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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Confusion of Princes
I am a big fan of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Trilogy, and was very excited to see a new teen title from him at last. A Confusion of Princes is a very different kind of story - definitely more sci-fi than fantasy. There was a great deal of jargon to get used to at the beginning. Some aspects of the story were alienating; such as Prince Khemri's arrogance and lack of concern...
Published on 11 May 2012 by ML Jensen

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expansive universe! Unfortunately you go through at light speed
If I could give this three and half stars I would. Its more than okay! I just wouldn't shout and scream about it. The trouble was I wanted to.

I was a great fan of the Abhorsen trilogy which I read many years ago now, as Nix has an excellent mind for creating worlds that are deep and creative. They suck you in, making you wonder how no one has ever thought of...
Published on 30 May 2012 by A R Holding


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Confusion of Princes, 11 May 2012
By 
ML Jensen (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
I am a big fan of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Trilogy, and was very excited to see a new teen title from him at last. A Confusion of Princes is a very different kind of story - definitely more sci-fi than fantasy. There was a great deal of jargon to get used to at the beginning. Some aspects of the story were alienating; such as Prince Khemri's arrogance and lack of concern for others and all the mind-and-body altered beings etc. I still haven't quite got my head around all the see-through panels in the priests' heads. I was beginning to wonder whether the book was for me, despite the excellence of the writing. I'm the sort of reader who likes characters I can identify with. It's always a tricky task to present an initially unlikeable character.
However, as the book progressed, I was really, really glad I hadn't given up. I found I was drawn into the story more and more. The personal journey of Prince Khemri became fascinating and was so cleverly handled by the author. Ultimately this is a dark and complex tale of good and evil, instinct and learned motivation, family and love. And the gradual revelations about the running of the empire keep the reader guessing until the very end. I thought it was brilliant.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expansive universe! Unfortunately you go through at light speed, 30 May 2012
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This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
If I could give this three and half stars I would. Its more than okay! I just wouldn't shout and scream about it. The trouble was I wanted to.

I was a great fan of the Abhorsen trilogy which I read many years ago now, as Nix has an excellent mind for creating worlds that are deep and creative. They suck you in, making you wonder how no one has ever thought of it before, and you'll be pleased to know he has done it again. The future setting and its possibilities are endless, so endless its almost a sin that the book was so few pages because the plot felt rushed and skipped about.

Before I go into detail of why this didn't hit the mark, anyone who likes a quick action filled sci fi read. Definitely read this. It has augmented princes (anyone a fan of deus ex knows how diverse and fun augmentations can be), assassin priests, and even a small romance for good measure. Generally all good ingredients to make an exciting book. It delivers this with battles, tension and the unknown, as you start off as oblivious as the main character about how everything works. This would have worked better if he wasn't up himself and full of angst. You do learn to like him but this is why it is a slow start.

The plot in itself wasn't terrible, it had its twists and turns however much of it is very predictable. There are parts of the book that really hit the mark as they are descriptive enough to help you gather exactly what is going on, even in a completely alien situation. You feel for the character and their desire allowing the book flow, making you turn page after page, then it jumps a huge expanse of time again. Completely disjointing you (except the couple of times its warranted). Leaving you with a sense of being cheated at potentially good reading material.
I could have understood these jumps in time and details if there was perhaps another character to follow, or some greater over arching plot that we were only supposed to catch glimmers of.

Though still even now I have faith. Garth Nix has created an amazing new universe with some unique combinations that work! I agree with others that this should definitely not be his last venture into this setting. He is only just finding his way with it. Look what he did after Sabriel. Now he has set the scene he may be able to weave a more complex story into one or two more books. (I personally thing it would be an amazing MMO - but lets keep to the books for now)

In conclusion -
Was it a good read - Yes
Did it hit the mark I expected after Abhorsen Trilogy - No
Was it complex enough for older readers - No
Would I recommend - Yes as I believe there will be others (and they will be much improved)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Confusion of Princes, 21 Nov 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
"The Empire extends across a vast swath of the galaxy, encompassing more than seventeen million systems, tens of millions of inhabited worlds, and trillions of sentient subjects, most of them humans of old Earth stock."

Khemri is one of ten million Princes of the Empire, but their apparently limitless power is circumscribed by boundaries that have been set for them. When he comes of age and has to find his way as one of those ten million Princes, he realises he really knows nothing at all. Can he stay alive long enough to find what his role in life is supposed to be, and what does the Imperial Mind want from him?

