- Page Count: 288
- Release Date: May 15, 2018
- My Rating: 5 stars
In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.
The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.
The Oddling Prince is a tale of brothers whose love and loyalty to each other is such that it defies impending warfare, sundering seas, fated hatred, and the very course of time itself. In her long-awaited new fantasy novel, Nancy Springer (the Books of Isle series) explores the darkness of the human heart as well as its unceasing capacity for love.
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. It felt a bit like Juliet Marillier’s stories with the peaceful pacing, fae elements, vibrant medieval Celtic setting, and very little violence.
The synopsis is honestly one of the weakest I’ve ever seen, so just ignore that because this story is seriously so good. (I have to include a few minor spoilers from the beginning to even begin to explain the general idea of the story, so click away now if you don’t want to know anything).
Aric is a 17-year-old prince of a “chilly, stony kingdom” in northern Scotland that’s kind of isolated (the Norsemen leave them alone believing them to be descendants of one of their gods). His father is lying on his deathbed with a sketchy powerful ring on his finger when a strange fae prince bursts in and saves the king’s life by removing the ring. The stranger turns out to be Albaric, another son that the king had during a long period of forgotten time he spent in the Otherworld. Albaric can’t return to the Otherworld, yet isn’t welcomed at his father’s court. Aric is deeply attuned to Albaric and the two bond quickly, so Aric sets out to help Albaric find a place where he belongs. They get sidetracked into some battles and other plots, but in the end they all find what they’re looking for.
I absolutely adored the narration of Aric’s totally transparent & honest character. He was the definition of a smol prince, cinnamon roll, and/or whatever else you want to gush over.
All of the characters were totally precious, actually. Marissa was such a wonderfully feminist character for that setting and I loved how competent she was. The book never got super into any of the individual characters or settled on any part of the plot for too long, but everything worked together to create a really lovely story overall. “Pretty” seems like the best way to describe the whole thing… like the writing was just very peaceful with a strong atmosphere:
“Standing atop that tower, I hearkened but could hear only the roar and crash of breakers against rock as the sea wind made a mane of my hair, blowing fit to send the stars overhead sailing on their midnight ocean of sky.”
I’m still not sure how I feel about the end, though. I didn’t necessarily dislike it, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that.
Some parts also reminded me of Mark’s story in The Dark Artifices, so maybe Shadowhunter fans would like this story too. I definitely recommend it to Juliet Marillier fans!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC. The quote above was taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication.