King Severn Argentine's fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles...and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king's hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.
Seeking allies and eluding Severn's spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father's betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king's favor by proving his worth - through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.
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Great audio book.
- Classic Lit Fan
Good story, fun premise, only one major complaint.
I haven't read the print version, so I can't comment on this.
I can't think of any other titles off-hand to compare it to. I liked the setting in a castle, intrigue between nations, family conflicts, magical twists and turns. A protagonist who doesn't understand his powers... it's similar to other books, but with a unique view of magic through a "fountain" and the whole concept of being "fountain-blessed" was interesting.
She did a really good job on interpreting various characters. I especially liked her interpretation of the protagonist's best friend, who was a chatty girl with a wonderful personality. My only complaint is that the voice she used for the main character was a bit whiny, which didn't seem to fit how I would have imagined him to sound if I were just reading it. Also, the way she did the voice of the Queen's Poisoner was a little overdone when she was being "sweet" to the little boy. I did like how she showed that the woman was ill through her voice. Overall, well done.
My one thing that constantly drove me crazy was how all of the adults around the young protagonist tell him about things way beyond the level that you would normally explain to an 8-year-old. They give so many details of intrigue, facts about the history of the realm, and personality conflicts, that it was hard for even me, as an adult, to follow along and keep up with everything. It would have been way above the head of a young child. I realize that this is a "special" child, but still, would you talk to any child about members of the royal family killing and poisoning each other, women being "forced", and abstract concepts that are not even physically processed by young minds until adolescence? It was just a bit too much. I feel that if the protagonist had been at least 10 or 11, it would have been more believable. T
I liked this book quite well, it was interesting and compelling enough to keep me listening. The premise with fountain-blessed magic is unique, and I enjoyed the various characters and their diverse personalities. hat said, ignoring the age issue, I was able to really enjoy the story line. I am looking forward to reading the next installment, to see what happens next in the lives of these characters. :)
- Jumbled Sunshine