review: the oddling prince by nancy springer

What is a friend? Troth without end.
A light in the eyes, a touch of the hand –
I would follow you even to Death’s dark strand.

A medieval Celtic kingdom – which is normally isolated and has to fear only occasional revolts by one of the vassals – now has to face a bigger threat than ever before. The king is lying on his deathbed, his sickness caused by a mysterious and certainly magical ring, with no hope for rescue. The only chance to save his life seems to be a young man, seemingly not out of this world. The Oddling Prince tells the story of two young men from different worlds with a friendship that defies everything else.

I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Tachyon Publications. This is a review containing minor spoilers which can also be viewed HERE. It will be released in May 2018.

A mysterious ring on the finger of the King of Calidon – a kingdom somewhere in northern Scotland – seems to be the doom for said kingdom. It appeared without anyone remembering where it came from and can’t be moved from the king’s hand. Neither the folk nor the crown prince or his mother is able to help the dying man. Only when a stranger – seemingly of the fey – shows up in the castle, the curse can be broken and the ring removed. The stranger introduces himself as Albaric – somehow odd for the crown prince himself is called Aric – another son to the king from a time in the Otherland no-one can remember.

Albaric himself sacrificed his life in Otherland to rescue his father and can never return to his home, but isn’t welcomed in his father’s court either. Feeling restless, he only finds comfort in his brother Aric, with whom he bonds fast and deeply. The two of them start to share a unique friendship and while Albaric only wishes for a place to remain, Aric wants to see his brother happy and therefore leaves his kingdom with im to find such a place. In between they discover a dark plot against the king and while Albaric still isn’t welcomed by his father, they set out to rescue the kingdom only to find what they were looking for in the end.

The story of The Oddling Prince is harmoniously paced with a wonderful atmosphere and loveable characters. I found it extremely refreshing to have a male protagonist and follow his innocent yet strong character throughout the book. But I also grew to love peaceful Albaric as well as the adorable Marissa, who was named an enemy to the kingdom due her heritage but proofed to be its sanctuary. There is very little violence and just the hint of romance in the book, which is also new to my reading habits, but simply perfect for the story and its characters. Since I have never before read a book by Nancy Springer, I needed quite some time to adjust to her writing style but found it very enjoyable in the end.

All in all the story itself is a wonderful piece of literature and definitely worth a read, even though I personally prefer more action. Still the plot was thoughtfully handled and the characters were undoubtedly the heart of The Oddling Prince.

How about you, have you heard about The Oddling Prince before or are now interested in reading it? If so, you can find the book on BookDepository*.

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