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Seven Brothers #1

The Prince of Shadow

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This first novel in a magnificent new fantasy series draws upon the rich legends, cultures, and traditions of the East to create an epic tale of kingdoms invaded, nobles enslaved, and a young man’s desperate quest to find his family and to face the challenge of a destiny which may be beyond any mortal’s power to fulfill....

Llesho was seven when the Harn invade his family’s mountain kingdom of Thebin. Sold into slavery on Pearl Island, he was, as far as he knew, the sole survivor of his royal family.

When Llesho was ten, the old man called Lleck secretly began to undertake the boy’s education. But when Llesho was fifteen, Lleck died, and his spirit visited the boy while he worked the pearl beds, revealing his true destiny to him. All six of his older brothers were still alive! Llesho must win his freedom, find and rescue his brothers, and with their help raise an army against the evil Harn.

As a pearl diver he would never be allowed off the island. So Llesho petitioned his lord to be trained as a gladiator, thus taking the first step on a road that would lead to conflicts with sorcerers, encounters with the avatars of gods, and a dangerous journey in search of the widely scattered family he had never expected to see again....

512 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 1, 2001

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About the author

Curt Benjamin

8 books23 followers
Curt Benjamin is a pseudonym used by an author who normally writes contemporary fantasy. He has a degree in art from Antioch University. In his spare time, he is a designer and children's illustrator.

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5 stars
182 (23%)
4 stars
276 (35%)
3 stars
230 (29%)
2 stars
58 (7%)
1 star
29 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Daniel.
897 reviews3 followers
May 1, 2020
I wanted to like this book but it was just bad, but the setting was cool. I would love to read another story in this world told by a better writer
This is more a fairy tale than high fantasy and the hero is mearly a place holder for a convoluted story that has more Deus Ex Machina's than you can shake a stick at. Cool setting bad book.
Profile Image for ✩Anna✩.
81 reviews18 followers
February 17, 2017
Made it about 60% through before I finally gave up. There was just nothing special about this book that made me want to keep reading. Main character was a bit of a Mary Sue. Overall, pretty boring.
Profile Image for Laura.
16 reviews2 followers
March 8, 2021
Adult high fantasy with Asian inspired setting and philosophies. Follows single POV. Main character is a mix of Gary Stu, luckiest person ever, and favored by the spirits and the gods (plot reasons). All characters have their own secrets and motives that drive them. The world and its rules are fully fleshed out. Writing needs editing to avoid so much repetition.
February 9, 2022
A magical tale in which nothing and no one is as they seem. Interesting fantasy with an Asian flavor and the beginning of an epic tale.
Profile Image for Melissa Kidd.
1,308 reviews34 followers
March 11, 2020
I liked this story a lot until about 150 pages in. Then it started to go bad. Tons of editing errors. Tons of redundant sentences, but worst of all the story just stopped making any sense. It began to contradict itself, and run in circles. I stopped really caring about Llesho pretty quickly. He was too flaky a character, with no grounding aspects. About halfway through I just gave up and skimmed the rest of the story. Sometimes when I do that I end up skipping sections and reading the interesting bits. It's telling that I didn't find any interesting bits and skimmed the second half of the book in five minutes. So unfortunately, this series is going off the list. I'm moving on to something else, I know I will enjoy.
Profile Image for Yasmín.
114 reviews3 followers
September 21, 2012
Distinto a lo que suelo leer. Tiene un aire oriental que me encantó, pero la redaccion del autor deja bastante que desear. No se entiende bien y las imagenes no se logran formar del todo, menos las de los combates. Los personajes suelen interpretar mas de lo que no dicen... si preguntaran sería todo mas facil de entender y seguir. Faltan dialogos o algo que te permita entender un poco mas lo que se espera de Lesho...
Los personajes bien formados con un aire de misterio atrapante. Me hubiese gustado que se profundice mas en algunos, pero bueno... Recomendable para salir de lo comun en el genero fantastico-epico
Profile Image for Stephen.
348 reviews
February 1, 2017
This was an easy read, and the eastern influences were refreshing after so many Euro-centric fantasy novels. I really liked the easy way everything was introduced and the way things were hinted at and then revealed. There were some minor pacing problems near the end with too much time spent on Llesho's internal conflict regarding his feelings that his friends shouldn't sacrifice themselves for him.

