The Oddling Prince

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

First off, I was sold on The Oddling Prince solely based off of the setting. It is at the top of my bucket list to visit Scotland, but for now I will settle with visiting through the pages of a book. I loved the medieval, Celtic Kingdom and Nancy has an absolutely beautiful writing style, perfect for the genre and feel of this particular story.

The Oddling Prince features a very strong brother bromance which is the heart of this character-driven story. Unfortunately, it felt forced and unbelievable, too much like an insta-love. In addition, the plot felt unorganized and sporadic. Though overall I enjoyed the book, I felt more was needed to be given above a 3 star review.
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This was a DNF for me! I'm so sorry to say. By the time I went back to it to give it another go the book had been published and I couldn't view it anymore. 

I promise to give it another chance! In defense of the book, I was in a fantasy slump at the time and nothing was really helping me.
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This was difficult for me to rate. The story and relationships were wonderful, and even though the writing style was beautiful, it simply wasn't for me. 

Thank you to NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I like books that shows a brother love. Usually they always involved sisters. 

I wasn’t expecting much of this novel, so I’m pleasantly surprised that I didn’t hate it. 
There were times that I found that that were to much information and description pf places and things that I really didn’t care about. 

Taking that off, this is a book that I recommend if you like a end that will male you mad and sad at the same time.

3/5 stars.
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I've seen tons of three-star reviews about this book on Goodreads. Tons. However, after reading it I feel I have to take it in my hands to do justice to The Oddling Prince because to me it didn't come across as mediocre as review writers generally make it out to be.

There are two princes in this story who share a strong bond. One of them, Albaric, is from a faraway land. He comes to Calidon to save the king's life, yet his motive for the heroic act upsets king Bardaric a good deal after his recovery. Aric, the prince of Calidon, tries to shield Albaric from his father's wrath but the king's behaviour pains the foreign saviour none the less. Still, when the kingdom is threatened by inside and outside forces alike, everyone must stand on the same side to prevent its demise.

Going into the book knowing that it is a fairy tale and a celtic one at that, I expected nothing less from the writing style than to reflect the genre and the historical quality. Ms Springer's sentences are beautifully composed and her descriptions are nothing short of poetic. It's true that some might find the style a little dense, hard to get used to, but it all depends on the person's reading history and even if it's new to someone it doesn't mean it can't amaze after getting through the initial bumps while getting accustomed to it in the beginning. 

I actually saw some reviews that say The Oddling Prince is written in 'old English'. Old English is what Beowulf was written in, even native speakers cannot really read and/or understand it now. Talk about exaggeration...

The truth is, this is a character-driven novel and those who pick it up to read action packed fantasy fiction can be disappointed. It is not usual for a fantasy story to lean that heavily on its characters vs the plot and therefore it was a risky choice from the author, but believe me when I say that it works in this case. There is little travelling in the novel, basically there is one setting (the castle) but it feels enough (the only part when the princes left the castle seemed superfluous to me to be honest). 

There's some sword fighting though and dangerous situations at times, the book doesn't completely lack action, only it's not as important in it as the relationship of the characters.

Speaking of characters... We have a male protagonist, which is very rare in YA. Aric is endlessly kind, goodhearted and caring. He doesn't have one bad quality. Many reviewers deemed him flat, but again, we are talking about a fairy tale – the genre is not exactly famous for complex characters, since very often these tales are based on a fight between good and bad and there is no in between. Aric's one-sidedness was therefore absolutely acceptable to me. His love for Albaric warmed my heart.

The ladies of The Oddling Prince were so lovely! Aric's mother and his bride, Marissa, were both smart and wise and they understood their male companions so well. They had so much strength and insight, they were my favourites. 

