Sunday, July 11, 2010
Posted by PeterWilliam at 8:54 PM
The Last Princess and the Cup of Immortality, by D.R. Whitney
Format: Trade paperback; 368 pages
Publisher: Avilon Press
Copy: provided by author
From the back cover: When Vivienne Le Faye, a sixteen-year old, with intuitive powers inherits a priceless family amulet, she becomes an instant target.
Unaware of her noble heritage, she only knows that a strange family CURSE haunts her. And when DANGER suddenly threatens her, a mysterious boy with blazing golden eyes appears out-of-nowhere to protect her.
Convinced he's real and positive she has fallen in love with him, Vivienne bravely follows her 'gift of sight' to England where her Amulet allows her passage through a Portal of Mists. There, in a mystical world of witchery and magic where many perils await her, she discovers he is an Immortal and she is the last Princess of the Misty Isle, destined to become the next Lady of the Lake.
Called to fulfill her birthright and armed with her new gifts, of spell craft and war craft, together they must confront a terrifying enemy, so that she can save their magical world and allow the Misty Isle to rise again.
For me, a rare thing occurred with reading this first book of The Goddess Prophecies - I was unable to finish the book, something which hasn't happened for thirteen years (I distinctly remember the last such occasion). I made it to page 242 of 368. While my reading speed is definitely better than average, those 242 pages took me forever. After reading ten pages, I had to stop and move on to doing something else. Ultimately, it had taken so much time, that I could no longer proceed.
Through those 242 pages, I encountered a tale based upon a unique mix of Arthurian legend, Celtic mythology and mysticism, Gaia- or earth-based magic and a theme of female empowerment. All in all, not a bad mix to go with. Unfortunately, for me, it read like a work written by Dan Brown to an audience of twelve-year olds.
As my mind fluttered away from what I was reading, memories of the distant past drew me along. Reminiscences of early reading came up, snippets of the Hardy Boys novels my father used to buy for me, or the copies of The Three Investigators that I had signed out from the elementary school library as a child. Undoubtedly, had I read this book at that long ago time, I would have enjoyed it greatly. Currently, I no longer possess the requisite capabilities in the realm of suspension of disbelief - at least on the scale necessary to overlook rather implausible story elements.
For example, while our protagonist is making her way from Philadelphia to New York, to catch a plane to England, she realizes she is in need of some muscle to help cover her. She calls her former master at the New York chapter house of the "Martial Arts Academy" to acquire some help. Incidentally, our sixteen-year old protagonist is an Olympic calibre black belt in her own right. This sixteen-year old has also been emancipated by her grandmother and is living on her own, at school, in New York City. This sixteen-year old also happens to be far more certain and secure than the majority of all the adults I've ever encountered.
I just couldn't finish. Well, I still think that, as a twelve-year old, I would've had great fun with it - especially the cover art.