Read in January/February 2014
In the beginning, there were only Two Princes – Oken and Mabruke, apprentice/journeyman and master spies of the Egyptian Empire, an empire that never fell and where Cleopatra didn’t kiss an asp. The offspring of Caesar and Cleopatra multiplied and prospered across the centuries, bringing us to the golden age of culture and civilization we normally associate with the Victorian era. Never fear, Victoria and Albert have their parts to play in the political theater bubbling across Europe and between the two Empires of the Old and New Worlds.
And that’s where our Third Prince, Viracocha, makes his dramatic entrance, as a member of the royal family of the Inca/Aztec Empire of the New World. Logically, to the author at least, if Spain never rose to prominence, then the South American continent wouldn’t have been invaded and devastated by the Conquistadors. Instead, they flourished and prospered just as their Egyptian peers did in the Old World.
I struggled with most of this book. Too many plot holes. Not enough character development. Events resolved to quickly and easily. No strong female characters until more than halfway through the novel. Too many things left hanging or seemingly discarded and forgotten. The Epilogue also left me scratching my head. And I definitely wanted more details from the Oesterreich rebels.
I should probably give this a two star rating because it really was just ‘okay,’ but I did find myself turning the pages more quickly as the end approached. I had high hopes for Three Princes as my first foray into an alternate history with an Egyptian twist.
My thanks to Netgalley and Tor for allowing me to read an advanced reader copy of this ebook.