As you can see I liked The Oddling Prince a lot and this was me trying to defend its merits. I just thought it deserved a champion and it might as well be me...
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Found it a bit hard to start off with when reading, but it started getting better, and the characters were amazing. I absolutely loved the ending, I cried like a baby.
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This is a riveting adult fantasy with a plot that is much simpler than it feels like while reading. It’s a quick read that I could hardly put down.
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I love all the brotherly love in the book. Plus the plot is pretty new for fantasy books lately. The main characters were okay.
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Mini review:

DNF

I received this E-ARC via the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I was excited to read this! I didn’t like it. 

The writing was very frustrating! It irked me to the point I couldn’t finish this. 

Still recommend.
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Fantastically descriptive. This author really makes this book come alive with the incredible world building. Would happily read this book again.
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What a strange tale of fey and a Celtic-inspired land. It was sort of interesting, but also very weird. I whispered 'what?' to myself frequently throughout the story. I did like the idea of acceptance no matter where you come from, as depicted by Aric and Albaric, but some of it was a little too much for me. Like one of the characters being in love with a 14 year old? I understand it's only a 3 year age gap, but I didn't like that at all. I appreciated, though, Springers attempt to make it palatable by having the interested party be as noble and kind as possible. This definitely wasn't a book for me, but I can see it's appeal for others.
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I enjoyed this one especially since all the characters were so likable and the brothers were so cute.
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The Oddling Prince is an odd mix of middle grade, young adult and fairytale; it reads like a middle grade, but the ages and themes are clearly young adult, and it all feels like whimsical fairytale. It is confusing mix, but it works once you abandon all the expectations that comes with those particular genres. It's whimsical fairytale - sometimes the actions of characters or plot twists won't make sense, but it's told in such way that it makes reader to forget it.

The setting drew me in, and it's what I loved most. It's never really specified when the story takes place, but it's ancient Scotland. There's moors, forest, raging sea and ever changing wind. Springer's descriptions are so vivid that I could feel the wind, smell the sea, and see the moors. Absolutely wonderful, I wish more books would take place in Scotland, especially in the medieval times or even earlier.

The Oddling Prince stars Aric, who's a prince of the kingdom of Caldor, and Albaric, who's mysterious fey that arrives just in time to save the dying king. Both are very likable characters; Aric is loyal, kind and fierce, and he takes Albaric in with such loyalty that it amazed me. Albaric is more careful and has less confidence, but he's so adorable. Aric and Albaric have a strong connection and it's great to see how they react to things and how they grew.

So why I didn't fell head over heels for The Oddling Prince? The plot is a little all over the place, there are many twists and turns and it feels like the story never takes a breather. It is also quite convenient; all hardships are solved quickly and the stakes are never high. It's thoroughly enjoyable story, the setting and main characters are great, but the plot is little weak and nothing is brilliant. A good story, but not mind blowing. I do recommend it if you're looking for whimsical fairytale or want to read a book set in ancient Scotland.
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I absolutely loved the mythology used to create this story!! Very intriguing from beginning to end!! Adventurous and beloved is a bond of brothers, a bond of blood. Fantasy beyond imagination and magical plot kept the pages turning!!! The world building, and character building was detailed and amazing!! Storyline, and narration made it fun and easy to read!! Loved this book!!!!
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I couldn't get into the writing style. I couldn't help but feel bored when I was reading. 

