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Imperial Hostage by Phil Cantrill
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Imperial Hostage (2011)

by Phil Cantrill

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In book one of the Destruction Trilogy, Prince Erechtheus is held as hostage, destined to be sacrificed by the priest that abused him. The High Priest of the Temple of One at the last minute to prevent starting a war with the surrounding states saves Erech. It is just the initial attempt to silence him and end his life to prevent the prophecies of destruction from happening. The tales is an interesting combination of fantasy, science fiction, and politics. ( )
  bemislibrary | Jul 5, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Please ignore the cover, which is, I think, the world's ugliest cover. I couldn't stand looking at it the whole time I was reading the book. It looks like a third grader drew it.

I believe the book is for YA audiences, but it is hard to tell, as there was some sexually suggestive content and quite a bit of gore. It covers the time that Prince Erechtheus of Attike' spends as a hostage in the kingdom of Poseidia. I wasn't really clear about WHY the various kingdoms send the hostages, but it seemed to be more like a foreign exchange program than an actual hostage situation, as the hostages were all educated and treated well, even given some measure of freedom. Erech is to stay from his 12th year through his 25th, and then he can return to his own kingdom to, hopefully, take the throne. He has many adventures as he learns and adjusts to his new home.

The book, to me, was like a cross between the Harry Potter books (kids going away to be educated and learning about powers they didn't know they had) and the Clan of the Cave Bear series (the two are not set in the same time period, per se, but some of the elements remind me of Ayla's experiences). I liked it, but it wasn't great literature. It was mostly a series of different adventures that Erech and his friends experience, but they didn't seem to be connected by any overarching theme or really connected in any way. I think I received the second in the series to review also, but I'm not sure. If not, I'm not sure I would seek it out.

Recommended for the younger set, with a warning about a couple of risqué scenes (not overly graphic, and probably not as bad as what is in most modern YA, but just in case parents are easily offended, I wanted to put that out there); recommended for those with an interest in light fantasy and/or Ancient Greek/Rome. I would imagine that those who like Rick Riordan's work might enjoy this book. I give it three out of five Whatevers. ( )
  Lexi2008 | Sep 29, 2013 |
This book has all the potentials but the author did not made use of them. It was all over the place. There were things that was supposed to be removed, left out because it was not important to the story. Bad things never seem to happen to Erech except at the beginning and towards the end. He's young but he seems to be good in everything and it seems every girl in the world loves him. He sleeps with every one who wears a skirt except for Ai-Ram. Same thing with Ai-Ram, she's too good at everything. Despite their lack of experience, they seem to be good at everything. There's no excitement because you know Erech will win even with races, olympics, etc. He's even good with animals. Nothing is wrong with him just his BIG EGO. Towards the middle of the novel, you will get to know bird men and centaurs. All over the place. I did not enjoy this one. I'm sorry. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Jul 21, 2012 |
As a hostage Erech, is sent to Poseidia the The Capital of the Empire, to keep his nation in order. On arrival he is taken to the Temple of Bel where he is brutalised due to a prophecy. He is rescued by the High Priest of the Temple of One. Where he is brought up with kindness and respect. He makes friends with the other hostages and some of the “Homelanders”. He also travels around and explores the area around the city with his friends while learning important skills. Erech must also on numerous occasions outsmart attempted assination attempts from the Temple of Bel.

It was quiet an interesting book, a fantasy that reminds me Ancient Greek Mythology and Atlantis. It is the story of growing up and overcoming challenges to become the person you are meant to be. However I didn't entirely agree with everything that was in there.

I would recommend this book to any one who loves Greek mythology and stories about Atlantis. It would also be good for anyone who likes historical fantasy. ( )
  CRAZYELIZABETH | Nov 3, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as a Library Thing Early Reviewer. This is the first stinker I've gotten. It's really hard for me to give a bad rating to something I got for free, but I have to be honest.

To start with all the name are unpronounceable, and unmemorable. The character are flat. The main character Erech (which sound like you've hacked something up and are clearing your throat)is too modern, too much like an abused He-man you don't end up feeling for him despite his many trials. He always wins, always get the girl, and pretty much always gets his way. There are very little consequences for him, and after unpleasant things happen he rebounds shockingly fast.

The setting of the book is confusing. With no map to reference to help us out either. Once again things seemed too modern to fit within the story. And it's all inconsistent.

The overall plot/idea behind the book, which I am guessing is meant to span into more books, is a good idea. It just needed to be flushed out with details, character and dialogue that would be believable and consistent with the setting.

If you're looking for something similar pick up Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Firebrand" or Stephen R. Lawhead's "Taliesin." Both are excellent reads. ( )
  Rosenectur | Oct 23, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
With deep affection to Jenny Wagner, who first believed in me; also to the Yandina Clique - especially Barry, Mark, Carol, Melissa and Trish for their help, criticism, and advice.
First words
Empires rise and fall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From the moment 12-year-old Prince Erechtheus docks in Poseidia, capital of the Empire, to be a hostage for 13 years, nothing in his life is easy - or safe.

An unexpected and foreboding prophecy, uttered by a blind seer, puts the prince immediately in the crosshairs of Al-Jinn, the powerful and paranoid High Priest from the Temple of Bel. In a fit of perverse desperation, Al-Jinn and several other priests ravenously abuse Erech before placing him on an altar for ritual sacrifice to Lord Bel. Only last-minute intervention from Kul-Kan, High Priest of the rival Temple of One, saves the prince from a gruesome fate. At the Temple of One, although he remains a hostage, Erech is befriended by others his age as they are all educated in the Empire's arts and sciences. The Temple offers relative sanctuary, but the prince is repeatedly attacked. He survives with the help of his new-found friends and hand-to-hand combat training from Myriné, heir-apparent to the Queen of the Amazons.

Erech gains exceptional fighting skills and an understanding of the natural world as he matures, but he suffers a series of crippling, heart-breaking losses - most as a result of the many attempts on his life. At the twilight of his captivity as a hostage, the 25-year-old prince encounters one last trial, a trial that could very well lead to war between his native land and the Empire.
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Phil Cantrill's book Imperial Hostage, Book 1 of the Destruction Series was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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