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4.4 out of 5 stars
A Confusion of Princes
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on 16 June 2012
Garth Nix is my favorite author, however I was a bit unsure before I read this, as it had been so long since he had written a sci-fi or a young adult book. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop - I finished the book in a few days. I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen next (and ultimately) and what the twists behind the story would be. The world building is effective and clever. However, I don't feel like I truly loved the book - I feel no compulsion to read it again. I didn't get as deeply involved with the characters as those in other Nix books (ie. Sabriel, Seven Towers) and wasn't particularly concerned as to what happened to them - I wanted to know, but I wasn't worried.

The plot is clever and engaging and the description is thorough and I would definitely recommend reading the book to anyone who likes Nix or sci-fi/fantasy, but it's not life-changing.
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on 11 March 2014
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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Fantastic space opera - really funny, smart, exciting and imaginative, and great for adults as well as teens. It's got all the imaginative fun of a Robert Heinlein space adventure but with wonderful female characters, too, and a sense of humor that I loved. (Actually, it reminded me most of the adult space operas I love by Iain Banks, but with a tighter, more streamlined plot and a bigger focus on the main POV character, which makes it much better for the YA age group...and, I have to say, for me, too!)

I would happily foist this book on any SF fan I know, of almost any age - it's a fantastically fun adventure through space!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2012
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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on 27 November 2012
A Confusion of Princes is another testament to what Nix is great at, creating a truly original believable world of Scifi/fantasy. This tale I found particularly impressive in the amount of world and story he can fit in to a relatively short book. Taking a step away from his usual series of books, this entirely stand alone novel throws you into a world of action, treachery, love and politics both quickly and gracefully.

Not a long read, but the world is so in-depth you will be thinking about it for a long time after your done. Definitely worth picking up.
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on 9 March 2014
I enjoyed the book but it never quite lived up to expectations I had of it. The author is an accomplished writer and story-teller and the plot was certainly ingenious, but it just never quite grabbed me. The main character was interesting and developed significantly throughout the book, something that usually impresses me with a story. Sadly, at about three quarters of the way through it occurred to me that I didn't really care about him or the other characters. So despite it all, three stars is really the best I could give.
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on 12 October 2013
I think Garth Nix hands us a set of somewhat crazy 'rules' at the beginning of his books: Bells, magic, Tek; just trust him, it'll work.

Having read a lot of Nix before hand I knew he would deliver something great,
The book is pretty short and doesn't expand too much outside the main story line, thats okay with me.

The main story line is brilliant and enthralling.

I would recommend this book to a friend.
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on 22 June 2013
I've been a Garth Nix fan since I first read Mister Monday of his Keys to the Kingdom Series and A Confusion of Princes contains all that hold magic. Nix presents a fascinating world, full of interesting characters and attention-grabbing technologies. The narrative was gripping and pulled me forward. I finished the book in a single sitting. Given the extremely reasonable Kindle price, I'd definitely recommend this book.
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on 18 October 2012
Definitely not Garth Nix's usual fantasy style, this is sci-fi at its best. I felt really drawn in to the story, similar to his other brilliant books. I don't know whether he'll write a series for this (hard to see how) but if he did I would buy it like a shot. And just in case, it isn't nearly as scary as his last foray into the futuristic, Shade's Children, but it does contain some adult content, so i wouldn't give it to young children.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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