Hello everyone, welcome to my latest book review. Today I am reviewing The Slave Prince by Jeyna Grace, a fantasy retelling of the story of Moses. I’ve followed Jeyna Grace’s social media for a while now so I have seen the development of The Slave Prince and the run up to release day. I was quite happy to be approved for a digital ARC ahead of the release on the 29th May.
Length: 280 pages
Date Published: 29th May 2018 (Inkshares)
Available Formats: Paperback
A retelling absent of the Red Sea.
For fifteen years, Thom believed he was a prince of Alpenwhist. He had climbed the castle turrets to survey his kingdom, learned to duel with the sharpest blades, and stirred up palace intrigue in disguise. That is, until one day when his identity is suddenly shattered by the revelations of a blind woman: He learns that he isn’t a prince at all, but a wretched slave.
In a kingdom where ruthlessness is part of everyday life, Thom fears this new truth could be deadly. He takes flight, running from the life he knew and the one he despises, but the call to free his people beckons him home. Armed with a magic stone, which instructs him through surreal visions, he must topple his once beloved brother who has since become a tyrannical king.
A fantastical retelling of the story of Moses, Thom’s adventure forces him to question if he can succeed in his quest without truly understanding who he is. Because it seems he must unravel his past, present, and future before he can let his people free.
At 280 pages this novel stands at the shorter end of a fantasy story, yet even with fewer pages than most Jeyna Grace still manages to create a full and vibrant world. Jeyna begins her novel with a bit of history of the world she created. Initially I found this a little odd, as I am used to learning the history as the story develops, but having this information right at the beginning became rather helpful. It allowed me to fully enjoy the story without having to figure out the rules of the world.
We quickly learn both sides to live in Alpenwhist, the good and the bad, only separated by a black gate. The story moves at a fast pace, dictated by the short page length and the shear amount of story to be told. We soon see Thom through several years of his live, from child to adult as he comes to realise what he needs to do with his life. With the help of a magic stone found in fire Thom starts to discover his destiny. He needs to free his people. Now, with this being a retelling of the story of Moses some elements of the story are expected. The various punishments Dedric (Thom’s adoptive brother and King) is subjected to before he will release Thom’s people, the Eklaysians, reflect the original story of Moses, down to the final punishment. I admit I had hoped Dedric would give in before the end, but then it wouldn’t be true to the source material.
Overall I found myself rather enjoying The Slave Prince from beginning to end, the amount of world building Jeyna manages to include in 280 pages is impressive whilst not losing any of the story. I recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy read that still fills your imagination like an epic fantasy.