The Stolen Kingdom

The Stolen Kingdom by Ross Rosenfeld is a very unhappy book, or maybe an unfortunate one. It definitely suffers from multiple personae disorder. It tells the story of the missing prince in a new way; the story is placed in an imaginary Europe without giving away any cultural details as to where exactly it is.

The lost prince has been told many times; which means you're up against a long list of very good books if you tackle it. This book doesn't make the list for several reasons. One of the main points is dialogue; it is wooden and stilted. It is so wooden that the few feeble jokes worked in appear even worse than they are.

While the book is obviously aimed at young readers, the author can't make up his mind as to whether he writes for girls or boys. There are pages upon pages of gooey stuff girls, and pages upon pages of battles for boys. That's an invitation to hit fast forward already there. Add to it that the lacking pace. The story doesn't race along, it doesn't even walk or saunter, it plods, painfully. It is an open invitation to skip whole chapters.

In comes the monster; and the readers spend the next ten pages reading about every step, every stroke, every miss in the encounter. The same goes for battles; every soldier seems to be accounted for separately, several thousands of them each time. Reading about a battle takes longer than the battle would last in real time.

While the prince's story is fairly straightforward and recounted in a clear story-line and some of his helpers are naturally introduced within that story, other figures are randomly introduced in chapters that could fill a book on their own with background stories to make up a library. Worst of all, though, is the story's end: unexpected and totally disappointing.

The Stolen Kingdom by Ross Rosenfeld is available for free on Amazon Kindle at the time of publication of this review. But, quite frankly, not even for free is it worth while getting it. There are dozens other free books available that are much more worth reading.

Travis van Winkle

Further reading
Here Be Dragons
Teenage Warrior Club
Teenage Sorcerer Apprentice