Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Immortal Prince-Jennifer Fallon

The Immortal Prince
Jennifer Fallon
Tor, May 2008, $27.95
ISBN 9780765316820

In Lebec, royal spymaster Declan Hawkes directs noted ancient Amyranthan lore historian Arkady “Ice Duchess” Desean to question mass murderer Lord Cayal, who miraculously somehow survived a hanging. Declan expects Arkday to prove the dangerous psychopath is delusional with his insane claims of immortality. Bored with his current life cycle and ergo seeking freshness Caval expected his head to be sliced off so that when a new one grew in he would have no memories of his previous life.

Intrigued by the scholar’s energy, he provides her with fascinating information on the legendary Tide Lords who supposedly created the human-animal half-breeds Crasii slaves. The Tide Lords ebb and flow in power reaching their apex every thousand years only to self destruct into squabbles and ultimately myth until the cycle renews. The last time they were at the pinnacle of power was a millennium ago when the great Cataclysm devastated the ancient world and the Tide Lords. Meanwhile Declan also serendipitously abets the rebel halfbreed engineered Crasii while also insuring the secret Cabal remains diligent to defeat the Tide Lords when they return.

The first Tide Lords tale, THE IMMORTAL PRINCE is a fascinating fantasy due to the strong cast in which readers get inside their heads. Fans know Cayal desired decapitation because he believed a new head would grow in containing a blank slate to refresh him; Arkday realizes the ruler expects her pregant but her spouse is gay and she is from the lower class; Caval is Machiavellan working behind the scnes to keep humans safe from when the next high tide occurs; finally the Cassii represented by an imprisoned canine-human is outraged and angry by their inhuman treatment. Although much of the novel is introducing the players and the newest Fallon realm, fans of the author will enjoy the opening of a new fantasy saga.

Harriet Klausner

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