Plot Summary: Lady Protector Wynter Moorehawke, her brother Prince Razi, and her lover, Christopher Garron, have finally reached the hidden camp of Prince Alberon. Their mission is to heal the rift between Albi and King Jonathan, but when they arrive it's clear that the rebel prince has plans of his own. There are all sorts of unsavory delegates meeting with Alberon, and Wyn and Razi want to support their brother, but they cannot counsel overthrowing the king. Alberon wants to use the secret weapon designed by Wyn's late father to lend support to other rebel factions across the continent, but Wyn suspects that this weapon is too devastating to be unleashed. It will take all of Razi's skill to persuade his brother to return to the palace, and Wyn finds her relationship with Christopher coming under fire. She must choose between real love and court protocol, which would have her marry someone far more elevated than a savage Merron wanderer.
(The Moorehawke Trilogy: Book Three)
Finishing the Moorehawke Trilogy was as satisfying as laying on the couch after eating Thanksgiving dinner. I feel so satiated and happy, and that's basically the feeling that I'm aiming for every time I crack a book. In The Rebel Prince, Celine Kiernan wrote a sophisticated conclusion for this trilogy with no easy answers, and it had me riveted despite the apparent lack of action. Much like the first book, The Poison Throne, there was a lot of cloak and dagger type intrigue, and usually political maneuvering bores me silly, but not so here. Ms. Kiernan makes it work for this plot, and she makes it intelligent and entertaining as well. I'm mentally comparing it to the lengthy passages I had to endure in Jaqueline Carey's Kushiel series, and the Moorehawke Trilogy wins hands down.
The relationships between the characters was so well done I feel like I know these people inside and out, and yet, they still have the capacity to surprise me. Wyn and Christopher's romance is a beautiful, delicate thing, like a butterfly, and I know that it wouldn't take much to crush it to death, but I just want it to live and thrive. The friendship between Razi and Christopher is a true "bromance" in every way, and I just love it when friends mean this much to each other. Alberon is a new character to the story line, but his complicated relationship with his brother Razi was full of surprises as well.
These characterizations are as fine as any I've ever read, and frankly I can't wait to see what Ms. Kiernan writes next. I'm hoping she stays in historical fantasy, because I can never find enough books to satisfy my craving. I highly recommend this trilogy, and to do it right start with The Poison Throne and then The Crowded Shadows.