This coming-of-age fantasy novel with a subtle sci-fi backdrop follows a half-breed prince who’s forced to embrace his unique identity when his intolerant uncle—vehemently set against a looming peace accord between antagonistic races—attempts to usurp his father’s throne.
Although 19-year-old Prince V’sair isn’t a full-blooded Darracian, his mixed blood—and keen intellect—makes him the perfect future leader for a planet with a long history of enmity among its inhabitants. The Darracians, a hulking humanoid race with short, muscular tails, have all but enslaved the Quyroos, “the people of the trees.” The Darracians live in a sprawling floating city while the Quyroos labor far below. V’sair’s father is a benevolent, forward-thinking king, and he and his wife are on the brink of finally bringing peace and equality to the planet, and V’sair has a hugely significant role to play in making that happen. His mother has even called him “the new Darracia.” But as the young prince—along with a beautiful Quyroos female named Tulani—roams the forests on an errand for his mother, his uncle attempts a bloody coup; in an instant, the futures of countless innocents hang in the balance. With his entire family quite possibly dead and his uncle now on the throne, V’sair must finally come to grips with his heritage and become the leader he was meant to be. The briskly paced storyline features a cast of well-developed characters, and for the most part, it’s an entertaining read. But hard-core fantasy fans may be left wanting more depth out of the narrative: The histories and cultures of the two races are only briefly explored, and the religious ideology (the Sradda Doctrines) and mythology involving the planet’s elemental deities could’ve used more emphasis as a thematic focus.
Well-written but somewhat predictable; a solid foundation for what could be an excellent series.