This book didn't work for me but maybe it will work for bookdragons who love an archaic type of writing style.
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Lyrical, and with a sense of melancholy, The Oddling Prince is a throwback to the days when high fantasy vibrated with idealism. On an on-line discussion group recently, a few fantasy writers spoke of the emergence of “grim-dark” as a popular subgenre, and speculated on what the opposite would be. Someone suggested “noble bright.” The Oddling Prince would be a noble-bright fantasy.
	True, our narrator, Prince Aric, has an increasingly disturbed king as a father. It’s probably not giving away too much to disclose that his father eventually confesses to some unsavory power struggles with relatives. However, Prince Aric, while a young man of simple tastes and straight-forward allegiances, is a good-hearted type, patient with his increasingly irascible father, and protective of his newly discovered brother, Albaric.
	There’s an unexpected element to his new sibling: Albaric is part-elf, exiled forever from that ethereal world because of his quest to help their father, who has fallen prey to the spell of a ring. To the King, the elf-son is an uncanny reminder of time he spent in another world as the captive of the capricious elf queen. Aric however, feels a deep bond to the lonely, loyal outcast without a place.
	Soon Aric is torn between his wish to please his father, and his desire to help Albaric make roots in this world. As various plans fail, he must find a way to protect his gifted, but fragile brother, and restore harmony to the kingdom.
	I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, which did not affect my review.
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I've come to realize that I hold new releases to a slightly different set of standards than I do older books. Not necessarily harsher, but different. While I can rate a vintage book based on how well it holds up, or a backlist book on sheer enjoyment, I'm always asking in some corner of my mind what a new book is bringing to the table that we haven't seen before, or how the author is trying to do an old thing in a new way. But The Oddling Prince is pastiche through and through, without any notably fresh spins on its themes for me to trumpet in a review.

The story, which centers around two teenage princes in a medieval Scottish kingdom, the mortal Aric and the otherworldly Albaric, leans heavily on themes that can be traced back to The King of Elfland's Daughter (1924), and have been rattling around certain strains of the fantasy genre ever since. At the beginning of the book, Albaric arrives as if out of thin air, saves the king's life from a mysterious curse inflicted by a magical ring, and in doing so relinquishes his immortality for a life in the mortal world, where he must experience the passage of time, witness death, and learn the ways of humankind, cruelties and kindnesses alike. This magical savior reveals himself to be the king's second son, fathered in the otherworld that mortals call Elfland. But the king has lost his memories of being abducted by the Queen of Elfland and kept as her prisoner, and instead of welcoming Albaric as his lost son, he views him with suspicion and distrust. It's the king's mortal son and heir, our point of view character Aric, who instantaneously develops a deep, unbreakable bond with his half brother. Aric's inability to reconcile his darkly changed father and beloved newfound brother forms the central conflict of the story, as it tears the royal household apart.

The story of the two brothers reminded me pretty strongly of The Changeling Sea (1988), which I had just recently read when I picked this up, but Springer's writing is less whimsical than McKillip's in that book, and she deals more directly with some heavier subject matter, such as the realities of violence and war. I'd also include a content warning for suicidal thoughts. Aric's eventual polite romance with his really-very-young love interest Marissa comes across surprisingly well considering the potentially cringe-worthy historical practices for arranged marriages at play in the plot, but it's far from making any list of great fantasy love stories anyone might be compiling. And the magical resolution of the story has satisfying mythic resonance and is probably the closest the book gets to a truly inspired flight of fancy, but it probably won't blow many minds either.

I liked The Oddling Prince. I really did. The type of classic fantasy it recreates is comfort food for me, and something I'd like to see re-introduced into the mainstream of the genre. But there's nothing groundbreaking or innovative here to make the argument for its continued relevance. If you had told me this was published in the '70s or '80s, I would have believed you. I might have even given it a higher rating.
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The Oddling Prince feels like a fairytale-- it *is* a fairytale with fairytale rules and fairytale royalty and fairytale villains and fairytale horses. It is also beautiful and heart-squeezing and wondery. This book is definitely unique in setting and tone-- but if you go ahead and let yourself be carried away in the story and let the writing be what it is, it really is quite endearing. I liked it and I would read it again.
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it was fun but kind of hard to get into at first. I loved reading about Scotland, I haven't read many books about the same subject so that was great and original
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I chose this book mainly for the cover and the bromance storyline, I love when a book is more about friendship than romance, but sadly this wasn't the book for me. 
It is written in a very old english that I couldn't understand and made me re-read a sentence many times and that kind of disconnected me from the story, plus it was more like a bunch of stories trying to connect in one. 
The best part was the main characters connection and the whole ring that controls people story. 
I was really excited for this book, sadly it wasn't for me; but i am looking forward on reading more from the author in a future.
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