TBR Challenge: “Prince Of Time” By Glenna McReynolds

16 Apr


Info: TBR Challenge 2009
Theme for the month: SFR, fantasy, urban fantasy or paranormal
In my TBR pile since:: September 2001

Genre: Romance / hybrid: Science fiction, Fantasy, Time Travel
Published: Bantam, 2001 (2000)

Series: #3 in trilogy (#1 The Chalice and the Blade, #2 Dream Stone)

Availability: out of print

Monthly theme?: On the spine, it says “historical.” Huh? See below.

Why I bought this novel: I read the two previous novels.

The back blurb:
“He’s the last thing she expected — and she has waited for him all her life! It was written that her prince would be a mage, a warrior, and a saint. Instead he’s a mercenary thief with a fondness for vice-filled dens and off-world wine. How can the sacred prophecy be wrong — or is there more to Morgan ab Kynan than meets the eye? Lady Avallyn has little choice and no time to ponder the possibilities of a mistake. She’s the one woman who can save a twelfth-century mage whose demise turned the earth into a barren desert. And only one man can take her back into the past: the charismatic thief who may or may not be the fated Prince of Time.

But the reluctant thief and the resolute princess are followed by a ruthless villain who wants them both dead. Morgan and Avallyn will need more than skill, courage, and magic to survive in the ancient past, where an even greater danger awaits. They will need faith in each other and a trust born of a passion willing to sacrifice everything — even life itself — for love….”

On the spine it says that Prince of Time is a historical romance. But really, the only claim this novel has to the word “historical” is the fact that the last 70 pages of the story are set in medieval Wales. A medieval Wales that features elfish kind of people, dragons, wyrms, magic, and an entity from outer space but not really knights. The rest of the story (360 pages) is set more than ten thousand years in the future featuring lasguns, other tech equipment, genetics, a villain who is from another galaxy – and magic which seems to be based on (quantum) physics.

Whoever decided to call Prince of Time a historical romance probably thought of the two previous books in the trilogy. The two previous books were set in medieval Wales – with magic, elves, dragons, wyrms. Knights might have been there but I can’t remember because I read the first two novels nine years ago.

In The Chalice and the Blade, Morgan was a secondary character who was swallowed by a wyrm/fell through a wormhole at the end of the story, never to be seen. In Prince of Time, he is the main character and it’s ten thousand years after that event. Falling into the wormhole seemed like an accident when it happened, but as Morgan finds out to his dismay after living ten years in the future, it wasn’t. His accident in the past was highly governed by fate. And a prophecy. In the future, he is known as the Prince of Time. He has a destiny to fulfill and a princess who awaited his arrival for more than one hundred years and thinks (bold = italic in book)

Let him be all that is written and more. No matter how fierce, her will would tame him to the deed. The duty they shared would bring him to his destiny, and in their moment of triumph, she would grace him with a kiss. (25)

Needless to say, Morgan ap Kynan is so not what Avallyn Le Severn, Priestess of the Bones expected. In the words of Avallyn’s mother

Countless years they had waited, and the gods had sent them not a bold warrior, nor a saint, but a madman enslaved by off-world wine and the debaucheries of the Old Dominion. Drunken sot, mercernary, thief, cripple. Raving. (31)

The romance between Avallyn and Morgan is an opposite-attracts romance. All his life, Morgan wasn’t much for duty. When confronted with his destiny and duty, all he wants to do is run as far and as fast as possible in the opposite way. Only, he can’t. At first, because Avallyn shackled him with a tracking bracelet; later because he doesn’t want to any longer.

Avallyn wouldn’t bother with Morgan if not for the prophecy and all that rides on fulfilling it. She’s more than disappointed, but she’ll do her duty and travel with Morgan through time to save the world. Gracing him with a kiss at their moment of triumph is out of the question, though. Of course, that is before she comes into closer contact with his body Morgan and starts having disconcerting feelings about him. And his body.

Even though, it’s not the romance but the prophecy and a scorned suitor who can’t take no for an answer that sets the pace for the romance and the story. Prince of Time is an action-driven story and – despite a long consummation scene – the romance, following standard ways, is more an element among all the others in this novel than the defining element. If there is character development, then it’s that Morgan comes to accept his destiny and his role in the prophecy: to fight Dharkkum in the past.

Dharkkum is an entity from outer space that’s basically a black whole. There is a way to send it back from where it came from. But for that, Morgan and Avallyn must travel to the past and get the Indigo Book of Elfin Lore from Ailfinn, a mage who is imprisoned with Dharkkum behind a magical wall. It’s the last missing book of the Lore. Altogether, there are seven books of Lore and all seven must be set into a contraption to create a light that is able to send Dharkkum back to where it came from.

Morgan and Avallyn have a pretty good idea what it means to release Dharkkum so that they can get the book. A small part of Dharkkum has made it to the time of Avallyn in the form of Corvus Gei. He’s actually an Emperor from another galaxy, but he couldn’t accept Avallyn’s rejection of his suit and so he was sent to the past by the priestesses of the Bones to get rid of him. There he got infected with Dharkkum. After finding his way back to the future, he is slowly swallowed by black smoke whenever his anger gets the better of him.

It started with a wispy left hand but at the end of the story, nearly his whole body is incorporeal except for half a face and his right arm. Mostly because in a fit of anger, after Avallyn and Morgan slipped through his fingers, he wiped out a large part of a town. From what happened there, Morgan and Avallyn can extrapolate to what Dharkkum will be capable of. Of course, this actually means that Morgan and Avallyn have to deal with to “villains” in this story: for their personal HEA with Corvus Gei, and for the world’s HEA with Dharkkum in the past.

What I liked best about this novel were the fantasy and science fiction elements and how the prophecy and all the other things came together. I thought the future setting interesting. It’s a land ravaged by wars and practically nothing more than a wasteland struggling to keep from being swallowed by sand. The romance was nice but not the main reason that kept me reading. As well thought-out as the world in this trilogy is, there are a few things I’m not sure why they had to happen the way they did except that the prophecy wanted it that way. And for all the build-up, the fight with Dharkkum felt rather un-climactic.

Verdict: I liked Glenna McReynolds way to write and I enjoyed reading this novel – even though there are A LOT of hard to pronounce words and names in this story. Actually, I liked this novel well enough that I think about buying the first two novels in this trilogy in English (still available) even though I have them in the German. 4/5.


2 Responses to “TBR Challenge: “Prince Of Time” By Glenna McReynolds”

  1. nath Friday, April 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    I’ve never seen this book around and never heard of the author. this is the great thing about this challenge 🙂 However, I have to say, I think I’m going to be skipping this one… 😛

  2. Taja Friday, April 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    LOL Nath! That’s okay. Maybe I read the first one for your challenge if I decide to buy it in English. 😉 And: Glenna McReynolds now writes under the name Tara Janzen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: