Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Epic Reads Impulse (Harpercollins)
Synopsis on Goodreads:
The city of Skyvale is in trouble. Magic use is rampant. Crime is spreading. Told from the perspective of Tobiah, the crown prince with a dangerous secret, and set two years before the heart-racing action of The Orphan Queen, this 100-page digital novella brings to life one of Jodi Meadows’s most beloved characters.
Tobiah Pierce knows he is a spoiled, sheltered prince, and he’s tired of it. His only chance for freedom is if his cousin, James Rayner, passes the trials to be one of his bodyguards. But when Tobiah takes a rare opportunity to escape a courtly celebration and he witnesses a horrible—and magical—crime, he must make a momentous decision: return to the ignorance and comfort of the palace, or risk everything to discover the truth?
The Hidden Prince is the first of four prequel novellas that offer existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the complex city of Skyvale, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the heart-pounding fantasy of the Orphan Queen series.
I really liked reading The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows because it brought me back to the great writing that had me falling in love with The Orphan Queen. The reader gets an in-depth look on Tobiah, James, Chey, and Meredith among other Skyvale nobility and citizens. To be honest, I didn’t like chapter one; it felt like opening a book to a random page and reading from there, but from chapter two onwards I was totally into it! Surprisingly, the ending felt like a conclusion though we still get that hint of what’s to come in the next three novellas.
One of the purposes of this novella is to give a better look on certain characters and this can definitely be checked off. I connected with Tobiah so much more here than I did in The Orphan Queen. I actually felt really bad for him because he’s not in control of his life, particularly when it comes to his education, bodyguards and friends. This novella is true to the title; the reader is inside the head of the Hidden Prince. I loved experiencing all these emotions and above all the frustration at his lack of control.
One other thing did confuse me. James is not yet Tobiah’s bodyguard but that was the impression I got. I’m not sure if I just missed something at the beginning or maybe it’s because James is usually always around Tobiah – and would protect him regardless.
A storm’s on the horizon and while it won’t hit until the timeline of The Orphan Queen, we’ll still be encountering strong winds. I recommend this to readers avidly awaiting The Mirror King and needing something to tide them over. I’d say if you haven’t read The Orphan Queen, you can still read this and not be spoiled, but you’ll miss out on subtle hints referencing back to TOQ and TMK. Be sure to pick this up!