Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review: Imperial Hostage by Phil Cantrill

I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.  Please ignore the cover, which is, I think, the world's ugliest cover.  I couldn't stand looking at it the whole time I was reading the book.  It looks like a third grader drew it.

I believe the book is for YA audiences, but it is hard to tell, as there was some sexually suggestive content and quite a bit of gore.  It covers the time that Prince Erechtheus of Attike' spends as a hostage in the kingdom of Poseidia.  I wasn't really clear about WHY the various kingdoms send the hostages, but it seemed to be more like a foreign exchange program than an actual hostage situation, as the hostages were all educated and treated well, even given some measure of freedom.  Erech is to stay from his 12th year through his 25th, and then he can return to his own kingdom to, hopefully, take the throne.  He has many adventures as he learns and adjusts to his new home.

The book, to me, was like a cross between the Harry Potter books (kids going away to be educated and learning about powers they didn't know they had) and the Clan of the Cave Bear series (the two are not set in the same time period, per se, but some of the elements remind me of Ayla's experiences).  I liked it, but it wasn't great literature.  It was mostly a series of different adventures that Erech and his friends experience, but they didn't seem to be connected by any overarching theme or really connected in any way.  I think I received the second in the series to review also, but I'm not sure.  If not, I'm not sure I would seek it out.

Recommended for the younger set, with a warning about a couple of risqué scenes (not overly graphic, and probably not as bad as what is in most modern YA, but just in case parents are easily offended, I wanted to put that out there); recommended for those with an interest in light fantasy and/or Ancient Greek/Rome.  I would imagine that those who like Rick Riordan's work might enjoy this book.  I give it three out of five Whatevers.


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