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The Immortal Prince    by Jennifer Fallon order for
Immortal Prince
by Jennifer Fallon
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2008 (2007)

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* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

While executions are commonplace in the Sovereign State of Glaeba, it's not every day that a condemned prisoner survives the procedure. Kyle Lakesh has murdered seven people, and has earned his sentence. He's anticipating a swift death until he's told the executioner is on vacation.

With no one qualified to swing the axe, he's hanged instead, much to his chagrin. He knows hanging won't work, just like so many other methods have failed in the past. He explains his unlikely survival as a side effect of his heritage as an immortal being. And not just any immortal, but Cayal, hero of legend and Immortal Prince, who, along with his other Tide Lord kin, has long ago passed from memory into myth.

Arkady Desean, Ducess of Lebec, is one of the few scholars remaining who can claim expertise on the legends of the Tide Lords. Sent by the King's Spymaster to refute Cayal's claims, she finds herself believing him instead. Against all odds, she rediscovers the truth in the legends of the Tide Lords, just as her own tightly spun web of lies begins to unravel around her.

The first in a four-book series, The Immortal Prince sets the groundwork for an epic story arc. By having gods of old, mythical creatures, humans and other exotic races all joining in the fray, Fallon shows her storytelling strengths. She seamlessly weaves a captivating story while introducing a multitude of characters, each with his or her own unique qualities.

Cayal is as complex a character as they come. It's hard to root for a murderer, but his compelling past and his fascinating present make it difficult to dislike him. Add in his instant chemistry with Arkady, and it becomes nearly impossible to put the book down. Fallon's writing is smooth, her dialogue fun and lively, and her descriptions elegant yet sparse enough to not be off-putting. A terrific beginning to a promising new series, The Immortal Prince will delight even the most jaded fantasy readers.

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