The Tale of the Hostage Prince by Anna Tan (Absolution; 1.5)

Book Blurb:

Yosua wears an uneasy crown. Although he is now Raja of Bayangan, he still longs for the land of his birth where everything was much simpler…and less deadly.

But peace doesn’t come easily, not for a twenty-year-old servant playacting at being king.

With his parents brutally murdered and his uncle bent on revenge, Yosua must decide where his loyalties truly lie. With his only remaining relative and the kingdom he has claimed? Or with his best friend Mikal and the sultanate that raised him as a hostage?

I received this book from the author. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Rayleigh’s Review:

The Tale of the Hostage Prince is a highly frustrating political fantasy that will have you fiercely loyal to Yosua as he tries to untangle the messy web he’s found himself in.

I want to preface this review by saying that I wasn’t aware that this book was a sequel until after I already started it. It was entirely my fault for not doing the proper research, but I decided to go ahead and read it because I read sequels out of order pretty often and I usually follow along fantastically. That is not the case with The Tale of the Hostage Prince. I was lost for a good majority of the book’s first half. I’m assuming that we’re already supposed to know why the kingdoms are fighting, what the plot is, and who the characters are because there was no introduction at all. Obviously, if you’ve read Amok (book 1), you don’t need an introduction, so again, it’s my fault for reading it out of order–though I did expect to at least find an “in the last book, remember this happened” scene and if there was one, it wasn’t enough for me to piece together what was happening.

HOWEVER, I did like Yosua almost immediately. He’s a very good main character that earns your loyalty as a reader. I didn’t understand why some people called him a different name (assuming that was a first book reference HA) but it did take me a while to realize that he has two names.

I love a good political intrigue plotline and this one was a tangled mess of corruption. I hated the way Yosua was treated and his feeling of powerlessness. I really sympathized with him and rooted for him the entire time.

Overall, I think this book piqued my interest for the first book because I want to understand what happened and I want to appreciate this book more than I do currently due to my lack of understanding. SO, some books can be read out of order, but you want to start with Book One: Amok for SURE in this case.

Rating it 4 stars until I read Amok and can properly assess this one in its full glory <3


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