Having reached 60 reviews, mostly 5* with a smattering of 4* and 3*, I am no longer keeping them all on this page, but below you will find a selection from all * ratings, not just the best, so please go ahead and take a look. I’m always looking for new reviews, particularly in the US so if you’d like to review, please contact me via my ‘About me’ page.
The story initially revolves around the splendour of the noble houses, where the game is much more subtle, while they hone in on their suspects. But when they find things are on a bigger scale than they could have imagined, they suddenly finding themselves in the wilderness as they try to both escape their enemy and find new allies. Jay paints a vivid world, that we are treated to in this dangerous adventure that tests our heroes to every limit. Including having them question everything they had ever taken for granted. Rustam’s trials and changes are most clearly portrayed. He was a very effective spy, but he develops some very useful extra skills, as well as throwing off the shallow persona and actually taking time to think about the world around him. Risada stays true to herself, and to her friends the whole way through, but it is clear that the adventure has also opened her mind to possibilities she never considered.
I loved all the extra characters that were around, either in the background, or just coming forward for a chapter or two. They were all convincingly strong and well-written. Princess Annasala; Betha; Leith – Jay has a knack for writing strong female characters. And of course, we can’t forget Nightstalker!
There were a couple of niggles I had with reading this story that stopped the flow a little. I found the section in the mountains, and the repeated troll problem a little long; I just wanted them to get to Kishtan. Also I found it unclear how old Lord Melcard was, he kept being described as a handsome man, with dark features, always very reserved etc. I got the feeling that he was slightly older than Rustam and Marten etc. But then there was the reveal that the elf had been captive for possibly 30 years or more, which would make him twice that if he had been the one to do the capturing. There was also a small issue with the format of the text. Whenever an Italic thought was used, the font of the whole paragraph was larger. I thought my eyes were playing tricks at first.
But overall, a bloody good read, with adventure and plenty of amusing turns. I can’t wait for the next in the series!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the princes man 14 Sep 2013
I won’t include a plot synopsis, but for lovers of series like the Wheel of Time, with its associated political intricacies, this is a series to watch carefully. It promises to deliver the kind of machinations and power struggles we love to see our heroes and heroines coming to grips with. It also draws interesting social parallels with our own issues around the fear of ‘other’, be it race, religion, or in this case the wielders of magic.
Worth a read, underpriced on Kindle, can’t wait for the next one!
I am not normally a fiction reader but was hooked when I read the first few pages. I never got bored of the intricate characters and plot line and could imagine it as a film. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed.
I know, I know. I never give 5 stars to anything, but I finished this book and went immediately to “Where’s the next one”. Which of course, there isn’t. The one I read was an advanced reader’s copy I got in exchange for an honest review, but I assure you that I will definitely be watching this author so that I can snap up whatever else she comes out with!
Back to the book. The Prince’s man is set in a fantasy world where mankind has been trying to survive on a new land for a hundred years and more. Since they escaped from a land full of magic and a war with the fae. There are several kingdoms, which appear to be an approximation of medieval Europe. None of the kingdoms get on particularly well of course.
We follow Rustam Chalice (Rusty) as the kingdom appears about to topple. Someone is selling the secret to eternal life and making a lot of money. That money appears to be going to fund a private army. Something the young king’s uncle, the spymaster as it were, cannot allow any of the families to do. When the families have fought before, it was disastrous and it doesn’t look to be any less so now. Especially for the royals and those who are loyal to them.
It’s an epic adventure with several well formed and engaging characters. As well as Rusty we have the cold Lady Risada Delgano vas Domn. Who saw her parent’s murdered when she was but 6 years old. She raised her brother, the Lord Iain Merschenko vas Domn to rule the second3Cstrong>Adventure</stronggo of the reins (in true medieval style, women cannot rule a family). The interactions between these two as well as the other, less loyal characters, are both believable and unpredictable. It’s been a while since I didn’t know what was going to happen next in a book!
Add into that magic which is both awed and feared and you have the perfect epic fantasy adventure in a style that will have you gripped to every word. Please note, that it is advisable to start this book when you have a block of time to dedicate to it. Starting an hour before needing to leave the house will make you late, I should know. Read time approx. 5 – 6 hours. (Again, remember that I read quite fast. It’s 5904 locations on kindle so compare it to the time you take to read books of a similar length for a personal estimate)
If I hadn’t known the author I might never have tried this book as I didn’t think fantasy and magic were quite my scene. However, I am very glad I did and found it very well written with amazing plots and fascinating characters so in the end I couldn’t put it down.
Adventure, heartache, murder, horses, mayhem, elves; the list gallops on, bursting with action in this well written novel set in a completely believable world. Attention grabbing story and underlying layers of detail make it a ‘can’t put downer’. I often wanted to throttle both main characters in turn as they pulled me into their world. There just has to be a sequel, doesn’t there? Soon?
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On first glance, this was not the type of book that I would immediately reach for upon entering a library of infinite choice, so I began The Prince’s Man with a bit of a shrug. For about half a page. Maybe less. From that point on, I was hooked, pulled in and submerged.
The highest quality of writing, the intricately interwoven layers of plot and the convincing details that make the world of the five kingdoms feel so believable all add to the enjoyment throughout. As is traditional, the two main characters loathe each other before they slip into love. What’s refreshing is that both of the main characters are truly three-dimensional; both are flawed but live honourably and to ideals that simultaneously draw them together and drive them into conflict with one another. A host of equally well-crafted characters keep the plot galloping along in a very satisfying manner.
