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The Oddling Prince: 12/01/19
The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer is set in ancient Scotland and should serve as a personal reminder that I never seem to like fantasies or historical fiction set here. The king of Calidon is on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that can't be removed. Just as things seem to be hopeless, a beautiful young man arrives on horseback and is able to magic the ring off.
So the problem is solved by the end of the first chapter. There's no need for a quest for Aric nor does he have to face being king yet. The magical boy has done it all by himself, leaving another 250 or so pages. Sigh.
Magical boy, whom Aric has the hots for (as does everyone else it seems) dashes Aric's hope by announcing that he is Albaric, his elvin half brother.
So what remains of this slog of a book is Aric flipping between being completely smitten with Albaric to being completely jealous of him. His entire destiny is now in question with the king well and his half brother charming everyone including their father.
Oh and there's an extended flashback to explain where Alberic came from. The tragic love that should not be between a mortal king and an immortal queen. Why the ring was needed to save the fae kingdom.
There are literally no surprises in this dull slog of a fantasy, save for Alberic's initial appearance.