By Diane Stanley
Harper Collins, 2015. Fiction. 357 p.
Alexos is prince of Arctos, and at his birth an augury reveals that he is the one the goddess Athene has chosen to end a centuries' long curse on his country. His father does everything in his power to make Alexos strong and ready for the challenge. When Alexos is 12 years old an unexpected event throws into doubt his ability to fulfill the prophecy. Meanwhile, on a distant island, two children grow up in an idyllic setting with a kind and wise father. Athene is preparing them, as well, for something they cannot foresee or understand. The prince and the children must conquer the greatest challenge of all to fulfill Athene's inscrutable plan.
Set in ancient Greece, Stanley's story has elements from The Tempest and The Little Lame Prince. Diane Stanley understands that a good fantasy is not about action, or magic, but about the journey the characters make emotionally. Alexos is a very emotionally complex character, and his greatest conquest is over his own inner darkness. Give this book to readers who like Jennifer Nielsen's or Jessica Day George's work.