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Imperial Hostage, Book 1 of the Destruction Series by Phil Cantrill

Sunday, June 12, 2011
From the moment 12-year-old Prince Erechtheus docks in Poseidia, capital of the Empire, to be a hostage for 13 years, nothing in his life is easy – or safe.

An unexpected and foreboding prophecy, uttered by a blind seer, puts the prince immediately in the crosshairs of Al-Jinn, the powerful and paranoid High Priest from the Temple of Bel. In a fit of perverse desperation, Al-Jinn and several other priests ravenously abuse Erech before placing him on an altar for ritual sacrifice to Lord Bel. Only last-minute intervention from Kul-Kan, High Priest of the rival Temple of One, saves the prince from a gruesome fate.

At the Temple of One, although he remains a hostage, Erech is befriended by others his age as they are all educated in the Empire's arts and sciences. The Temple offers relative sanctuary, but the prince is repeatedly attacked. He survives with the help of his new-found friends and hand-to-hand combat training from Myriné, heir apparent to the Queen of the Amazons.

Erech gains exceptional fighting skills and an understanding of the natural world as he matures, but he suffers a series of crippling, heart-breaking losses most as a result of the many attempts on his life. At the twilight of his captivity as a hostage, the 25-year-old prince encounters one last trial, a trial that could very well lead to war between his native land and the Empire.

Good Reads Summary

When one is being held prisoner, one must endure.  Prince Erech learns this as he is removed from his home as a preteen and forced into being a prisoner until the age of 25.  Erech never has it easy, even from the beginning, he is told that he will die as a sacrifice in front of a temple's congregation-naked.  He barely survives this ordeal only to fall into another.  Attempts are made to kill him when he is moved to another temple.  His appearance and personality are desired by some and hated by others-making him a target.  The reader will learn to love Erech and his determination and perseverance in the face of hardship.  The secondary characters pull the story together, the women are strong and fierce-a definite plus.  The plot is intriguing and fairly unusual.  The setting is perfect for the plot.  The reader will be able to relate to the main character and even a few of the secondary characters.  The author excels at creating the perfect backdrop for the novel, his attention to detail does not go unnoticed by the reader.  This novel is recommended to young adults/adults that enjoy a terrific, rateable main character and twists in their stories. 

4 1/2 stars