The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer
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Published on 25 May 2018
I obtained a complementary copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Oddling Prince tells the tale of Aric, a young prince whose father (the King of Calidon) lays dying from an inexplicable curse. When a stranger called Albaric comes into Aric’s life and miraculously breaks the curse, Aric finds himself instantly attached to the new comer. But Albaric is not of this world, he is the fruit of the unrequited love between Queen Theena of Elfland and the King, and therefore Aric’s half-brother.
This is a beautifully written historical fiction (historical in the sense that the story is set in the past, but all characters are fictional) mixed with elements of magic and fantasy.
It is the tale of a stranger who has come to a new land, renounced his origins and is now trying to fit in and be accepted into the mortal realm. It is something that I can oddly relate to as someone who has moved away from their mother country and is trying to find their place in a different one.
The brotherly love and mutual understanding between Aric and Albaric is beautiful and I feel like, as an only child myself, should someone have come into my life declaring to be my sibling, I would have welcomed them with open arms in the same way that Aric does Albaric.
The only person that Albaric cannot seem to please is the King himself, his father, who has no recollection of ever being involved with the Queen of Elfland (because he was under a spell) and completely rejects Albaric, seeing him as an intruder come to usurp his throne. The character of the King is interesting because the more the story goes on, the crazier he gets and he starts seeing conspiracy theories everywhere. He also starts making crazy and dangerous decisions and because he is the King and has all the power, no one can stop him. Funnily enough, this reminded me of Trump: another idiot in a position of power who thinks he can do all he wants because he is on top of everyone else. Although, unlike Trump, the King does regain his senses in the end and love wins.
I really enjoyed this book: the writing is beautiful, the story is consistent and it does transport you back to times past. Oddly enough, I had never heard of Nancy Springer before, but I will be making sure to check out some of her other books as she has written loads! This is definitely an author that I will remember.
Let me know in the comments if you have read this book yourself or if you intend to read it. And if you are familiar with Nancy Springer, please leave your recommendations below as to which of her books I should read next!