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Seven Princes (Books of the Shaper) Paperback – January 3, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"What Seven Princes [offers] is breakneck pacing and nonstop insanity. It's epic with a capital EPIC."—io9.com

"A stand-out fantasy series from an author with an exceptional talent for characterization and world building."—Library Journal

"Non-stop action at a blistering pace... Vigorous and vibrant."—Kirkus Reviews

"One of the strongest epic fantasies I've read in a long time. My perfect epic fantasy novel looks a great deal like John R. Fultz's debut, Seven Princes" Rob Will Review

"Flawless - and timeless - epic fantasy. For fans of epic fantasy, Seven Princes is as good as it gets."—BN.com (Paul Goat Allen)

About the Author

John R. Fultz lives in the Bay Area, California, but is originally from Kentucky. His fiction has appeared in Black Gate, Weird Tales, Space & Time, Lightspeed, Way of the Wizard, and Cthulhu's Reign. His comic book work includes Primordia, Zombie Tales, and Cthulhu Tales. John's literary heroes include Tanith Lee, Thomas Ligotti, Clark Ashton Smith, Lord Dunsany, William Gibson, Robert Silverberg, and Darrell Schweitzer, not to mention Howard, Poe, and Shakespeare. When not writing novels, stories, or comics, John teaches English Literature at the high school level and plays a mean guitar.
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Product Details

  • Series: Books of the Shaper (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 526 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316187860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316187862
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My name is John R. Fultz, and I'm a storyteller. My latest novel, THE TESTAMENT OF TALL EAGLE, will be published by Ragnarok Publications in June 2015. My Books of the Shaper trilogy includes the novels SEVEN PRINCES, SEVEN KINGS, and SEVEN SORCERERS (Orbit Books). THE REVELATIONS OF ZANG (01Publishing/FantasticBooks) collects 12 dark fantasy tales set in the magical World of Zang. I live in the North Bay Area, California, but I'm originally from Kentucky. My short fiction has appeared in anthologies such as YEAR'S BEST WEIRD FICTION, SHATTERED SHIELDS, THE WAY OF THE WIZARD, CTHULHU'S REIGN, THE BOOK OF CTHULHU II, THAT IS NOT DEAD, and DEEPEST, DARKEST EDEN: NEW TALES OF HYPERBOREA. I've also had stories in these fine magazines: BLACK GATE, WEIRD TALES, LIGHTSPEED, and SPACE & TIME. I've written comics for Boom Studios' ZOMBIE TALES and CTHULHU TALES. My graphic novel of epic fantasy PRIMORDIA (illustrated by the great Roel Wielinga) was published by Archaia Comics in an "ultimate hardcover edition" in 2012. I am not a critic, nor do I claim to be, so any reviews on my blog are simply my own personal opinions. I like to shout a lot about the things I love.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
It's difficult to write something fresh an original in fantasy fiction, but right from the outset of Seven Princes, it looks like John R. Fultz's Shaper trilogy is, well ...shaping up to rewrite the rule book practically set in stone by Lord of the Rings, and get right back to the underlying archetypes of genre. There's no adolescent gaining of power and learning to control it in Seven Princes, or a grand quest as a metaphor for coming-of-age and the journey to manhood, and there are no ancient prophesies to be followed through to predictable outcomes, but all that's good about fantasy fiction is here nonetheless and given a much more thrilling introduction than is customary for the first part of a trilogy.

There's no long, slow, deliberate build-up at the start of Seven Princes, no setting out of rules, no recounting of myths, legends and prophesies. The book's prologue sets the wheels in motion in a dramatic and bloody fashion, as the kingdom of Yaskatha is overrun by a powerful sorcerer and his hoards of living dead. King Trimesqua is killed and his son Prince D'zan is forced to flee and seek help from the neighbouring kingdoms of the North to face the dangerous threat that the kingdoms of the South now pose. It doesn't slow down there either as the book begins proper, the dark forces that have been unleashed seeming to cause ripples in the other regions - and there are a wide variety of exotic lands and undersea kingdoms in this book - but most notably with King Vod and the Giants of Udurum, with his sons of mixed Giant and human blood, and with his other children, who see their father abdicate and walk to the kingdom beneath the waves to almost certain death.
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Stefan VINE VOICE on December 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Trimesqua, King of Yaskatha, is murdered by Emhathyn, an ancient wizard who raises the dead to kill everyone in the palace. The young Prince D'zan manages to escape, helped by his faithful bodyguard Olthacus the Stone, and sets out on a quest for vengeance. To retake Yaskatha, he seeks the help of other rulers, including the two princes of Uurz: the strong warrior Vireon and the scholar/writer Lyrilan.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, King Vod rules the city of New Udurum where Giants and Men live peacefully together. Vod was born a Giant but became human to marry Shaira, Princess of Shar Dni. Their children are a new breed: Princes Tadarus and Vireon have the shape of humans but the strength of Giants. Prince Fangodrel, on the other hand, is pale of skin, addicted to the bloodflower drug, and lacking the strength of his brothers. Princess Sharadza rounds out the set of royal children, a young girl with a taste for ancient stories, especially the ones told by the mysterious Storyteller who simply goes by the name of Fellow. When King Vod leaves his court to atone for an ancient misdeed, he leaves the queen in charge of New Udurum, which angers Prince Fangodrel, his oldest son who was expecting to become the next ruler...

In Seven Princes, John R. Fultz has created a complex fantasy world with a wide variety of settings. His cast of characters is larger than the brief synopsis above indicates. The history of his fantasy world is deep and includes now-legendary events as well as more recent conflicts that play important roles in shaping the current story. As far as world-building goes, Seven Princes has a lot to offer.

Unfortunately the novel didn't work for me because of two significant problems: forgettable characters, and prose that's too flowery.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Media Man VINE VOICE on January 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
[This review is based on an Advanced Reading Copy - 526 pages]

Seven Princes is the debut fantasy novel from author John R. Fultz and the first volume in the Books of the Shaper series. Primarily a short story writer, Fultz has tried his hand at a full blown series and succeeded. Seven Princes story revolves around a young prince named D'zan who is soon to inherit the throne of the Southern city of Yaskatha. When an ancient necromancer named Elhathym appears and usurps the throne from D'zan's father, King Trimesqua, D'zan is forced to flee for his life. D'zan wants nothing more than to return to Yaskatha and take back the throne that is rightfully his. However, in order to do so D'zan must embark on an epic journey to rally support from all neighboring kingdoms in order to accomplish his goals. Here are my thoughts on John R. Fultz's "Seven Princes;"

Pros

+ Intriguing world building, history and mythology.

+ Adult fantasy themes. A heavy emphasis on regicide and murder in general. Several of the passages were especially dark and gruesome.

+ Well written and engaging story.

+ Both heroes and villains die.

+ Two page map of the known world. My ARC didn't have a map but the final publication does.

+ Contained a Dramatis Personae listing at the back of the book.

+ Excellent opening chapters as well as a great excerpt of the next book at the end. I really enjoyed the dark theme of the sample chapter from Seven Kings.

+ Great cover art.

Cons <Contains SPOILERS>

- The solution to D'zan's final dilemma was too convenient and a bit unbelievable.

- Sharadza learned sorcery much too quickly and the chapter that details her learning was quite boring.
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