Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: The Prince by Sylvain Reynard

The unveiling of a set of priceless illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Uffizi Gallery exposes the unsuspecting Professor Gabriel Emerson and his beloved wife, Julianne, to a mysterious and dangerous enemy.

Unbeknownst to the Professor, the illustrations he secretly acquired years ago were stolen a century earlier from the ruler of Florence’s underworld. Now one of the most dangerous beings in Italy is determined to reclaim his prized artwork and exact revenge on the Emersons, but not before he uncovers something disturbing about Julianne …

Set in the city of Florence, “The Prince” is a prequel novella to “The Raven,” which is the first book in the new Florentine Series Trilogy by Sylvain Reynard.

“The Prince” can be read as a standalone but readers of The Gabriel Series may be curious about the connection between The Professor’s world and the dark, secret underworld of “The Prince.”

3.5 Stars by Jennifer Hagen

I found this novella difficult to rate because it is so far out of my comfort zone in terms of reading.  I normally don’t read paranormal and I find it hard to relate to stories being told from the “underworld.”  I’m strictly a black-on-white kinda gal, and I am not capable of seeing things outside the box.  Having said that, the reason that I was initially intrigued by this storyline and had me wanting to read this, was simply the fact that Professor Emerson and Julianne were mentioned.   I don’t want to be cruel, but I have to say that I wished their ending would have stayed as it was at the conclusion of Gabriel’s Redemption.  To want more of their story, and to be subjected to paranormal when it isn’t your genre, was not my cup of tea.  There is also extreme violence between underworld councils and I was uncomfortable with the amount of beheading.

The Prince is the leader of the underworld, and has been around for centuries.  He has unique characteristics that make him superlative to humans in that his senses are heightened and he has the speed of a lion.  If you recall, Professor Emerson acquired Botticelli illustrations and donated them to an art museum in Italy.  The Prince was the original owner of these illustrations and they were stolen from him hundreds of years ago.  He wants them back, and it is unfortunate that the Professor is the current owner of them.

The professor would pay for his thievery, and his wife would mourn him.  In those events, justice would be served.

This is just the beginning to the new Florentine series and is a prequel as to what is to come in the upcoming full-length novel, The Raven.   I was happy to see that Professor Emerson and Julianne are still madly in love with one another and he continues to worship her.   I was also happy to see that the snarky narrator still likes to sneak in a dig or two. 

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