plot centers more on relationships than action. All-in-all, a mainstream fantasy book of the kind you don't read more than once, but enjoy while you're reading it.
The one thing that makes it differ from most fantasy books, is that it manages to present the first believable gender equal society I've read about. Those looking for fantasy with strong women who aren't perfect should try this book. The main character is male, and so is his lover, but his mother, his sisters and his fiancee are all interesting, strong women.
I intend to buy her next book, and I'm keeping this one since I found her society fascinating.
Not a high four stars, but clearly more than three.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply awesome 10 Dec 1999
By Sneyz@yahoo.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first thing I was struck with..Awe. I thought it was so awesome to have a world in which gender is not what matters. Where woman are out on the hunts with the men, where women rule just like a man and a title doesn't change to become feminine.
I also loved the Companions. That in this world love between those of the same gender is accepted. I found it easy to read, but did get lost in the titles, but then again that is somehting that gave the book more than it's words. The battles were well written, the ceremony's were beutifull, and the love seens left just enouph to the imagination to leave you feeling a little warm hearted.
Fallow Demnor through his journy of self exploration with his love with an Earl(his inteded wife) and his companion(a male). See him fight for the respect of his mother, and see the little boy that hides with in the "stone prince".
Fallow the Heathland rebellion, and.,..hmm thought i'd give something away huh? well just read it! If you like Fantasy books, if you like the time of knights and honor, than read this book. I loved it, and it and Mrs/Ms. Patton is now within the ranks of my favorite authors.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Beginning 6 Aug 2002
By The Fountain Pen Diva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Stone Prince is the first book of a series by newcomer Fiona Patton. She doesn't break new ground, but does explore concepts like gender equality, religious intolerance and homosexuality in a way that isn't preachy.

The world of The Stone Prince resembles Renaissance Europe, and the country of Branion is a thinly-disguised England.

Prince Demnor of Branion isn't the typical too-perfect hero, which makes him a fascinating character. He's quite flawed, and in some ways, behaves like a spoiled brat. Then again, when one is descended from a family gifted with a flame-like power that if not mastered, would either drive one insane or burn them from the inside out.

Demnor's lover, Kelahanus, is a Companion--a rather intriguing blend of lover, spy and assassin. His job, outside of keeping the prince happy, is also to insure that Demnor did his duty as heir, and in doing so, avoid civil war with the second most powerful family in Branion.

The characters were deftly drawn, and it was eye-opening, to say the least, that the female characters could be just as bloodthirsty and ruthless as the men. Melisendra, the Aristok of Branion (and Demnor's mother), could show Xena how to fight and win battles. As a mother, however, she will not win any awards, since she equates love with weakness.

The Stone Prince was an enjoyable read, and a great beginning from a new talent.
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