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The Rebel Prince by Celine Kiernan

Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Celine Kiernan has spent the majority of her working life in the film business. Trained at the SullivanBluth Studio’s, her career as a classical feature character animator has spanned over seventeen years. She’s spent most of her time working between Germany, Ireland and the USA. Celine wrote her first novel at the age of eleven and hasn’t stopped writing or drawing since. She is well known for her fantasy series, The Moorehawke Trilogy, which consists of The Poison Throne, The Crowded Shadows and The Rebel Prince.

Wynter Moorehawke has braved bandits and Loup-Garous to find her way to Alberon-the exiled, rebel prince.

But now that she’s there, she will learn firsthand that politics is a deadly mistress. With the king and his heir on the edge of war and alliances made with deadly enemies, the Kingdom is torn not just by civil war – but strife between the various factions as well. Wynter knows that no one has the answer to the problems that plague the Kingdom – and she knows that their differences will not just tear apart her friends – but the Kingdom as well.

I was looking forward to finally meeting Prince Alberon after reading about him in the previous two books. But when we meet him it is instantly clear that Alberon is no longer a boy, but rather a harsh and somewhat unhinged young man who is sure of his power as Crown Prince. To be honest, I was disappointed in Alberon’s character: he had too many mood swings and generally made me uncomfortable. 

The other characters are also changed in the book because of the re-introduction of courtly life. Razi’s quiet strength is subdued because he is playing advisor to his borhter, Christopher is overlooked and downtrodden by those who feel he is inferior, and Wynter is treated unfairly as a woman who obvously isn’t good for anything except getting married off. All of these changes are to be expected, however, and I enjoyed the book despite them. The major change that I did not like is Wynter’s reluctance to acknowledge her relationship with Chris because others look down on him. It made me really angry and although she eventually realises that the opnions of others don’t matter, it ruined a lot of the book for me.

The plot of the book is exciting – fast paced and full of political intrigue that I enjoyed a lot. Some of the slower parts of the book involved complex political manoeuvring and may have been boring, but the author makes it really interesting through amusing interactions between the characters as they theorise. The ending is abrupt and a bit confusing, but satisfying overall. There is an epilogue, which some readers may not like, but I enjoy reading them and found interesting.

The Rebel Prince is a great conclusion to the trilogy and I enjoyed it a lot. I found it to be less character driven than it’s prequels but still a well paced, interesting read. 

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