Daw, Sept 2001, 23.95, 464 p..
Thebin, once a powerful mountain kingdom, becomes too complacent and its enemies, the slave trading Harn, easily take over the country, kill its king, queen, and princess. The seven princes were sold into slavery and the youngest Llesho was sold to the owner of Pearl Island. When his teacher Lleck died, he was made aware that his brothers lived and he vowed to find them and take back the throne of Thebin.
He petitioned his master to allow him to enter gladiator training and while learning this new skill, he came to the attention of some powerful people who recognized him. Llesto went from being a slave to a symbol and rallying cry for the Thebin cause, making alliances and enemies of power including governors, witches and gods along the way.
Curt Benjamin has written a wonderful novel that is part fantasy, and part sword and sorcery intrigue. THE PRINCE OF SHADOW has a varied cast of characters that are complex, much more so than usually seen in the genre. The plot has so many twists and unexpected turns that the reader will eagerly turn the page to see what happens next. This is the start of what promises to be a grand series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner