sunshine and stardust
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix is an epic story in which Prince Khemri, an augmented human, reflects on his three lives. Like the ten million other Princes of the Empire, Khemri will do whatever it takes to become the Emperor. As Khemri’s training intensifies however, and as he’s thrown into human situations he doesn’t know how to handle, he begins to slowly change. A Confusion of Princes is a grand story, spanning the lengths of space and lifetimes.
A Confusion of Princes is a complex story. Nix throws the reader into the deep end from the beginning. At first, it’s difficult to understand everything that’s going on, even though the story starts off somewhat slowly. But once I became used to the strange situations and people in the story, it was easier to read and enjoy it.
As a Prince, Khemri has a Master of Assassins and a host of Priests; servants who help him access the Imperial Mind and witness whatever is going on at the time; particularly assassination attempts. I was interested by the various training Khemri undertook and the whole mystery surrounding the Emperor and the Princes. It reminded me of The Borg from Star Trek as they too are an augmented race fuelled by one aim and lead by the hive mind.
A Confusion of Princes became more exciting and rapid in the second half. I was aware that apart from Khemri, the other characters seemed, not underdeveloped, but not there enough of the time. This is Khemri’s story, first and foremost. I was interested in learning more about Haddad; Khemri’s Master of Assassins, Atalin who is another Prince and Raine; the girl he saves. Though the story is told from Khemri’s point of view, I felt he could have spared us more details about other characters.
The romance was okay. It happened quite fast. The romance and his love interest should have been developed more but these felt like a small part in the grand scheme of Khemri’s story. Overall, while it took me a while to get into A Confusion of Princes, it became decidedly better as I continued reading. Khemri was an interesting, highly likeable and memorable main character. While I had a few questions at the end of this standalone novel, there weren’t any plot holes. A Confusion of Princes is a unique story and I look forward to reading more from Garth Nix.
Fantastic, thanks Kulsuma!