Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Review: The Prince of Fishes

Available on Amazon

 "In Constantinople, the Queen of Cities, poverty-stricken Michael the Fisherman and his wife Eudokia dream of a better life for their family. When Michael catches a fish that is able to grant wishes, he and Eudokia finally get their chance to taste the wealth and power of their wildest dreams. But will their ambition destroy the city and cost them everything they hold dear?

 An epic clockpunk retelling of the Grimms' fairytale The Fisherman and His Wife, set against the theological turmoil and imperial grandeur of 700s Byzantium. Novella, approximately 33,000 words."

 Going into The Prince of Fishes I was unsure what to expect and completely unfamiliar with the fairytale it was retelling. By the time I finished reading I was eager to look up the original fairytale, learn more about Byzantium and the rich history mentioned in the story, and to get ahold of everything else that Suzannah Rowntree has written and published. It has been a while since a story has enthralled and gripped me, transporting me into its world so completely, like The Prince of Fishes.

 It was fascinating to read about Michael the fisherman and the consequences of his decisions. His imaginary conversations with people, especially his wife, were humorous to read. I also tend to have imaginary conversations with other people and I related to that aspect of his characterization. It was painful to watch his actions as the story progressed, but that is actually a good thing. You know he is making bad decisions but you keep hanging onto the hope that he will realize his mistakes and repent.

 Miss Rowntree knows her craft and this knowledge shines effortlessly in her writing. The story moves smoothly, her characters are vivid and real, and the story's theme is relentless but unobtrusive. Each is the piece of a magnificent whole. I have already bought her other fairytale retelling The Rakshasa's Bride and look forward to reading it in the near future. I highly recommend The Prince of Fishes to readers of all ages. It is a story that has made me excited for the future of Christian fiction.

 I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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