The only thing that’s kept Alaric, the so-called Lost Prince of Calixte, from giving into his grief over his beloved homeworld is the thought of revenge against the man who betrayed his people. But he couldn’t be more wrong about Haydn, who actually saved two thousand Calixten soldiers from certain death and secreted them on an inhospitable planet. There, they’ve launched a fledgling rebellion against the Coalition. They only need their prince to lead them.
Alaric needs a pilot to get him to his soldiers, someone too desperate to betray him. Katriel, a hot-shot deserter pilot enslaved to Haydn by debt, is perfect for the job. But neither Katriel nor Alaric realize how the battle over Calixte binds them closer than blood. When they find out, their collision will send shockwaves through the universe.
Aric (now called Alaric) was the Prince of Calixte until his entire planet is destroyed by the Coalition. Being the only member of the royal family to escape death at the hands of the Coalition, he is now considered the Lost Prince. Needing a way to get to the only people left from his destroyed planet, he hires Coalition military deserter – now salt runner – Katriel to fly him there. As they are chased each step of the way by the Coalition they realize they need each other to be complete.
There are a lot of good ideas in this book, but none of them felt original. This book had a decided “Star Wars” feel to it. The Coalition (or should I say The Empire?) is evil and wants to kill what it cannot rule– with no explanation as to why or who they are. They are just the evil Coalition. Then there’s the fact that the Coalition has the technological ability to create a weapon to completely destroy an entire planet (the Deathstar?). There is Alaric, the Lost Prince and the hope of an entire civilization. Remind you of Luke Skywalker, anyone? The author did not give the reader any clue towards the time/space setting of the book in relation to the reader: Where does this book take place? Is it in a future in which Humans have perfected space travel or is this “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?” The only thing this book is missing is Darth Vader and a wookie.
Once you get past the obvious Star Wars similarities, you have to deal with a serious lack of flow and cohesion in this story. Katriel is a deserter to the Coalition. She deserted shortly after the devastation to Alaric’s planet. As former military, she was able to quickly figure out that she was piloting Alaric, the Lost Prince (Luke Skywalker?). When she figured out that Alaric was the Lost Prince, she pulls a weapon on him, ties him up, and tells him she is going to turn him in to the Coalition —hopefully to get her life back. Less than two pages later, Katriel has to let him free in order to help her fight a Coalition ship that has spotted them. They have sex directly after the attack is over and never mention the fact that she was going to turn him in to the Coalition to be killed ever again. Seriously? With no conversation at all, Katriel suddenly decides that Alaric is her Prince, too, and she owes him her loyalty. Not too long after that unbelievable action, Alaric and Katriel decide that they are in love and they have the help of deus ex machina to to save the day.
Another thing that bothered me a lot about this book is the fact that the author uses the word “heliotrope” to describe Alaric’s eye color. From Wikipedia: Heliotrope is a pink-purple tint that is a representation of the color of the heliotrope flower. Another name for this color is vivid lavender. This isn’t the first time I’ve read a book with a main character with purple eyes. Why not use the words purple, violet, or lavender? Why heliotrope? It threw me out of the story and to the internet to look for a definition. It made me even more uncomfortable to learn that there was more to the story of the purple eyes than genetic disposition. The author created an entire religious back story about the purple eyes that she did not explain very well to the reader, one that I still don’t understand.
All in all I feel that Lost Prince is a good first try, but the story needs a lot more editing. This is the first book in a series. so maybe the rough edges will be smoothed out as the series progresses.
Lost Prince also reviewed for Risque Reviews