The Prize in the Game Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Prize in the Game

Tor, Dec 2002, 25.95, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0765302632

Teenage Princes Conal, Darag, and Ferdia, and Princesses Emer and her sister Elenn are in training together. However, during a competition, a war-horse dies in a tragic accident. The careless incident angers Rhiannon, the Goddess of Horses and other Beasts. She curses the kingdoms of the island of Tir Isarnagiri.
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Though expected to marry Darag, Emer falls in love with Conal. He shares her deepest feelings as both fantasize of vanishing together. However the Prince knows he cannot leave as he has responsibility to his people being one of the two future contenders for the High King of the island. When war abetted by Rhiannon explodes, Emer confronts a personal dilemma between her duty to her beloved homeland and loyalty to her beloved Conal with the choice she makes impacting Tir Isarnagiri forever.

Expanding on a chapter from the KING'S PEACE, THE PRIZE IN THE GAME is an interesting Arthurian-like fantasy that allows readers to see up close the personalities of the key cast before they go on their differing quests. The story line slowly heats up so that the audience knows how each of the quintet interacts with one another, but once the plot boils it never cools off until the climax that sets in motion another sequel. Though told mostly through what happens to Conal, Emer, or Elenn, the five key characters enable fans to feel they know this fantasy realm as well as they do their homeland (then again in the USA geography is not a forte). Fantasy aficionados will look forward to the next novel set in Jo Walton's fantasy world.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Prize in the Game

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Romance    -   Yes Romance plotlets:    -   two lovers coping with tough mission Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   preventing/managing clash/war between govts/kingdoms Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   a teen


Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Jo Walton Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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