The Rebel Prince Paperback – 2010
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sadly I have to give this one 3.5 stars due to disappointing ending.
Let me just say I LOVE, LOVE , LOVED this series!! Read in all 3 in less than a week, staying up into the wee hours of the morning more than once.
So why the lower rating you ask? Well, this 3rd installment comes in at almost 100 pages LESS than the previous two and I REALLY felt those pages should have been present and filled with a few payoff scenes for the folks who have invested their time in this series and come to really care about these characters. I REALLY wanted to be there when Christopher got his vengeance. And I really wanted to be there when He and Wyn finally consummated their relationship. We got their first kiss in book one, we got a peek at building passion in book 2, and in this one I'd really hoped we could at least be there for the set up of when they could could come together "in Joy" as they'd been waiting for. After all of the suffering for poor Christopher, I wanted to be there for the first time he made love while actually being in love. Not the whole drawn out thing, but at least the prelude to the big moment.
And what about Razi? Did that situation actually resolve itself or is the author suggesting it didn't matter one way or the other since it was never even addressed? I just felt robbed with it ending the way it did.
I understand how hard it must be to satisfactorily wrap up an awesome, layered, detailed series like this one, and that the author probably found herself needing another book to do it right, or just having to cut herself off at the dramatic climax and skip ahead to do a concise wrap up. Due to time restraint or whatever, she chose the latter, and I for one felt like she sucked the wind out of my sails for doing so- and from the POV of a character we'd never met before to boot! No. Just. No.
Would I recommend this series anyway? Yes, but with the recommendation comes with a warning about the less than stellar ending.
And it’s a mess. A huge, jumbly, messy mess of wrongs and rights and do the ends justify the means and how to save a kingdom and it’s people and alliances made with those you hate for the sake of a purpose and how far should a leader have to sacrifice or compromise for his duty and responsibilities. The division between Alberon & his father is chasmic and I honestly thought war was inevitable. I just couldn’t see how Wynter and Razi would be able to mediate or resolve the differences of opinion (and approach) between the king and his disowned son.
Wynter also has to make her own choices and decide where to stand on her own convictions; political and social expectations, and the relationship she has established with Christopher, a social inferior so far as the court is concerned. In the second book, Christopher made his stance clear when introducing Wynter to his people and protecting her from the Loups-Garous. Wynter has the same opportunity here and you can’t help but love Christopher all the more more for his patience and lack of pressure while she wrestles with the decision.
You’ve heard the cliche about a crisis balancing on the edge of a knife? Well, it’s quite literal in The Rebel Prince. And not everything gets wrapped up in a pretty bow once the fog clears and the weapons are laid down. But it feels like it does. After a long series of drawing out every detail and explaining every action, the story stops in the middle of a huge tumult and then is wrapped up in a sugary-sweet epilogue. If you felt cheated by The Hobbit (and Lord of the Rings) employ of “The eagles are coming” then you’ll likely feel a bit excluded from the resolutory action here.
Oh, but you finally get an answer for the whole wolves question. Frankly, while the ghosts served a narrative purpose in the first and second book (albeit small purposes), the talking cats were fun but felt like a bit of an unnecessary contrivance. And then you get “wolves” right in the latter third of this last volume and it felt out of left field. Going back & rereading, I can see where Kiernan sprinkled little hints along the way. But I think there has to be some basis to foreshadowing. Explaining what I mean through a different popular series – in Twilight, the hints that are laid regarding Edward being a vampire only work because the reader knows about the concept of vampires in the first place. The semi-fantasy/semi-reality world Wynter lives in never hints at the existence of anything outside of ghosts and talking cats (both of which are mentioned almost immediately in the first chapter of the first volume) so “wolves” being anything besides a solely canine-type animal felt like a sudden lurch in the established world-building.
All that being said, I enjoyed this series and it is difficult to browse through a volume looking for a particular passage as I find myself an hour later, happily rereading the entire thing.
(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.
This final book in The Moorhawke Trilogy is as engrossing as the first two. The characters and their relationships are fascinating, complex and moving, and the best thing about the books. Seeing how they all interact with Alberon is something long-awaited. The world-building and political intrigue is also a strong-point. The various factions at work within and without the kingdom are also interesting. Then there is this hidden machine of death that the king has done everything he could to keep secret...
The excitement and suspense and danger remains throughout the book, building to a fine climax and a satisfying conclusion. I found the overall plot towards the end a little on the weak side, and some of the revelations about what is behind all the strange behavior and upheaval also not quite up to the build-up... but those who have made through the first books and wish to know what's going on and what will happen to these compelling characters should find the read worth-while.