Book Review – A Confusion of Princes

Author: Garth NixConfusion of Princes, A
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 337
A Confusion of Princes


A grand adventure that spans galaxies and lifetimes, A Confusion of Princes is a page-turning thriller, a tender romance, and a powerful exploration of what it means to be human. includes exclusive bonus Garth Nix short story ‘Master Haddad’s Holiday’.

I have died three times, and three times been reborn, though I am not yet twenty in the old earth years by which it is still the fashion to measure time. This is the story of my three deaths, and my life between. My name is Khemri.

Taken from his parents as a child and equipped with biological and technological improvements, Khemri is now an enhanced human being, trained and prepared for the glory of becoming a Prince of the Empire. Not to mention the ultimate glory: should he die, and be deemed worthy, he will be reborn…Which is just as well, because no sooner has Prince Khemri graduated to full Princehood than he learns the terrible truth behind the Empire: there are ten million princes, and all of them want each other dead.


Most of this story confused me. I love science fiction, but I struggled with the story for at least half of the book.  Every time I thought about giving up, I’d read one more paragraph and get pulled in, but a few pages later, I hoped it would get better. I was uneasy for most of the reading.

The story of three deaths is told by Khemri, a prince of a vast intergalactic empire. The writing reminds me of early British and American writing in that there’s a lot of description but few interactions and conversations with other characters.

For most of the book, Prince Khemri is a spoiled, whiny brat. He comes of age after facing several tests, but even at the end, I’m not sure I liked him. The story picks up a little once Khemri meets a group of humans, specifically Raine; however, this part was so short-lived that I’m not sure it even happened.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book to most of my friends but I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from reading it, either.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars



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