Hi, my name is Dragana, and I’m a book-o-holic. My goal in life is to read all the speculative fiction novels in the world. (or at least try) :)
You can also find me on: Bookworm Dreams Blog
Since I found out that Three Princes is set in an alternate reality where Egyptian empire never ceased to exist, I was looking forward to reading it. I’m crazy about Egyptian culture, history and mythology, so I was dying to learn how Ramona Wheeler imagined that the world would develop if the awesome empire who built the pyramids still existed. But when I actually started to read Three Princes my excitement soon died down and slowly became replaced by indifference. Finally at 42% (around 150 pages) I officially decided to mark this book as DNF and proceed to the next one. As some wise person said: Life is too short to waste it on books we don’t like.
As always, I will try to explain why Three Princes didn't work me me and hopefully it will help some other reader with similar taste to avoid trying to read this book, or even intrigue someone with opposite taste to give it a try.
From the start, I encountered my first problem with Three Princes . Main hero: Lord Scott Oken. At 27, he’s an Egyptian spy and reminded me most of James Bond. He’s always at the right place at the right time, somehow against all odds survives and observes all women as sexual objects.
And we’re already encountered my second issue with this book. Lack of strong female characters. If we make an exception for the Queen of Egypt, all women are just there for decoration, sex or to be exploited by our smart and handsome spy. As I already said, it’s all very reminiscent of famous 007 agent. In fact, I was surprised that Three Princes was written by a female writer since to me it seems like it’s oriented for male readers.
Maybe I would have ignored my antipathy for the hero, if the world charmed me as I expected. But, although this book is full of descriptions, the main things I was looking forward was missing. How come Egyptian empire still exists? This is the main question I wanted answered and I got nothing except mentions from time to time about some union between Caesar and Cleopatra. But there were a lot of totally unnecessary details about life in towns and tribes Lord Oken encounters on his travels. Knowing the exact pattern of painted colors on naked woman’s chest was not my top priority, so I was mostly bored with these attempts of world-building.
And I won’t even start to comment of so-called ‘steampunk’ – since there are no steam engines I would never label this novel as that genre. There are some weird flying machines but trying to understand ‘scientific’ background how they fly will only give you a headache. It would have been better if it was left a mystery…
If you are a male fantasy fan and are looking for an alternate history novel about young spy who travels a lot, encounters a bunch of pretty women and nefarious villains – then Three Princes is the book for you. Readers looking for complex characters where everything is not black and white or more to the story than how awesome Lord Scott Oken is, will probably be disappointed.
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.