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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
A young prince must battle his way back home to defend his kingdom in the thrilling fantasy adventure, The Fugitive Prince (A Tharian Tale) by Daniel Arndt. Sent away as part of a peace treaty a decade ago, Valente, Prince of Tharia, struggles to live among the nobles of Lios. Striking opposites of the Tharians, the Liosians are cold, ruthless, and delight in lying. When the King of Lios dies suddenly, Prince Valente's fate, along with that of his people, is sealed with the crowning of the new king. Quickly made privy to the Liosians' nefarious plans to dishonor the treaty by killing Valente and starting another war by season's end, he becomes a fugitive, desperate to find his way back home. With his only friends in the kingdom now dead, Valente must fight for his life and escape across the border. Only, he has spent his life confined within the castle walls of Lios, and has no fighting or survival skills. Once outside the castle's walls, Valente discovers that he is ill-equipped to deal with common struggles such as foraging for food and finding shelter. When a young woman, Cass, intervenes, and offers to assist him, he is in no position to refuse. Can Cass help him to cross the border and warn his people of a surprise attack? Or will Valente's poor training endanger them?
The Fugitive Prince (A Tharian Tale) by Daniel Arndt is an exquisitely written fantasy novel with a rich storyline and charming characters. I was instantly drawn into the story, immediately pulled into the hero's noble quest. At first, it was hard to empathize with Valente's weaknesses, as realistic as they were. Then, as he starts to mature and move outside his tragic childhood, you see a glimmer of hope that quickly turns into a flame. Valente may have been spoiled to the point of neglect, but as the story progresses, we see him slowly grow into a man. The pacing was spot on and the emotional growth of the characters is heartwarming. The story world is engaging, with many breathtaking aspects that cause the reader not to want to put the book down until the very last page; I am anxiously awaiting the sequel! I recommend this book to readers that enjoyed The Princess Bride.