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The Immortal Prince (Tide Lords) Hardcover – May 13, 2008
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
First in the Tide Lords series, this complex saga, like Fallon's earlier Hythrun Chronicles, intertwines several vividly realized plots. One follows Arkady Desean, the Ice Duchess of Lebec and a scholar of ancient Amyranthan lore, as she interrogates Cayal, a hanged man who inexplicably did not die. She soon encounters legends of the immortal Tide Lords who created the human-animal hybrid slaves called the Crasii—canines to serve, felines to fight, amphibians to pull watercraft—and a thousand years earlier caused the Cataclysm that nearly destroyed the world. Arkady's husband, Duke Stellan, guards his own deadly secret as he maneuvers through palace intrigues and inter-kingdom clashes. Royal spymaster Declan Hawkes secretly aids renegade Crasii and preserves the Cabal, humanity's only protection from the Tide Lords. With snappy dialogue and deft characterizations, especially of her sympathetically drawn canine Crasii, Fallon neatly pulls the story threads together into a multihued tapestry of myth, deceit and ambition. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Immortal Prince is a thrilling and compelling book on its own, and a perfectly executed beginning to what promises to be a great series. The society Fallon has introduced so is complex that it takes an entire novel to fully grasp, and when the book is over, it's clear that we have only seen the beginning of what it has to offer... Above all, though, The Immortal Prince is brilliantly executed drama that effortlessly alternates between romantic, witty, tragic and gripping. Well recommended for adult fantasy readers. -Rhythm and Prose
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I am just going to point out that there are some glaring plot holes. The biggest imo is:
Thousands of years ago the immortal Tide Lords created the Crassi, a race of half human/half animal servants/soldiers. Except for a very few exceptions, all of the Crassi must obey the Tide Lords every command. At one point a Tide Lord orders a Crassi to kill himself and he does. Tide Lords have magical power when the Tide is in and no powers except immortality when it is out. These cycles may last hundreds of years. So every time the tide is out they go into hiding to avoid persecution or revenge for their cruelty/actions during the "high tide". When the story starts, the tide has been out for many hundreds of years. We find out that the normal humans all have armies of Crassi to fight their wars and all their servants are Crassi. The Crassi servants naturally serve them as serving in instinctive. However a normally loyal Crassi will do whatever a Tide Lord tells him and betray his previous master if ordered to. So the Tide Lords have complete control over most of the countries half human/half animal armies just by telling them what to do.
Now with that being said, why is it necessary for Tide Lords to EVER go into hiding? They can command virtually all of the armies of Crassi everywhere just be speaking. So half of the plot, involving the Tide Lords in hiding for years, it pointless!
Still liked the book though.
Like any good author, by the time you end The Immortal Prince, you feel like running out for the second book, the God's of Amaranthya. And, JOY! Book two is also an enjoyable read albeit with some major cliffhangers. Book two is available right here on Amazon.
"What's that?" you say, "major cliffhangers? Okay then tell me about book three"...and here is where readers should beware...books three and four have been written and published...in Australia. They are both all but impossible to get domestically right now.
I am OCD and I have to finish things. So nut job that I am, I ordered books three and four through Amazon from Australia, in paperback, for about $35/per with shipping. Yes, I am crazy, I freely admit it and my husband will confirm it.
So, book three, the Palace of Impossible Dreams, is also good and you are thrilled to find three books you actually enjoyed reading. You positively can't wait to see where the author takes this concept in book four, the Chaos Crystal. But something horrible happens like the author is OVER it-the whole concept of books 1-3. -OR- Perhaps the author was forced to write book four against her will. The Chaos Crystal takes a major leap and heads in a different, rather painful direction that is not enjoyable and feels like it betrays the first three books. Not only do you do NOT get the resolution you were looking for all, but you are also left wondering what the heck just happened? Did the author inadvertantly write a whole sidebranch and called it "the end" anyway? Truly, the last book should be a standalone. I hate a series that ends poorly, especially when it was so good up until the end.
So, to recap: Books 1-3 are worth the read, maybe wait until book three is available in the US and then buy them all at once. But don't expect resolution and don't bother with the last book unless you are an admitted nut job like me who can't leave well enough alone.
My irritation was mainly borne of characterization, or lack thereof. There are times throughout the series when you can't fathom why the main character, Arkady, is behaving the way she does - even her inner monologues feel forced. Sure, the world building is a little thin (although the idea of human-animal hybrid servants, the Crasii, is interesting) and the plot predictable, but that could have been easily forgiven if you found yourself caught up in the plight of the characters.
I won't completely discount Fallon as an author yet. I haven't read her earlier series, which I suspect is better than The Tide Lords. I'm wondering if this quartet was written more for the inertia of the marketing machine than the loyal reader. In part my suspicions came from what seems like a rushed production of the book. The cover is glossy enough but the editions I have are poorly edited (typos and missing words every second chapter or so) which jolts you out of the story like you've been slapped in the face. I wouldn't say for a moment that I'm a grammar queen but frequent typos stretch the friendship. Admittedly, this may have influenced me to be overly critical where others wouldn't be so bothered (erm, neurotic).
That all being said, I did buy all four books to see if the series got any better as things progressed, and I probably enjoyed the last book the most. They were certainly well-paced and easy to chew through, and if you're after fantasy-LITE escapism, it can be satisfied here.
However, if you enjoy your fantasy a little gritty, with political intrigue, three-dimensional villains, tarnished heroes and plot twists that make you whisper 'aha!' as you read, then try something else. Fallon is positively fluffy compared to George R R Martin, for example. And if you've finished with what's available from Martin, try someone new like Joe Abercrombie. On the flip side, if you're just looking for something to get you through the grind of the public transport commute to work, you could do far worse than the Tide Lords.