Cover image for The prince of shadow
The prince of shadow
Benjamin, Curt.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : DAW Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
426 pages ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



The Prince of Shadow marks the astonishing fantasy debut of Curt Benjamin, an exciting new talent who blends supernatural fantasy with martial arts action in a magnificent new duology.

Llesho was only seven years old when the Harn invaded Thebin, slaying his father and selling the boy into slavery. On Pearl Island, he was trained as a diver -- until a vision changed his life completely. The spirit of his newly-dead teacher revealed the truth about Llesho's royal family -- his six brothers were still alive, but had been sold into slavery in distant lands.

Now, to free his brothers -- and himself -- Llesho must train as a gladiator...

He must go face to face with sorcerers....

And gods....

And more...

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When the Harn barbarians attack Kungol, most of Llesho's family is murdered. The rest is sold into slavery, which is how he comes to be a pearl diver on Pearl Island. He has lost his memory of his family's trauma, but after seven years, it slowly begins to return. Then, as his old teacher Lleck lies dying, he sets the boy a seemingly impossible task--to find his lost brothers and reclaim his homeland. The determined Llesho negotiates his way into gladiator training to improve his chances of leaving the island and eventually buying his freedom, only to become a target of those who would destroy him and the charge of divine protectors. These developments puzzle Llesho until he recalls that he is a prince of Kungol, the king's seventh son and blessed by the goddess. Then things begin to get really interesting. Benjamin's first novel is terrific--vivid and engrossing, full of honor and intrigue, sadistic evil and sublime goodness, and gods who walk the earth, involving themselves in human concerns. --Paula Luedtke

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this likable fantasy adventure, the first of a multivolume saga with an Asian flavor (reinforced by the samurai-like warriors on the crude if effective dust jacket), Benjamin often resorts to good luck to pull his hero out of trouble. Llesho is only seven, the youngest of the royal family of Thebin, when the Harn, a fierce and unsophisticated warrior people, murder his sister and parents, the king and queen, and sell him and his six older brothers into slavery. Confined for years to Pearl Island, where he proves himself an adept pearl diver, Llesho doesn't realize his brothers are still alive until the ghost of an elderly adviser appears during a dive and gives him a black pearl, squeezing it into a small bead and inserting it into a dental cavity where it will be undetectable. Mindful of his noble background and yearning to find his brothers, Llesho volunteers for gladiator school as the first step toward freedom. He studies with several teachers who seem to appreciate his special character, but one, Markko, has evil designs on him. The teenage Llesho eventually battles Markko, leads an army and reaches the kingdom of Shan, where he locates two of his brothers in a slave market. Despite a somewhat plodding style (torpor especially sets in during the war scenes) and superficial characterization, the vivid fantasy elements revive the plot whenever it slips too far into the doldrums. Lacking any sexual episodes, this coming-of-age story will appeal to younger readers as well as to those with more traditional tastes in boyish adventure tales. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved