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A Confusion of Princes Hardcover – May 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Khemri, now 19, was taken from his parents at birth to be molded into a superhuman, nearly immortal prince of a vast intergalactic empire, joining millions of others like him who carry out the work of the mysterious "Imperial Mind." As his training wraps up and he is set to begin his duties, Khemri discovers that being a young prince of the empire is not all he hoped it would be, and he must prove himself worthy of the title. A year into his service, he is stripped of his super powers and sent on a secret mission where he falls in love and begins to question his destiny. Conceited and overconfident with grand plans of rising to Emperor himself, Khemri soon realizes there is more to life than immortality and all-encompassing power. Garth Nix weaves an intricate plot (HarperCollins 2012) and creates a fascinating futuristic world with enough action, space gadgetry, and tech lingo to appease hard-core science fiction fans, while providing a rich story and deep characterization that will win over those hesitant to delve into the genre. Michael Goldstrom's crisp voice brings the character to life, delivering the first-person text with an initial air of cockiness and later humility as the prince undergoes his internal transformation. He uses unique and sometimes electronically enhanced voices to distinguish the cast of characters, making this a highly enjoyable listen.-Amy Dreger, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beachwood, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


Space battles! Political intrigue! Engineered warriors! Techno-wizardry! Assassins! Pirates! Rebels! Duels! Secrets, lies, sex and True Love! What more can anybody ask for? (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

Nix’s fantasy has enough gadgets, escapes, battles, duels, deaths, and near-death experiences to keep die-hard adventure story readers enthralled. Happily, Khemri is also a thoughtful, winsome, and somewhat complex character, and his cheerfully self-deprecating tone and unpredictable choices make this romp entertaining on multiple levels. (Horn Book (starred review))

Nix once again proves his mastery of speculative fiction [as] he manages to tell a tale that is grand in scope with vivid characters and imaginative technology. (School Library Journal (starred review))

[An] exciting space opera. (Publishers Weekly)

Khemri’s first person point of view, along with a fast-paced, action- and plot-driven story, is sure to appeal to fans of the Star Wars universe and any number of first-person shooter video games. (ALA Booklist)


“Exuberant and insightful. The rocket-powered pace and epic world-building provide an ideal vehicle for what is, at heart, a sweet paean to what it means to be human.”— (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780060096946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060096946
  • ASIN: 0060096942
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #733,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He also spent five years as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. A full-time writer since 2001, more than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 40 languages. Garth's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly (US), The Bookseller(UK), The Australian and The Sunday Times (UK). He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The galaxy-spanning Empire is ruled primarily by the ten million Princes, young men and women enhanced by Bitek, Psitek and Mektek, and educated to rule. Psychically attached to the Imperial Mind, they can be reborn over and over.

But the Princes pretty much live in a gilded cage, and the protagonist of "A Confusion of Princes" takes awhile to discover that. Garth Nix's first sci-fi novel in fifteen years is an epic space opera, slowly following a young man through his lifetime as a Prince -- and while it's slow-moving at times, Nix's unique "teks" and society make it a delight.

The first days of Khemri's life as a Prince are less fun than he expected -- he's nearly assassinated twice, and his Master of Assassins Haddad whisks him off to join the Imperial Navy (which he doesn't want to do). And after he's connected to the Imperial Mind, Khemri begins to realize that unseen powers in the Empire have special plans for him... assuming he isn't permanently killed first.

But despite a rocky start (including a quiet feud with House Jerrazis), Khemri distinguishes himself when he dies defending a post from the alien Sad-Eyes. When he graduates, a mysterious priest offers him a special assignment as an "Adjuster."

However, the entry test for being an Adjuster involves months of living as a normal human, vulnerable to a permanent death. Khemri -- now renamed "Khem" and and without most of his tek abilities -- ends up living in the Kharalcha system, where he falls in love with a young woman named Raine. As his half-hidden destiny in the Empire approaches him, Khemri must figure out what he truly wants -- a life in the Empire, or a human life?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By aaa-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Garth Nix's CONFUSION OF PRINCES reminds me of the classic scifi that I grew up with. Sort of a combination of Robert Heinlein's early work with a transfusion from Larry Niven and maybe a wee bit of Keith Laumer's RETIEF liberally sprinkled about.

As a consequence you can expect more science speculation than you get in most current YA literature, and some cleverly humorous observations about the way the Universe and it's inherent beaucracy works --now and apparently in the far future as well.

The world building in this book is excellent. The story is told in First Person but beautifully done so that you get a real feel for what it feels like to live in Prince Khemri's world. Khemri's been augmented in dozens of ways. Made into a real super human, but despite that, Nix manages to make the super-abilities not so much of an advantage, and the prince comes off as vulnerable, and frequently naive.

Which brings me to another wonderful aspect of this book: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Hot D*, it's nice to run across because it's not something I find in the YA dystopias I've been reading. For while I truly enjoyed Divergent/Insurgent, Enclave, and Partials, their heroes and heroines really all find themselves at the end of the book with the same over-achiever competence they began with. You don't see anyone's eyes opening, nor any shocking internal revelation.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Many of my friends have been certain to inform me about how horrible I am for not reading Garth Nix's Sabriel and its accompanying novels. Okay, so I haven't read them, and as many times as I try to get them back into my to-be-read pile, they never seem to make it to the top. Yet, I have attempted some other Nix novels, and always found myself somewhat disappointed. With all of the hype I've heard about Sabriel, my expectations for Nix are very high, and so far nothing has really lived up to those expectations. A Confusion of Princes is just another title in that long line of Nix disappointments.

A Confusion of Princes takes place in a highly science fiction-like world where Princes are programed from birth for their responsibilities. And when the time comes, out of the many Prince candidates, one will be chosen as Emperor. More than anything, Khemri wants that honor -he can even feel the crown of the empire on his head. But that crown threatens to slip after he's sent off on a secret mission after graduation from military school -a mission that brings him into contact with a woman named Raine.

Let's take a look at this book in pieces -there were some good pieces and some not-so-good pieces. First, the writing. Nix is undoubtedly an incredible writer, he weaves elements of the world and characters together effortlessly, his style is fun and easy to read, and he really brings characters to life on the page. If it wasn't for Nix's strong characters, I may not have been able to finish this book (and overlook the not-so-good elements).

And, the not-so-good elements: this book was incredibly predictable. I pretty much knew the plot as soon as the truth behind Khemri's secret mission was revealed and he started to get to know Raine.
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