Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Imperial Hostage: Book One of the Destruction Trilogy

Imperial Hostage: Book One of the Destruction Trilogy
By: Phil Cantrill
ISBN: 9781936564064
Expected publication: June 3, 2011 by JournalStone
Available Format: Paperback

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Shortly after Prince Erechtheus arrives as hostage in Poseidia, the capital of the Empire, a blind seer shakes his world with an ominous prophecy. Al-Jinn, a dark, powerful High Priest of the Temple of Bel, is threatened by the foretelling and begins to abuse Prince Erech, finally preparing him as a sacrifice for Lord Bel. High Priest of the Temple of One, Kul-Kan, miraculously comes to Erech’s aid, saving his life and giving him sanctuary away from the evil Al-Jinn.

The Temple of One offers Erech safety, friendship, and proper education, yet he still finds himself pursued by darker forces. His survival depends on his new-found friends and the many skills and insights he gains while in their company. Throughout his years as hostage of the Empire, Erech will suffer several heart-breaking losses, but will he be able to endure the greatest challenge of all and prevent a war between his homeland and the land where he has grown into a man?

I received an advanced manuscript of Imperial Hostage: Book One of the Destruction Trilogy from the publisher for proofing and review.

I found the beginning of the story, after the exciting introduction of Ai-Ram, a bit slow. Cantrill writes beautifully, but for a while I felt it was lacking a little something to truly grab my attention. I’m never one to give up on anything in the beginning anyway, so it didn’t take long for things to pick up and draw me in deeper.

I could not help but giggle (perhaps sadistically) when Su-Lun was on the mountainside stalking Erech. The poor man could not catch a break, but I suppose if he did our protagonist might not make it through the book!

My absolute favorite part of the story was when Erech adopted Wolf. I think it added that extra warmth that was lacking before. His relationship with Drako was similar, but I felt his bond with Wolf was stronger and more important. I couldn’t help but become weepy regarding how their relationship plays out through the story.

I think Erech’s affairs with the girls bothered me a little. It would have been nice if maybe just one girl he liked (or didn’t initially like) didn’t throw herself at him desperately. With all the girls, excluding his friendship with Ai-Ram, I did not feel the emotional connection between them. It really seemed all physical, and I think that is why his bond with Wolf was so refreshing. There is naturally some unrequited love, but I have an inkling of what might be in store in the rest of the series. Of course, all this romantic stuff is going to be more important to us women than it will be to the men.

I love the basis of the story—the historical feel. I appreciate the way the mythological and religious we are accustomed to were woven into the more imaginative and unfamiliar. It felt a little ancient Greece meets Atlantis, and it was wonderful.

In the end, I was certainly left wanting more of the story. I am truly looking forward to the rest of the series. It was a great read, and I appreciate the opportunity to share in the publication process!

This review can also be found at