Wayward Kitsune

Book Review: The Shadow Prince

The Shadow Prince - Bree Despain

OMFG! The Shadow Prince is another book that had me reeling in the world of awesomeness. I was actually ashamed by the fact that I went into it with a pre-conceived notion that it’s going to be another crap mythos. Can’t blame me because just months ago, I was unfortunate to read another Greek myth based novel entitled Silent Echo. What’s worst is the fact that this book is also about a singing heroine which is so reminiscent of Portia, the heroine of Silent Echo. I thought I was in for another hellish ride but was so relieved that The Shadow Prince was able to prove that it’s not just your run-of-the-mill mythos. It has spunk and certainly offered something new to the table.


While the Percy Jackson series is a tale of all the greek gods and goddesses, The Shadow Prince is a rendition of Hades and Orpheus’ story. Haden, The Shadow Prince, is the son of the interim ruler of the Underworld, King Ren. Disowned and stripped of his royal privileges, a sudden twist of fate has offered him a chance to restore his lost glory and honor. That chance involved bringing a mortal girl in the person of Daphne Raines to the Underworld to retrieve something that has been stolen from Hades. While Haden is endowed with godly powers, it certainly wouldn’t help in ensuring Daphne’s willingness to go to the other side with him.


I just couldn’t express how much I love this book. Charged with an atmosphere of tension and interesting vibe, its beginning immediately pulled me in. It’s such a powerful opening salvo that I found it hard to put the book down. And as I navigated through the whole book, it wasn’t just the beginning that drew me in. The main characters were perfect for me despite that some of the second characters were kind of left out. Haden is your typical underdog, but what sets him apart from those typical pitiful boys is that when he’s consumed with uncertainty and self-pity, he just powers through even if it puts him in a very bad but funny situation. This book has enough humor to set me off to mental land. OMFG, the way he adjusted to the mortal world and attempted to get Daphne’s attention were heartwarming and something I needed after reading a lot of books that had eyerolling jokes.


Daphne didn’t disappoint either. I liked that the author created her without using the generic pattern of YA heroines which is pathetic, simple, naïve, has a low self-esteem, and that entire BS. Daphne is tall, confident and knows how to use her strengths when they’re needed. She’s ambitious without being bitchy. She asserts herself without being bossy. Really, she’s just a very likeable character who spends her day not thinking about boys. Instead, she makes her day worthwhile by doing her passion, thinking about her family and obsessing about the mystery that surrounds Olympus Hills.

The second characters were kind of average though. For me, they’re okay but I think the author could still do something to make them okayER. I am already on the verge of really loving them but not quite there yet if that even makes sense.


Another selling point of this book is the world building. On one hand, Despain managed to paint a very vivid picture of the Underrealm without resorting to an infodump. And then she constructed another one called Olympus Hills. It’s pretty impressive because Olympus Hills is supposed to be another high end community where celebrities lived but Despain made it in a way that it has the feel of coming out straight from a fantasy book whilst maintaining a semblance of realism.


While the plot may not be that original considering that it’s about the retelling of Orpheus and Hades’ story, Despain was creative enough to weave something extraordinary out of it. It has equal amounts of romance, creepy mystery, funky humor and of course, a mythos that you would certainly love. Though pleased with the plot, I must say that it’s not perfect. Near the end of the book, our characters were put in a situation where they just solved it too easily. Maybe things would’ve been more awesome if Despain tried to infuse more action into it than just going the easy way out. But anyway, my love for this book is enough to make me overlook that problem.


And that ending, it was very satisfying and thrilling. It explained a lot of things, but still contained enough secrets to make you restless for the next book to come out.


All in all, The Shadow Prince is another book that I don’t want to end. I hope Bree is sensible enough to get her a—working double time and release the sequel.

Source: http://thoughtsandpens.com/2014/06/25/book-review-the-shadow-prince