Prince of the Blood was another re-read, a book I haven't read for several years. Fantasy and adventure, it is excellently written and unputdownable. 470 pages.
Twin princess think their father, Prince of Krondor, is unreasonable and takes the fun out of life. The death of their only male cousin, and the news that no other make heir could arise due to the queen's ill health, forces their father to drive home the gravity that the elder twin, Borric, is now the heir to the kingdom- and needed to begin to think and behave as such. And his twin Erland would never be King, but must always publicly support his brother, no matter his actual opinion, lest the kingdom be thrown into civil war at the hands of disagreeing factions.
A diplomatic assignment to travel to the land of Kesh to attend the Empress' 75th jubilee is required, and Prince Arutha takes this as the opportunity to teach his spoiled court-born sons about the world. It's a risky mission, the Keshians are known for murder and underhanded dealings.
Just days before they are due to depart, an attempt is made on Prince Borric's life, by none other than a member of the Keshian royal family.
To prevent risk of offence and war, plans are changed and a small party is sent off along a less direct route, to foil any others from a second attempt.
A stopover at the magician's academy on Stardock Island sees much change- Jimmy the Hand turned Baron James falls deeply in love with Gamina, daughter of Pug, who can speak and hear thoughts - whilst reviving James who nearly drowned, she learned every secret of his life, and loved him. With this intimate knowledge of his history, he couldn't help but love her back- she was the first person he had no secrets from, the true sense of intimacy.
The party was delayed for a wedding celebration, and then Gamina joined the travellers on their mission to Kesh.
A sandstorm gave bandits the perfect opportunity to attack the party, looking for things of value, and prisoners to sell as slaves. Having lost his sword and won magicians robes to replace his own lost tunic in a game of poker, Borric is captured and manages to live through the deadly walk to Durbin. Though barely.
The rest of the party regroup, and search for the Prince. They must eventually assume him to be the one dead at the bottom of a rock fall where his shoe was found, and prince Erland- now Heir to the Kingdom, must push on and not show grief to those of Kesh, he must behave as the heir.
With the assistance of a beggar turned failed their, Borric escapes the slavers yards, but the massive hunt put on for him indicated they were aware of his identity but unwilling to share it- saying instead he had murdered the Governor's wife.
Near death experiences follow them to the docks, a stolen boat, chase by the sea patrols looking for the escaped prisoner, and a full day of bailing out the water of the sinking boat. A rescue by a larger vessel saves the day, they work hard, the captain is fair, but suspicious, and so puts them out before the pilot boards to take the ship into Kesh.
I wasn't planning on writing this much! I need to get to work! I may update later, if not, awesome read. You should check it out.