Published: August 1st 2010 by Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
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Who will survive the final battle?
Set in a fantastical medieval Europe, this is the final book in a compelling trilogy of court intrigue, adventure and romance.
After a joyful reunion, it seems that the years of war have left their scars on brothers Alberon and Razi, and it is not long before their differences come between them.
Alberon is determined to protect the kingdom by strength rather than diplomacy. He proudly reveals his great hope - Lorcan Moorehawke's Bloody Machine. But Razi fears the machine will rot the kingdom's soul and undo all the good that their father has achieved in his short reign.
Despite her qualms about Alberon's choice of allies, Wynter finds herself siding with him against her friends. But when the last envoys to Alberon's camp arrive, Wynter's loyalty to the kingdom and its future is stretched to its limit. How can she stand by as Alberon negotiates with those who represent everything she despises?
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.