You skewer puny humans to get your lovely little lead a teensy bit chopped off, and the bloody headman is off frolicking our lord shrimp only knows where?! Really, my Little Barnacles, if you thought it sucked big fishing time to be you (aka the most boring arthropods of them all) that's only because you've never walked in a suicidal, immoral and slightly immortal prince's shoes. And I think it makes our poor little Cayalaka MY Suicidal One (MSO), aka the guy who might quite possibly find himself a little bit locked up in MY High Security Harem pronto and stuffhere kinda sorta feels a little like this sometimes: You can stop hitting yourself now, dear boy. Because magic in this world ebbs and flows like the tide: when the Tide is low, the Fairly Unbalanced Immortal Gang (FUIG) lays, well, um, low and stuff. But when the Tide is high they have fun playing vile, malevolent overlords, more or less enslaving the pathetic plebe, generally making puny humans' lives hell and slaughtering them by the millions to pass time and stuff. Which might partly explain why I liked this book a little and stuff. "Poor puny humans, sob sob sob," you say to your little barnacled selves. Well worry you not for the humans in this story might be puny, but in Glorious Fallon Fashion (GFF), they have nothing to envy the FUIG when it comes to scheming and lying and having secrets and ulterior motives, and being egotistical bitches and scumbags and stuff. The puny humans are so vile they even have their very own slaves! And I can't wait for them to turn on the puny humans and beat the fish out of them! Because revolution = fun times and stuff! Now in case this wasn't marvelous enough, Fallon added: a reasonably smashing heroine who tells it like it is and has potential kick-ass abilities, a gay duke with a secret scumbag lover, a potentially harem-worthy spymaster, an inconspicuous old lady with lovely hair dye jobs, treacherous everything and everyone, lovey dovey crap I miraculously managed to survive, political intrigues galore (Glorious Fallon Fashion times again!) and bloody shrimping amphibian-towed ships. And the moral of this Jennifer Fallon Worked Her Evil Witchery Again Which Means that Robin and I Both Enjoyed the Same Book Again Which Means that the End is Near and We are All Doomed Run Puny Humans Run Crappy Non Review (JFWHEWAWMtRaIBEtSBAWMttEiNaWaADRPHRCNR) is: Elena some squeamish barnacles I shall not name do not understand how one can be inexorably attracted to Slightly Vile Types (SVT) well good for me and stuff because that means My Suicidal Cayal is Mine Mine Mine and stuff.
There are so many great things going on and it was refreshing to get an immortal that wasnt all good or bad but mostly in a state of ambivalence about everything. But he is a man with zero attraction to women and Arkady helps him keep his secret from the King and society. You have a set of immortals that when magic is in the world are terrible and pretty much make slaves of all human society. Warlock and Boots are a great addition to the story and I really love them as a couple. With great history to the story, multiple immortals in play, a cabal set on destroying them and an army of animal human hybrids this series has a lot of potential.
Are they kidding me?"..." This is how we are introduced to Cayal, a self-proclaimed Tide Lord, an immortal and very suicidal at the moment. The plan to get his head chopped off, so when it regrows he would be free of his past memories and start with no more guilt and regrets, has been thwarted by the headsman executioner being on family bereavement leave and the prison is left with the hangman and the noose. Part of those 22 immortals are Tide Lords, those who are able to connect with the tidal magical energies which ab and flow with abundance or none at all... Many such high tides have come and gone in the past 8-9 thousand years, but for the last thousand in has been no tide, the magical energy that gives them their gods-like power missing from the world, and regular humans have had time to not only establish their cultures and power-structures, but have almost forgotten about the lords of the Tide and have relegated them to the mythology of the non-human slave races. "..."The eagerness of dogs to please their masters was the reason the Tide Lords chose to blend dogs and humans into household slaves in the first place, Jaxyn knew."..." I want to strangle that asshole!!! Yes, in this culture, this is considered a crime worth a death penalty, so Arkady is Stellan's willing and knowing beard. Only the king and his spy-master, Declan Hawkes, a childhood friend of Arkady's, are starting to wonder if there is a problem in the marriage and are pressing for that much needed ducal heir. Declan comes by the household and asks Arkady, in her capacity as a historian and a mythology enthusiast, to go to the prison and speak with the already recovered from his hanging Cayal, who insists he is a Tide Lord and immortal and needs to be decapitated. Since we all know Tide Lords are a myth for the uneducated slaves... Guilt is an even more interesting acquaintance than solitude, let me tell you.
