- Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews
The Oddling Prince Paperback – 31 May 2018
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Praise for The Oddling Prince
A Publishers Weekly 2018 Spring 2018 Top-Ten Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror release
“[10/10 stars] This is luminous writing that enfolds the reader like a spell from the very first page . . . Hold onto your bows and arrows Elflings, we might have an early contender for the best fantasy novel of 2018”
“The Oddling Prince is Nancy Springer at her very best. If you don't know her work―which seems most unlikely―The Oddling Prince is the perfect place to start!”
―Peter S. Beagle, author of Summerlong
“Nancy Springer is a treasure.”
―Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint
“In The Oddling Prince, Nancy Springer juggles the tropes of fantasy and folklore with skill and wit, exploring kingship, brotherhood, friendship and heroism of many kinds while telling a story that kept me up far too late finding out what was going to happen next to characters I really cared about.”
―Delia Sherman, author of Changeling
“5/5 stars. I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. It felt a bit like Juliet Marillier’s stories with the peaceful pacing, fae elements, vibrant medieval Celtic setting, and very little violence.”
―A Page with a View
“A beautiful, unique, and gorgeous story that should be read by all ages.”
―Pass Me That Book
“The Oddling Prince is fantasy at its best. Lyrical prose, memorable characters, and a haunting story bring to life the never-was worlds of Calidon and Otherland. Filled with magic, fabulous horses, swordplay, and treachery―at its core, The Oddling Prince is about the power of love. This skillfully wrought novel reminds readers of why Nancy Springer is one of our top fantasy writers. A must-read book!”
―Vonnie Winslow Crist, author of The Enchanted Dagger
“What a thrilling yarn! Fast-moving, full of surprises, and yet infinitely satisfying. Every time you think you know what's going to happen Springer pulls a new but perfect rabbit out of the hat. The Oddling Prince is one of those great books that'll be reread over and over again.”
―Brenda W. Clough, author of How Like A God and A Most Dangerous Woman
“In The Oddling Prince, Nancy Springer has written a small, perfect epic, three words I did not think could ever live well together. And yet here it is: romantic, heroic, moving, satisfying―and not an overblown farrago of words. Read it―and believe.”
―Jane Yolen, author of The Emerald Circus and Sister Light/Sister Dark
“Lyrical and lovely, The Oddling Prince feels both fresh and like a classic ballad that's been part of the English canon for centuries.”
―Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of the Queens of Renthia series
“Springer (James Tiptree Award–winning Larque on the Wing, 1994) weaves this coming-of-age story with themes of magic, love, and loyalty.”
“5/5 stars. This very well could end up being my favorite book of the year.”
―Way Too Fantasy
“Nancy Springer tells a magnificent and magical tale, full of vivid landscapes and unforgettable characters. With an engaging plot and fast-paced action, The Oddling Prince is a must-read for fantasy lovers of all ages”
―Karen E. Taylor, author of the Vampire Legacy series, Cellar, and Love & Monsters
“A breath of fresh air, wonderful world building and a must read for fantasy lovers.”
―The Stars Listen
“The writing is suburb and you really feel like you are there with all of the sights and sounds of medieval Scotland . . . a truly magical story that should not be missed.”
"There is a sense of a fantasy mashup of Ulysses and the Faerie Queen set in a Victorian romantic version of the Middle Ages . . . There is a very skilled hand at work here.”
About the Author
Nancy Springer is the award-winning author of more than fifty novels, including the Books of Isle fantasy series, the Enola Holmes mystery series and a plethora of magical realism, women’s fiction, contemporary young adult and other titles. She received the James Tiptree Jr. Award for Larque on the Wing, the Edgar Allan Poe Award for her juvenile mysteries Toughing It and Looking for Jamie Bridger, and has been a frequent nominee for the Nebula and World Fantasy awards. Forthcoming from Tachyon Publishing, The Oddling Prince is a heartfelt return to her beginnings, forty years ago, in the fantasy genre. She currently lives in the Florida Panhandle, where she rescues feral cats and enjoys the vibrant wildlife of the wetlands.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The Oddling Prince tells the tale of Aric, a young prince whose father (the King of Calidon) lays dying from an inexplicable curse. When a stranger called Albaric comes into Aric’s life and miraculously breaks the curse, Aric finds himself instantly attached to the new comer. But Albaric is not of this world, he is the fruit of the unrequited love between Queen Theena of Elfland and the King, and therefore Aric’s half-brother.
This is a beautifully written historical fiction (historical in the sense that the story is set in the past, but all characters are fictional) mixed with elements of magic and fantasy.
It is the tale of a stranger who has come to a new land, renounced his origins and is now trying to fit in and be accepted into the mortal realm. It is something that I can oddly relate to as someone who has moved away from their mother country and is trying to find their place in a different one.
The brotherly love and mutual understanding between Aric and Albaric is beautiful and I feel like, as an only child myself, should someone have come into my life declaring to be my sibling, I would have welcomed them with open arms in the same way that Aric does Albaric.
The only person that Albaric cannot seem to please is the King himself, his father, who has no recollection of ever being involved with the Queen of Elfland (because he was under a spell) and completely rejects Albaric, seeing him as an intruder come to usurp his throne. The character of the King is interesting because the more the story goes on, the crazier he gets and he starts seeing conspiracy theories everywhere. He also starts making crazy and dangerous decisions and because he is the King and has all the power, no one can stop him. Funnily enough, this reminded me of Trump: another idiot in a position of power who thinks he can do all he wants because he is on top of everyone else. Although, unlike Trump, the King does regain his senses in the end and love wins.
I really enjoyed this book: the writing is beautiful, the story is consistent and it does transport you back to times past. Oddly enough, I had never heard of Nancy Springer before, but I will be making sure to check out some of her other books as she has written loads! This is definitely an author that I will remember.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Wound through the story are songs and the myth of the White King. As the King recovers his health, his soul seems wounded as he changes from a kind and just king to a hateful, violent tyrant. As the violence escalates, the kingdom withers, and an old enemy resurfaces. Can Aric and Albaric save their father and the kingdom?
If you love fantasy and rich nuanced storytelling, you’ll love The Oddling Prince. The story is superb, the writing glorious, the world-building subtle and immersive, and the characters are complex. A very satisfying read and an instant reminder of why Nancy Springer is one of the best fantasy writers ever, up there with Diana Wynne Jones, Brandon Sanderson, and the other greats. So glad she came out of “retirement” to gift us another soul-searching read. Highly recommended.
If you haven’t read any other fantasy books by Nancy Springer, you owe it to yourself to grab some of her other series and start reading. You’ll be glad you did.
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.
When I began reading The Oddling Prince, I was instantly charmed by its fairy tale language, its dreamlike pace, and the intense devotion and affection between the book’s two main characters. After several more chapters, however, the pleasure the book had initially given me was replaced with frustration. The language and pace began to grate on my nerves, and the bond between the characters began to feel like an exceptionally bad case of (admittedly platonic) instalove.
My Three Main Complaints About The Oddling Prince:
1) It's terribly slow and nothing really happens.
While The Oddling Prince gets off to a great start – the book begins with a beautiful faerie youth arriving at a Scottish king’s deathbed, saving the king’s life, and proclaiming himself to be the king’s long-lost son – the excitement doesn’t last past the first chapter. The king is horrified to learn of his bastard child and is suspicious and resentful of the immediate connection that forms between the bastard, Albaric, and the king’s legal heir, Prince Aric. The connection is inexplicable and powerful, and the king insists some dark magic must be at work.
Much of the novel focuses on Aric and Albaric palling around together and reveling in their newfound fraternal bliss. The plot primarily consists of the king scowling darkly at them, thundering that he’ll never recognize Albaric as his son, and sinking into fits of paranoia where he accuses the boys and the queen of conspiring against him.
Rather than fighting back against their father, Aric and Albaric simply do their best to stay out of the king’s way and avoid drawing his notice or ire. He’s their father, and their sovereign – they couldn’t possibly defy him or do anything other than try to wait him out and hope for the best! It’s intensely boring and makes the whole story feel placid and slow.
2) The characters are supremely dull.
Contributing to the lackluster plot is the fact that Aric and Albaric are complete and utter bores. They’re each described as the pinnacles of perfection: Albaric is beautiful, ethereal, and gentle, and Albaric is noble, pure-hearted, and heroic. They are completely without jealousy, completely without conceit, and completely without an interesting bone in their bodies. I don’t want to read about selfless, pristine characters; I want to read about real-seeming characters with appealing weaknesses and flaws.
If Albaric and Aric are too good to be true as individuals, they’re even harder to take as a pair. They’re utterly devoted to one another, with a fraternal love that is boundless and completely altruistic. The two fall into brotherly love within minutes of meeting one another, and it made me every bit as frustrated as romantic instalove typically does.
“Without Albaric, I felt incomplete. He was my spirit, my soul, my song, my brother; how could I be parted from him, even in death?”
3) The ending made me want to throw my Kindle out the window.
I'm not sure what conclusion I thought The Oddling Prince was leading to, but I definitely wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did. The denouement feels bizarre and jarring and completely unexpected, and I was more than a little frustrated.
All said and done, I didn’t have much patience for The Oddling Prince, despite my initial excitement for it. While I'm sure it will appeal to some readers, I just wasn't one of them.
This review can also be found on my blog, Angela's Library.