The Chosen Prince

368p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062248978.
RedReviewStarGr 5–8—Stanley's newest fantasy, set in ancient Greece, is a bittersweet delight. Prince Alexos learns early that being the champion of a goddess does not make for an easy life. Alexos is destined to bring about reconciliation between battling gods, Athene and Zeus, if he can survive a childhood filled with near-impossible challenge and little joy, except for his love of running and his little brother Teo. However, by the age of 12, even these are lost to him. As he struggles to regain the use of his legs and recover from causing the death of his beloved brother, Alexos learns from a wise mentor, develops relationships with people from all levels of society, and becomes a force for good. At the same time, he is comforted by visions of his brother in the land of the dead, living an idyllic life with a new father and sister. However, the protagonist soon learns that all is not as it seems. Alexos is a strong character, capable of accepting and adapting to change, even as he struggles with heartbreak and almost insurmountable odds. Other characters—especially the court physician Suliman and Teo's new sister Aria—are equally well done. The language is lyrical and accessible, and the end is satisfying in the extreme.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Twelve-year-old crown prince Alexos, recognized at birth as the one to end pestilence and war, is also a friendless outcast. When the polio-like "summer sickness" leaves him semi-paralyzed and he overhears his cold father's plan to leave the kingdom to beloved younger brother Teo, Alexos commits an unthinkable act. This book features a touchingly relatable character whose relationships make the racing plot meaningful.
Twelve-year-old Alexos, crown prince of the kingdom of Arcos, was recognized at birth as the champion for whom everyone has waited generations, the one promised by the goddess Athene to end generations of pestilence and war. He is also a burdened, friendless outcast, unloved by his cold father, and takes his only real joy from time spent with his younger brother, Teo. But when the dreaded, polio-like "summer sickness" leaves him semi-paralyzed and he overhears his father's plan to leave the kingdom to Teo, Alexos commits an unthinkable act and must live with the consequences. Percy Jackson fans will not be put off: Stanley uses short sentences, an immediate present tense, and basic vocabulary, and the plot races along. Alexos is a touchingly relatable character, and his relationships make the plot meaningful, as he learns to balance princely dignity with having friends and finds an alternate father figure in his doctor, Suliman. Eventually the two brothers are reunited on a mysterious island, where together they sort out all the hows and whys, which will satisfy readers who like their plot lines neatly tied up. susan dove lempke

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