A Confusion of Princes

  • by Garth Nix
  • Narrated by Michael Goldstrom
  • 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

You'd think being a Prince in a vast intergalactic empire would be about as good as it gets, particularly when Princes are faster, smarter, and stronger than normal humans. Not to mention being mostly immortal.
But it isn't as great as it sounds. Princes need to be hard to kill - as Khemri learns the minute he becomes one - for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor, and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.
There are also mysteries. Khemri is drawn into the hidden workings of the Empire and is dispatched on a secret mission. In the ruins of space battle he meets a young woman, called Raine, who challenges his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself.
But Khemri is a Prince, and even if he wanted to leave the Empire behind, there are forces there that have very definite plans for his future....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Rollicking Space Opera From Beginning to End

Teenagers often feel like they're immortal, and Prince Khemri of the intergalactic empire is no different. Partially because he's not exactly mortal - as he tells us in the opening paragraph, he's died three times.

In Garth Nix's A Confusion of Princes, the thousands and thousands of princes (male OR female can - there are no princesses) are connected to the Imperial Mind, and so if they're killed, and deemed worthy, their uploaded memories and consciousness can be loaded into a new body. If they're deemed unworthy - or for some reason disconnected, that's another story.

An added difficulty is that there's a good chance your fellow Princes are out to kill you so they can advance their own political ambition. This is especially annoying for Khemri, who'd prefer nothing more than to command a starship, feast, and have sex with his courtesans. But when assassins show up, and his chances of renewal are questionable, the prince has to put his plans of luxury to the side and figure out how to survive.

It seems like there's a real dearth of YA SF, and so it's refreshing to hear Nix weave such a fun, high tech space opera. Khemri starts off as an arrogant youth, and so the story of how he learns to embrace more than his own selfish agendas and learns to love more than himself - told through his voice - feels pretty authentic.

Part of that is due to Michael Goldstrom's solid reading. This is my first exposure to Goldstrom, and he did a fine job of separating the characters from each other without being distracting.

The story and themes here are old ones, but it's told with slick tech, cool weapons, and world-building, that ultimately it makes for a lot of fun. Best of all, it moves at such a breakneck pace that there's no time to get bored. If you're looking for a fun YA space opera, this is your ticket.
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- Dave

An Interesting First Foray Into A Unique Universe

Some writers drag us along into their writing, wading into a hastily-created and flawed universe of their own making. It can make for tough reading, and ultimately, can turn off many a reader.

Garth Nix, I'm happy to say, is not such a writer. This effort is a fun read. It is a universe well thought out, with the technologies, religions, politics, hierarchies and subterfuge splashing together to create an enjoyable experience. Detailed without being preachy, challenging without being confusing, it is a great choice for your Audible credit.

Notice I'm not giving the plot away, nor any spoilers? Here's why: This is a bit of a wild romp that you'll enjoy better by discovery, versus anticipation due to anything I might give away ion this review.

I WILL say this: If I could compare Nix's writing and style, it reminds me of the recent Dune audiobooks by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Hebert, but more of a tongue in cheek, just a bit. Very cool, believable and leaves you wanting the author to keep writing.

Now, THAT'S a good audiobook, yes?
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-15-2012
  • Publisher: Listening Library