Elliyan is a thief. A very good thief. He has a bit of advantage in that he can see and penetrate the magical spells that the aristocrats use to protect their precious baubles. He's supposed to be lying low in the provinces when he spots Prince Rayne in the market place, wearing an irresistible gold medallion with a giant blue stone. Elliyan is bored and ready to take risks he should know better than to take. But Rayne is not the fool Elliyan takes him for and catches Elliyan before he can get away. The thief seems to be just what Rayne needs to help him avert a war with their neighbors, but can he convince Elliyan to help him?
Like previous books I've reviewed by this author, A King's Vow and A King's Rival, this book is set in the same medieval fantasy world of small kingdoms, magic and swords. However, other than setting, the stories have nothing else in common and each stands alone.
The story-telling in “A Prince's Hostage” is yet another improvement over the earlier books. While it's more or less inevitable that the two men will eventually give in to their mutual attraction, whether or not Elliyan will go along with Rayne's plan to kill the mad king is far from certain. You kind of end up hoping that the plot presents an alternative when the time comes.
The two main characters are both interesting and well defined. In the space of the relatively short book, we get to know Klliyan and Rayne relatively well. The two are archetypes to be sure, but in relatively short books such as this, archetypes can be quite effective and in this case they work rather well. The characters act consistently to type, so it feels like we get to know them quite well in the space of a few pages.
“A Prince's Hostage” is available from Amazon.