We've just discoverd it and Fallon's world is already about to get a truly rude awakening: The Tide Lords are ready to make their comeback after long years of hiding, and you can bet they won't be gentle about claiming back what they believe is rightfully theirs (spoiler: everything). But Fallon's are exactly what I'd expect some people randomly granted immortality would be like: a bunch of mindlessly cruel pieces of shit. Too bad nowadays nobody believes magic to be real and the Tide Lords are all but long forgotten. It isn't a particularly well-written piece of storytelling, in my opinion - especially since Fallon has previously established him as a smart, responsible, conscientious and practical man and Jaxyn as a dangerous, reckless, slimy weasel everyone but Stellan despises - but it has its merits: I'm definitely sympathetic of Stellan's situation - a gay duke in a country where homosexual relationships aren't "merely" frowned upon but expressly forbidden; I understand his need to have something of his own, be free to be who he really is and, just like everyone else, find love or simply a good lay; and the whole plot-line gave Fallon the chance to show us Stellan and Arkady's friendship and partnership, which was one of my favorite aspect of the book. I can also get past the whole crazy, unbelievable plan Arkady comes up with for testing Cayan's claim of immortality and/or freeing him before Declan, the king's spymaster, can torture the truth out of him. What seriously got all my hackles up - just ask my poor buddy-readers how much I ranted over it - is the Arkady & Cayal's romance. I mean, that the guy you're lusting after is telling you how he spent the last eight thousand years destroying civilizations, murdering and enslaving people, raping countless women, unleashing the elements on the planet when in a bad mood and giving birth to a race of slaves thanks to some horrifying bio-engineering experiments that required him to rape (again, yes: but we're told he was pretty gentle about it) his slaves, forcibly impregnating them so that, when the time was right, he could stuff a random animal fetus inside them and magically blend it with the human one... Hmm. There's a reason pnr authors are pretty evasive when they have to describe the hot vampire Viking's past, unless they're deliberately angling for a dark romance or something: no one wants to read how the romantic lead spent years gleefully raping underage peasant girls whenever the right mood struck him, no matter how realistic that is. But now, faced with the Immortal Hunk, in the midst of a bizarre, potentially dangerous situation - and after reassurances that Cayal's pretty good in the sack - she's finally ready to leave it all behind! I simply can't take Cayal seriously as a love interest - not in the space of a three-days long narrative, not straight after what he told Arkady about himself and not simply thanks to the fact that Arkady thinks he's hot and his eyes are full of sadness; and explaining away what - to me, at least - seems like a weak, hardly plausible and forced romantic plotline with Arkady's tragic history of abuse is a cheap, lazy writing trick - one too often used.
However, I would say Arkady and Cayal are the key characters for most of this book at least. What I like about Arkady is that she reminded me a little of Lady Trent from Marie Brennan's series of books in that she is a historian and a woman who is rather ahead of her time. Cayal is another enigma of a character because he claims from the start that he is immortal and when his death at the start of the book doesn't quite happen people begin to question just how he's fooled them and what he is. We also have the Tide magic to play with, and as we unfold more of the story of Cayal's life we learn a lot about how the Immortals were created and what they have done with their magic as times have gone by. I look forward to being able to follow the rest of the adventure in the next few books very soon and I am happy that it's a complete series (I think?) for me to whizz through!
I broke my "e-book only" rule and ordered this because it looked like I would really enjoy it, and I did indeed!
Most human characters were sort of stereotypical with a twist; the "ice duchess" and academic, intelligent, unaware of her perfect beauty and starved for love; the immortal "prince," who's actually the good-looking rogue who hasn't fully seen the error of his ways; the honorable duke, trying to do the best for the people under his care, who is hiding his gay lover. The lords, while immortal, they exist more like mortals in terms of magic or abilities while the magic is gone. Our perfect heroine and Duke already supported improved Crasii rights; once we realize they can also fight against lords, it becomes obvious that this will lead to a battle in upcoming books, with the potential for Crasii to gain emancipation.
The Immortal Prince by Jennifer Fallon *****4.5***** What happens when an eight thousand year old immortal is tired of living and wants to die? That is the main premise of Ms. Fallon's first book in the Tide Lords series. Cayal, the Immortal Prince, tries to have himself beheaded so that (even though he can't die - he is immortal after all) he would at least not be able to remember anything about his previous eight thousand years of life, and to him that's almost as good as death. With a mix of mounting political intrigue, strange hybrid animal-humans who are compelled to serve the Tide Lords and storytelling about how the Immortals came to be and what they have done over the course of thousands and thousands of years this was a book that I had trouble putting down.
why on EARTH does half the the focus of this book have to be a homosexual duke? it was a sorry and unpleasant surprise to discover such over-the-top garbage in what looked like a decent book.
The Immortal Prince felt like the first book in a series (and it is) -- the plot is just beginning to unfold, there isn't any great emotional crescendo, and the ending is left wide open (though it didn't feel very cliffhanger-y).