Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Well-written, interesting fantasy adventure
on 22 January 2012
Unlike the first book in this duology, The Lion of Macedon, which was mostly historical fiction with a dash of fantasy thrown in, Dark Prince is full-blown historical fantasy. A few historical chapters set things up, but pretty soon we're into pure fantasy. Generally speaking, historical fantasy is not my thing, but in actual fact I rather enjoyed Dark Prince. Firstly, Dark Prince doesn't pretend to be anything other than historical fantasy and is upfront about it on the cover. One of my gripes with historical fantasy is that it so often masquerades as historical fiction, which can be irritatingly misleading. Secondly, Dark Prince is still such a good novel. Admittedly, in this novel the characters no longer resemble what I would think of as their historical counterparts, but the characters are still so well-written - grey, complex, gritty, empathetic - that I was interested to see what would happen to them and how events would play out. The style of Gemmell's writing was just as consistently compelling as ever it is, except this time I was reading it in a fantasy setting. The story contained classic elements of adventure, the epic journey, illusion and transformation, all rendered expertly and making for a genuinely enjoyable story. I wasn't quite as gripped by this book as much I have been by the other books by Gemmell that I'd read thus far, but I think that's simply down to reduced interest in the subject matter - history is my passion, and I do prefer it straight up. Nevertheless, absolutely a well-written and enjoyable story.
Not quite my cup of tea, but very well executed and a good read.