A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
In the universe of A Confusion of Princes, Khemri is a Prince. That doesn’t involve wearing a crown and sitting on a throne. Instead he’s usually trying to avoid being assassinated. As a candidate for Princedom, Khemri was taken from his parents as a baby and his body was enhanced with biological and mechanical upgrades until he is less like a human and more like a god, with a god-sized ego to match.
Khemri is convinced that he’s going to beat the other ten million princes to become Emperor of the Imperial Universe, but up until now Khemri has been widely misinformed about his own importance. And between him and the role of Emperor, an entire universe awaits.
Garth Nix fans rejoice: here’s another phenomenal book that reinforces why Nix is one of Australia’s best young adult authors. I must admit before coming to ACoP, I was a little wary – despite loving Nix’s fantasy series, I’m not much of a sci-fi buff. But the story and world are handled so skilfully by Nix that you never feel lost in what is a truly original universe.
Khemri’s character is outstanding – the conceited, opinionated and utterly clueless prince really grows on you and will make you laugh more than once. This really deserves the label of space epic, and should be enjoyed by SF fans and sceptics alike.
Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton where she organises the kids and Young Adult enews'. She also writes books for younger readers under the name H.J. Harper. Find out more about her Star League and Bureau of Mysteries series here.