Author: Fiona McIntosh
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Knopf Book For Young Readers (April 14, 2015)
Source: Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
In this adventurous retelling of The Prince and the Pauper, the lives of a runaway royal and a carnival worker become intertwined as each is compelled to fight for his life and family. Fans of The Sixty-Eight Rooms and Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy won’t want to miss this.
Lute is a prince, next in line to the throne. Griff is a poor carnival worker who does the heavy lifting while the malevolent ringmaster orders him about. But there’s something special about Griff: he can hear the thoughts of everyone around him. And one day, he begins to connect with Lute’s mind, even though they’ve never met and are miles apart.
When Lute must run for his very life, Griff may be the only one who can help him. In a journey over land and sea, these heroes battle deadly foes and make unlikely allies, including a host of magical creatures and their caretaker, a bitter old dwarf, and a mysterious lady pirate. When the boys finally come together, they will learn they are connected in ways they could never have imagined, ways that may save them—or cost them both their lives.
This had a very Prince and the Pauper type feel but with a paranormal aspect to it which was a fun addition to the story, it made it its own without being a complete retelling.
Told in multiple point of views this was an interesting take with the circus background and all the magical creatures added to the story. With the boys lives intertwining all along the way with secrets, deception, and with a common goal in mind as the boys both fight for their freedom in different ways.
I think a younger audience will really enjoy this read and find it hard to put down. While this was an interesting story it however dragged in places and it took a very long time before Lute and Griff ever met, which I think was a bit disappointing. I think it would have helped the story so much if the boys could have been together more throughout instead of Griff just hearing Lute's thoughts through most of the story but having said that, I really don't think that will detour very many people from liking the story and continuing it.
This was a fun retelling with a twist and deception and secrets around every corner.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*