A Confusion of Princes
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Garth Nix, bestselling author of the Keys to the Kingdom series and Shade’s Children, combines space opera with a coming-of-age story in his YA novel A Confusion of Princes.
Superhuman. Immortal. Prince in a Galactic Empire. There has to be a catch….
Khemri learns the minute he becomes a Prince that princes need to be hard to kill—for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.
There are also mysteries. Khemri is drawn into the hidden workings of the Empire and is dispatched on a secret mission. In the ruins of space battle, he meets a young woman, called Raine, who challenges his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself. But Khemri is a Prince, and even if he wanted to leave the Empire behind, there are forces there that have very definite plans for his future.
Earth. My first shot from the deintegration wand took out the elephant creature. The second shot was more difficult, because the mental fingers in my head were stabbing everywhere now, no longer looking for something, just causing me intense pain and disorientation. But I managed it, and the humanoid’s head was blow apart. I nailed the Sad-Eye itself with my third and final shot as it was hurled out of the remains of its host. It had probably been hoping I’d miss so it could scuttle away on its
happened to the 999 candidates who didn’t make it.... “A rare opportunity to serve the Empire,” said Morojal, her calm voice lapping on the shores of my imagined promised land, where I had been elevated to the Imperial crown. “You are aware of the seven Imperial services?” Her question snapped me out of my daydreaming. “Uh, seven?” I asked. “I know of six. The Navy, Marines, Survey, Diplomatic Corps, Imperial Government, Colonial Government…” “There is a seventh, secret service. It is called
next to the hatch instead of lying down where they were supposed to. “Three minutes,” said Raine. The capsule lurched, breaking free of the docking tentacles. I hoped the dock sphincter was still working; I’d forgotten to check it. But as I’d got the capsule in all right, it should open up automatically for anything trying to get out. There was another shudder as the drive activated to maneuver us up and away from the cradle. I tapped the holo to get an exterior view from the front, and
particularly in the current situation, and the Prince’s image thing was … odd. In any case, I believe that you can be transferred to the civilian side now. Welcome to Kharalcha Orbitplex One, or as it’s more commonly known, the Habitat.” The commander looked at Raine and said, “He’s all yours now, Raine,” before adding to me, “I mean that somewhat literally. Visitors must be sponsored to leave the docks here. Raine is sponsoring you; she will be held responsible for your actions. In any case,
Prince,” said Morojal. “In the same way that we mind-program servants, Princes are made not to question certain things.” “Who is ‘we’?” I asked sourly. “The Imperial Mind and its most important servants, the Arch-Priests of the Sixteen Aspects,” replied Morojal. I sat silently, taking this in. I was neither appalled nor greatly alarmed by this revelation, which I suspected would not be the usual reaction of most Princes. I hadn’t felt like I was the ruler of anything much, and I had begun to