The Chosen Prince
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the plot of Diane Stanley's The Chosen Prince revolves around the split second in which the noble and sorely tried protagonist commits an unspeakable act -- sending his beloved little brother to his death. While this deed is crucial to both character development and eventual resolution, and the book's message is positive and uplifting, the ultimate explanation may seem pat and unsatisfying for some readers, while others (not unlike Prince Alexos himself) may not be able to get past the awfulness. That said, this imaginative story offers appealing, complex characters struggling with personal and ethical challenges. Along the way, they exhibit many positive qualities: a strong sense of duty, loyalty, and love for friends and family, as well as endurance and determination in their quest to lift a curse and heal their kingdom.
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What's the Story?
Once united in the same kingdom, Arcos and Ferra have been at war with each other for centuries, thanks to some past misdeed that caused an irate Zeus to curse them with perennial warfare, bad weather, and pestilence. But the goddess Athene, patron of the kingdom, does what she can to protect the people, who live in hope that THE CHOSEN PRINCE, Athene's champion, will come along and make everything right. So when a ceremony reveals the newborn Prince Alexos of Arcos as the long-awaited hero, the boy struggles to be worthy of his calling and to please his harsh, demanding father. When the king orders him to compete in an upcoming foot race, 12-year-old Alexos trains hard despite embarrassing preferential treatment. But when the big day comes, he dashes his father's hopes and barely completes the race -- because, as is soon revealed, he's the latest victim of the "summer sickness" (probably polio) that plagues the kingdom. Now disabled and struggling to walk again, Alexos suffers another stunning blow -- and commits a horrible deed known only to himself. As he struggles to redeem himself and become a good ruler, he learns many lessons about friendship, loyalty, empathy, and compassion, as well as courage.
Is It Any Good?
Author Diane Stanley tells the entire story in the present tense, which gives it a vivid, somewhat dreamlike quality. She delivers complex, appealing characters facing overwhelming challenges, often with kindness, courage, and strong friendship. Some readers will be more persuaded than others by the divine revelation explaining the protagonist's wicked deed that haunts his life, but most will find the story's conclusion very satisfying.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about stories about ancient Greek mythology and why they're so popular many centuries later. Do the adventures and conflicts of gods and heroes have anything to do with our lives today?
Have you ever done something really bad and had no idea why you did it? What happened?
If you were able to live in another time and place (historical or imaginary), would you? Which place?
- Author: Diane Stanley
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harper
- Publication date: January 27, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 18
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 15, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1
Page-turning adventure of false identity and intrigue.
The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1
Greek myths meet fast-paced adventure in boy-demigod tale.
The Sea of Trolls
Exciting fantasy-adventure based on Norse myths.
For kids who love mythology and coming-of-age books
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