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A Tale of Two Princes: 02/05/23

A Tale of Two Princes

A Tale of Two Princes by Eric Geron (2023) is a modern take on The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain (1881). But there are a few key changes. First, it's set in a modern day, alternate Earth. It assumes the recent creation / off-shoot of the British monarchy of a Canadian monarchy. Finally the prince and the pauper are twins who are both gay.

The long lost twins: Edward and Billy reunite in New York for reasons. Edward has been exiled to New York to finish his high school education after an incident. Billy is there for his one change to audition for Juilliard. They meet when Billy tries to take a short cut through the building where Edward is staying.

The big twist, beyond, they're both gay, is that the King of Canada decides to hand over the position of Crown Prince to Billy despite not knowing him and having not trained him. He's the oldest child and that's that.

That's not that. But that's the set up for what becomes a very frustrating read. Edward, despite wanting an out to pursue his love of baking, is suddenly jealous. Billy, despite his desire to attend Juilliard and his commitment to saving the family ranch, goes along with his new role.

And then there's the myopic approach to the queer community as a whole. As other reviewers point out there are no queer women. There's also very little in the way of diversity among the gay male characters.

After the first few entertaining chapters, the novel is just boring. Neither Edward nor Billy despite given alternating first person point of view chapters is fleshed out enough to be interesting or relatable.

Finally, the ending frustratingly involves a parade by Stonewall. Given the lack of diversity in this book, Stonewall shouldn't be included. It's frankly an insulting way to end this boring and lackluster novel.

Two stars

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