The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham

Five deadly tests,

Only one shadow Prince.  

“I stepped into the Royal Audience chamber. For the briefest moment, I saw them: the pharaoh, the falcon-headed god, the goddess with a sun disc headdress, the prince, and the other court officials. I should have been trembling in awe from my head right down to my toes. And I would’ve been. Really, I would’ve. I had never been presented to royalty, to the rich and powerful, to gods, even! For a poor villager like me, this should have been an incredible moment. Except for one thing…  

… the Cave demon. 

He stood in the center of the sparring ring. One glimpse was all I needed to know who he was: one of the nine Jackal-Headed Demons that feed on rottenness. No munching on antelope for this guy. Zebra? Apparently not. He goes for rottenness. I was glad it wasn’t Amutt, but still. Cave demons were the stuff of nightmares. Monsters, creatures who had been warped and twisted by the dark magic of evil sorcerers long ago. They were ancient, perhaps even immortal. According to Yazen, they weren’t the brightest of creatures either, but being smart wasn’t what they were about. Being deadly, that’s what they were into. 

The pharaoh sighed. “All right, let us see what he can do. Young man, this has been a trying day. It is my hope that you will not perish in the next few moments. If you do, I will be truly saddened. But we have traditions to uphold.” He raised his voice and pronounced. “Demon, you may feed now.” 

The Shadow Prince has lots of action and is vaguely like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, in the kids battle to the death theme. I liked this book, but I would have added more detail to the thoughts as the character thoughts tended to be pretty short. Personally, I like books that have a lot of character backstory either straight up in the beginning or throughout the book. This book does have some pretty good character backstory, but only for the main character. When I first grabbed this book of the library shelf in the kids’ section, I figured I may as well try it. I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book, but I’ve got to say that it actually impressed me. I found I was actually a lot more interested in this book than I first thought I would be. If you are looking for a fun short read, then definitely try this book. I’m giving it 4/5 😄 and age 8+.

Here are some places you can find it;

Goodreads Amazon Thriftbooks Half Price Books Barnes & Noble

Have a great day and happy reading!

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