This is a great rollicking adventure - a nave and rather too sure of himself young man who finds himself adrift in a rather nasty world where a brutal end is all too common. He has to come to terms not only with himself but with the world and its demands on him. The writing is great, the story rolls along at a great pace - there is a touch of humour, plenty of action, and strong characterisation. Definitely great stuff; although I had heard of the author, I had never read any of his works. I will definitely be looking for more of his books to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Nix at his best, 26 Jun 2012
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This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
I ADORE Garth Nix. I have read The Old Kingdom series several times a year, almost religiously, ever since I was 14 (I'm 22 now) and I have been very, very eagerly awaiting some new material from him. I read the Keys to the Kingdom series too, but his kids' books, while colourful and creative and fun, are just so much less convincing, less satisfying, than the rest of his work.
When I got my hands on this, I was slightly disappointed to see it's a pure Sci-Fi novel (I prefer his fantasy works, obviously), and only a few hundred pages long. I expected to launch through it and have it read in hours but, it took me three days in the end - and I savoured every word! It's such a complicated story, that it takes lots of thinking, imagining, and re-reading - this novel certainly exercises the brain!
"A Confusion of Princes" boasts a delightfully arrogant, ignorant, witty main character, lots of development and convincing, approachble scenarios, and a really heartwarming undercurrent of family values and the whole notion of humanity. It's also mind-blowingly cool Sci-Fi, something I've never enjoyed - I think I've been converted!
It's a wonderful, believable, deliciously complex book, with another incredible world to get completely and utterly lost in, and still so full of that absolutely lovely Nix charm.
I was not the slightest bit disappointed - you won't be either! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 3 Jun 2012
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This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
loved this book,as I have most of the others I have read from this author. The story was compelling, and the plot not easily worked out as I find it is in many other Authors books.
The story is about interplanetary politics and how the emperor is chosen to be ruler of the universe. But that is the undercurrent of the story of a young man finding his values and ideals. One to read more than once!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope Nix isn't finished with this universe he's created, 11 May 2012
This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
Karen for Big Book Little Book.
Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is Khemri's personal account of when, at the age of 17, he becomes a fully fledged 'Prince', ready to connect with the 'Imperial Mind'. Taken from his human parents at the age of 1 he spent the following 16yrs being tweaked into a 'superhuman'. He shares typical 'Prince' characteristics of being arrogant and self absorbed with little regard to anyone else as he assumes them inferior to his almightiness. He feels that he is destined to become the next emperor and in the meantime, can jolly along in his own rather fancy ship exploring the galaxy. He gets a bit of a shock then when he finds out there are actually 10million Princes who don't believe in the adage of, 'The more the merrier' as they're competing with each other to gain favour from the Emperor.

To help the Princes complete the Empires bidding and to try and keep them alive, they are assigned 'Priests' who enable the Princes to psychically link up to the 'Imperial Mind'. These Priests ascribe to specialised vocations including the very influential 'assassins', so great if you have lots looking after you, not so great if you bump into another Prince who has more and doesn't want to be pen pals anytime soon.

Once the formalities of understanding Khemri's universe were out of the way, the action speeds up as Khemri ultimately wants to be chosen by the Imperial Mind to be 1 of the 1000 Princes selected to compete against each other to become the next 'Emporer'. During his generic training he battles alien attacks and avoids assassination attempts. It also becomes apparent that Khemri seems to be secretly favoured more than the other Princes.

We then see Khemri commence training for a secret vocation where he has to be stripped of his 'super powers' including his ability to connect with the 'Imperial Mind', traverse through simulated environments and then, for his final test before the selections, he is placed in a situation where a real human colony are in great danger of being wiped out. All whilst this is going on, the arrogant Khemri's heavily ingrained ideology and belief that being a 'Prince' is the ultimate way to live is challenged.

Verdict: Slow to get into, at least for an occasional reader of Sci Fi like myself but well worth the initial effort as the action gets intense and relentless. I really hope that Garth Nix isn't finished with this universe he's created!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 8 May 2012
By 
M. Notman "northernfag" (sheffield uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
Interesting ideas, brilliant writing and genuinely innovative- this is by far the best book ive read so far this year. Its not easy to build an entire universe in 300 odd pages but Nix has achieved it with flying colours here- ive read entire series of books that dont get half as far. Whats more interesting still is he doesnt resort to (many) of the usual cliches. Would make a superb movie as well, as long as the makers of "avatar" arent allowed anywhere near it- Joss Whedon?... I want more!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi from a master of fantasy, 28 April 2014
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This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
I absolutely love the Abhorsen trilogy and it took me, oh, about three seconds to order this when I saw it was a non-children's book from Garth Nix. I have no idea how I missed its launch a couple of years ago.

It's definitely sci-fi, not fantasy (which I should have guessed from the socking great planet standing behind the man dressed as Adam Ant on the cover). Our prince is the most arrogant twit you can imagine, but in Nix's hands, is also utterly charming and full of humour. We quickly realise his better characteristics as he finds himself in unanticipated trouble, and true to his hero status, he starts to understand the true nature of the privileged, artificial world he lives in and defects to the right side.

In some ways it's lovely to read a stand-alone book for a change - I seem to be waiting for so many sequels to be published at the moment - but at the same time, I am sorry there are no more books set in this strange world.

I loved it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A confusion of prince, 13 April 2014
This is a good read. I finished it over a weekend. It`s told from a first person`s view, so there is no jumping between different characters. The story is about one guy trying to manage his destiny. The book feels healthy and satisfying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction Adventure., 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
In this space set adventure the universe is mostly under the control of an Empire ruled over by one mysterious Emperor and a million Prince leaders. Every Prince is genetically enhanced and linked to the all seeing, all knowing hive mind of the Emperor. Prince Khemri is much like any other Prince, but when he is chosen for a special mission which basically involves him living as a regular person without his genetic enhancements, he meets Raine and falls in love. In an area of space not under the Empire's rule Khemri realises that there's more to life than being a Prince. However the Empire is not willing to give him up so easily and he finds himself chosen as a potential Emperor candidate.
This book is a little different to Garth Nix's usual thing but it still provides a fast paced adventure that I enjoyed.
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A Confusion of Princes
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (Paperback - 17 May 2012)
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