One nice thing about this book is that gay people exist and are treated largely as just regular people. It's not often that fantasy novels handle this in a compassionate way, the way this book does.
20 reviews2 followers
October 27, 2012
Decent start to a series. Being a sword and sorcery aficionado, I wanted to experience an "Eastern" flavor to such a series. Have tried the David Weber Middle Kingdom series, but bogged down there. Here the concepts were fine, if unimaginative. Just didn't get enough explanation of the geography (e.g. a map?), the spiritual involvement was not well explained, nor how the "bad" guy was quite so prodigious in his ability when he was previously stuck in a backwater of a large continent. Too many events of convenience for my taste.
Profile Image for Camille.
141 reviews9 followers
February 14, 2008
I picked up this book because it is an Asian based fantasy novel. I have long thought that the elegant and complex Asian Mythos would wook very well as a basis for fantasy fiction. I was not disapointed with this adaptation. Of course my favorite part was the intorduction of the dragons. Western dragons are alright, but Chinese water dragons are my favorite. I wish more fantasy would go this direction. I am looking forward to the next installment.
Profile Image for Carla.
622 reviews
September 7, 2013
Though I don't feel any immediate need to write a review of this book, I will say that it reminded me a bit of Avatar the Last Air Bender. The setting, tone, quest, and many of the characters left me with this impression. People who enjoy Avatar will likely enjoy this book.

Over all, I rather enjoyed my experience with this book. Like many books, it was not perfect, but it was not noticeably bad either. I will absolutely be moving on to the next book in the future.
Profile Image for Evan Peterson.
204 reviews10 followers
January 8, 2019
Standard fantasy set in the middle of a vaguely oriental medieval universe. This one starts out with the orphaned slave boy escaping to find his destiny.
... If you can stick with it and ignore the bad editing, this series has an ending that will make you rethink the whole series though. Was it really just a standard fantasy..or something completely different?
The first book is good, the second slogs a bit and gets repetitive, the third picks up a bit and sheds new light on the genre.
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,257 reviews74 followers
September 23, 2014
I found this book to be both too slow and too fast. Either taking what seemed a very long time to get through something boring or speeding through a section that could or even should have taken longer, both in pages or timeline.
I felt like the story was a bit more on the legend side of storytelling and, in this case at least, I didn’t find it engaging.
Profile Image for T J.
422 reviews4 followers
May 21, 2016
A young slave pearl-diver finds himself, trying to do the impossible, with unlikely companions to assist. Curt Benjamin is a new writer to me but I love his style of storytelling, his writing pulled me right in and this is book full of high adventure and mysteries. Now on to book 2: The Prince of Dreams.
Profile Image for Anna.
463 reviews28 followers
May 11, 2011
I picked up this book at random, so had no preconceived notions. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are complex and well developed, which rarely happens at the same time. The world building is subtly done. I care about what happens to the main character. I want to read the next.
Profile Image for Farhana Faruq.
670 reviews6 followers
May 29, 2011
I found the read a little slow paced, however I did enjoy the storyline.

I would have given it four stars and wouldn't have considered reading Part 2 if it wasn't for the ending. I loved how everything came together and all the unexpected details.
Profile Image for Darren.
759 reviews7 followers
February 4, 2015
I'm re-reading this series. I didn't remember much about it, but I did remember liking it a lot. And I still do. The main character is enjoyable to read about, although a bit dense. Master Den is awesome.
Profile Image for Liam Johnstone.
221 reviews12 followers
October 16, 2010
An interesting book. A fantasy novel with an asian flavour. I tried getting into the second one and didn't enjoy it as much. I'll give it another try someday, though.
Profile Image for M.H..
35 reviews
October 19, 2014
i love finding a new author whose work I enjoy; this certainly falls in that category. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series!
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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