This wonderful novel by Deborah Jay seems to beg a follow-up, perhaps even a series to further explore the five kingdoms. If a second novel is forthcoming, this time I would grab it.
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A very impressive first novel from Deborah Jay that exceeded expectations. Good depth of plot, some interesting characters and a tale that was difficult to put down. She has clearly put a lot of work into inventing her novel world, prancing around with toy swords in the garden and doing what was ever necessary to make the characters entertaining and believable I might have doubts about a mind that does such things, but no doubts about the book. A good story justifies itself in the telling.
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I would not normally read this genre as I find the names too complicated to keep track of and don’t really get on with the fantasy aspect! Having been persuaded to have a go I was pleased to find I was able to keep a handle on who was who and enjoyed the fast action. Wanted to keep on reading and managed to be late up on several occasions as I had to finish different bits. Looking forward to the next one.
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Have read “The Prince’s Man” and found it a captivating story. With believable and likeable, and in all the right places, hateable characters, in an excellently paced story in a beautifully crafted world. This book will appeal to fans of fantasy and legend and the sensitive characterisation of animals will broaden it’s appeal to lovers of equestrian/animal fiction too. Happily I fall into both those interest groups and I loved it!
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>>>> Amazon.com reviews <<<<
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Surprise July 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I picked the Prince’s Man out at random and wasn’t expecting to read beyond the free sample. The quality of storytelling completely floored me. Here are my favorite parts:
1. Rusty’s become one of my favorite heroes – his transformation was so realistic. This was someone gradually coming to question his beliefs, taking one step forward and one step back. In addition, the author did a wonderful job painting how Rusty’s background as a spy affected this change.
2. The friendship between Elwaes and Rusty. The conversations were incredibly well wrought – you could just feel the growing trust and bond.
I’m a bit ambivalent about Risada as a character. There’d be times where she’d just completely piss me off, but I mean, overall, she’s a really cool creation. I will say that it felt like the romance was based a bit too much on lust and I was sort of confused why these two really liked each other. But this didn’t really detract from the story at all, there were just so many other good things to say about this book. Definitely an author to watch. I can’t wait for the next book. You won’t regret cracking open this one.
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Rusty become one of my favorite characters quickly, and the interaction between him and Elwaes as well as their developing friendship despite the caste upbringing and distrust of magic Rustys people have, was very well done. Rustys transformation was amazing.
Highly recommened this to anyone interested in a slightly different aspect of the typical fantasy novel. You won’t be disappointed. Cudos to the author.
Can’t wait until the second book comes out!
The story itself is good. It is a fun and interesting read.
Don’t be scared away by the #1 in the title. This is a complete novel. It leaves some unanswered questions and will have you hungering for more. However, it does end, and it wraps up most of the loose ends by the finish of the book.
This novel presents a well-developed cast that is full of interesting individuals who carry the story forward very well. Jay’s unique character names make it easy to remember everyone and who did what. The natural interactions between the characters make everything very easy to relate to. Jay also incorporates some very eloquent dialogue into this story, but it always fits with the characters in question. Although it isn’t the everyday language that one typically encounters it is fluid and enhances the characters in question. It also helps to differentiate between the different classes of the very well defined social structure within this tale, where everyone has their place even if they don’t necessarily accept it fully. Through this, court intrigue makes a play that definitely keeps you wanting more.
Overall, this was a captivating fantasy with just a touch of reality. It’s the perfect escape from the everyday.
Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book has a lot going for it. The characters are well thought out, and clearly delineated. Unlike one reviewer, I did not have trouble keeping characters straight. Also this book is nothing like The Lord of the Rings. I am not sure where that even came from. The growth of the main character, Rustam, makes perfect sense within the book. Some reviewers have said they don’t like the character Risada. She is a bit cold and hard, but given her past and the social structure of the country, it makes sense. I thought she was more a victim of her upbringing. Rustam’s parentage puts him on the outside of society, so he is able to see a different path for himself.
Hopefully #2 will be completed soon… Can’t wait !!!!!!
Thank you for your vision!!!
first the bad…the information dump at the beginning was hard going, trying to remember who was what, the various aspect of the world building and those very, very long character names was daunting. I really wondered at one point if I would finish, my head was struggling so hard to keep it all together. I was continually dropping out of the story to look back to see if I had the right person in my head.
the good…once it moved on to the story proper I started to get really into it. It flowed well, I really started to dislike Risada, and warmed to Rustam (The Prince’s Man). Various other characters entered and left throughout the story but this book is really about Rustam’s growth from and shallow, vain hedonist into a man of substance. I also warmed to Risada in the end.
The end was somewhat of a cliffhanger. The issues within this Kingdom are concluded but the fate of Rustam and Risada are not really.
So why the 3 stars? It was very reminiscent of Lord of the Rings and a good read but for me it lacked that special something that for me would have made it a great read. This is a debut novel so I am sure the future novels in this series will just get better and better.
Excellent book… I am a connoisseur of epic fantasy series and this one is unique in its scope. Unlike many others it can also be read as a stand alone so for all of those who wait to purchase until the series is complete – don’t….