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Royal Progress by Pen Fairchild

Royal Progress (edition 2015)

by Pen Fairchild (Author)

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2016748,788 (2.5)4
Title:Royal Progress
Authors:Pen Fairchild (Author)
Info:ArbeitenZeit Media (2015), Edition: 1, 428 pages
Collections:Your library

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I managed to drag myself through three chapters before I had to put it away. I wanted to like this book because it sounds quite interesting, but it isn't. To me, it felt as if the chapters were never ending and seemed to go nowhere, fast. Sorry, others might like it, but I didn't. ( )
  Melissa-Smith | Apr 6, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Overall I liked this book, I really did. I thought the story line was solid, the characters were relatable, the world building was lovely. My only complaint is that it felt really, really long at places, but overall a wonderful book by a great author. I would recommend this book. 4.5 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Beammey | Mar 21, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm really not sure what to make of this book. The story is set in the future, on a planet colonized after Earth became uninhabitable (we're not really given a lot on that, just that it was abandoned for a better atmosphere). After settling the new world, many different forms of government were tried, and abandoned -- at least, so it seems at first. However, you soon find out that those other forms of government still exist, in various locations around the world. The government we're most concerned with, however, is essentially feudal, with a few twists. I didn't really have an issue with that -- monarchies are remarkably stable over the long term, historically. Still, I felt that the story floundered with its handling of teen romance. To have such a strong central character (Bettie) mooning over a boy that is so obviously only using her almost hurts. Without this element, the book would have been MUCH better. ( )
  ljbryant | Mar 8, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was extremely wary after the first chapter that mostly talked about who had a crush on whom, but it rapidly morphed into a very enjoyable adventure.
  Micah | Jan 16, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm not really sure what to think of this book. It successfully amused me, but I'm not sure I would read the rest of the Royal Progress series. (Also, they should call it the Hautland Saga or something like that. Naming your series the same thing as your first book is just confusing.)

First, the titles are hilarious. Hautland is ruled by the Buckstop, his wife the Stoptress, and their heir, the Buckstopheir. Really. Also in power is a person called the Mosteminence. The silliness of the titles makes me think that the author's name, Pen Fairchild, is a false name, just because it's silly as well. (Sorry if that's your real name, Pen.)

Second, there is a lot of foreshadowing in the first few chapters. It's not even foreshadowing, it's blatantly stating "in a couple of chapters, this will happen." It made me feel like Pen should have just cut out the first five chapters and filled us in as the story went on.

Third, the world feels... incomplete. Allegra is a great character, with plots and schemes, but she dies almost immediately. At one point I got the impression that she was fostering the unrest, but then when the military rebel, they kill her instead of making her their leader. We never figure out who orchestrated the military rebellion, or what their goals were. All of the different groups they run into seem disconnected from each other, and we don't get any kind of idea as to how this all works. It serves to reinforce the Hautland idea of "we are civilization, they are barbarians," but societies do not exist in a vacuum. These groups would have some kind of relation with each other, and we have no idea what it is.

Fourth, the emotions are also incomplete. Allegra accuses Bettie of MURDERING HER MOTHER because the woman died in childbirth, and it's only mentioned once by a side character and Bettie never thinks of it at all. That is a serious accusation, and it's just ignored entirely. Bettie kills her brother, the former Buckstopheir, and the only thing she thinks about it is "People keep telling me that it's not my fault, and I know it's not my fault, so I'm good." No internal conflict, no regret, no second-guessing herself. Serious stuff keeps getting flung around, and it's downplayed so far that I have to go back and read what happened to make sure I wasn't imagining it.

The last thing is part of the fourth thing - the sex. It reminds me of being a teenager, honestly. Intensely curious about sex, but with no real idea of the implications involved. A young boy is molested for years, but then has no aversion to touch, nor any internal conflict about his attraction to the main character. The main character is threatened with rape several times, but in one memorable scene, merely resolves to do her best to be attractive to the warlord she has been warned about. She is entirely callous about this, not concerned at all about her anticipated future prostitution. It's possible these people have a very lax sexual culture, but Bettie claims to be a virgin because of her father's views, so apparently it does still matter to some people. To be honest, this amused me more than anything else, (partly because as an adult I can look back on past immaturity and be amused), but I wouldn't let my kids read it.

On the other hand, it's great that these rich kids are not just spoiled brats, but they're also good at things. One kid has a "full underwater certification," because he was interested in swimming and his dad spared no expense. These kids are good at archery, climbing, and many other skills, simply because they had the time and money to invest in them. It makes their survival more believable.

I also like the way Bettie determinedly solves her problems. She just keeps trying, with no fear of where she might end up, and eventually manages to get where she wants to be. I'll probably keep the book. :)

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This review has been copied elsewhere. ( )
  jerenda | Jan 12, 2016 |
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