Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Bingo: The Hostage Prince

The Hostage Prince is the first book in The Seelie Wars series by Jane Yolen and her son, Adam Stemple. I love Yolen's books for younger children (especially the How Do Dinosaurs... series), and I'm always fascinated by different authors' takes on the two fairy kingdoms. The story is focused on two main characters: the first, Snail, is a midwife's apprentice and the second, Aspen, is a Seelie prince held hostage in the Unseelie palace. For unrelated reasons, the two find themselves on the run together from the Unseelie kingdom. And thus begins our story!

(picture taken from Goodreads;
illustration by Antonio Javier Caparo;
design by Irene Vandervoort)

I found this interesting but not quite what I expected. I love that Snail and Aspen grow and mature so much on their unexpected trip together, and it was nice that Yolen and Stemple didn't bring romance into the picture. I have nothing against teen romance, but it's overdone and I think it's nice to see characters just be friends once in a while. There were some really creatively inspired ideas in The Hostage Prince, such as the shifting forest between the Seelie and Unseelie lands, as well as the chapters with the pregnant troll! This was an easy, fairly short read, written at the middle grade level. My biggest issue with this book is that it ends without accomplishing anything significant. I guess you could say that the main characters achieve their initial goal, but then another adventure begins and the book just...ends. It's a cliffhanger, and it's got me. I admit: I will read the second book to find out what happens. Traditionally, however, I prefer to read each book in a series both as part of that series and as an individual piece.

I read this as my second "Series" book for the Book Bingo Challenge! I hope you enjoyed this review! Don't forget to subscribe and check back for more great challenge picks!


  1. Huzzah for a teen book with no romance! How refreshing.

    And I nominated you for the Sunflower Blogger Award :-) Read my post here to find out more. Play if you want to!

    1. Thank you so much for your nomination! It means a lot. I promise I'll play, but it might take me a little time to get the blog post up.