Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Princess and the Apprentice by Roland Boykin

I am not one for book reviews for several reasons; foremost, I don't think I'm really qualified to judge another persons writing.  I, generally, don't know the person that wrote it  and admire that their book was published for what skill they have and I like the book or not.  On my Kindle after reading a book it pops up with book review option - "Before you go - Say something about this book."  I might be inclined to do so, but I have a hard enough time at the keyboard composing my thoughts, so index fingering a response for a book review leaves me fatigued.  Oh, and by the way, the Kindle doesn't let you off easy; it is work to get by the review request.

That said.  I know Roland Boykin.  Not well, but better since hooking up on Google+.  You can get a measure of a person by what they post and pictures they show.  I really like cats too, by the way.  This I decided to write a review of Roland's book I finished a few weeks ago.

Here are a few things that strikes me as a good book. 

  1. Depth of characters:  Do they become real to me?
  2. Plot development:  Does it take me where it hints to with a twist here and there?
  3. Cleverness:  How original is it?  Of course, it is said that every human condition has been written about, so, thus, what neat clever way has it been approached in this book?
  4. Audience, is this book written for a genre in a particular age group or across a wide spectrum or readers?
  5. Finally, do I want to read more of this author?

Before I start my review.  I'll say I thoroughly enjoyed Roland Boykin's book.

These points above are not in any order of importance.  For Roland's book I'll start with the audience.

When I finished his book my wife asked me how did I like it.  First thing that came to mind was it is an easy read.  I finished it in two evenings.  The story seems targeted at high school/young adult.  Which may be why I liked it so well.  Language is clean, not sexually graphic, and the violence (have to have violence when dealing with monsters) is appropriately applied in this book.

 The Princess and the Apprentice is written in a well used and largely abused genre of fantasy.  That makes it difficult to get a original plot or theme going.  I think Roland knows this and employs a good bit of cleverness along with his character development to carry the day. 

The main characters are likable and although you don't overly worry about them you because know what outcomes there are going to be it is interesting to see how Roland gets them through their trials.  I especially like it when the heroes are in a tough spot and I can't see a way out and the author then saves them in a way I could not imagine.   Roland does that well.

The plot starts off straight forward enough for this type of book.  Then as Shelton on the "Big Bang Theory" says  -  Zingna;  or gotcha, bet you didn't see that twist coming.  I won't spoil it for you by telling what that is.

Finally,  Roland neatly ties up the end with a well worked out teaser for a follow-on book.  Which, I hope isn't to long in coming.

My recommendation is if you like fantasy and/or a cleverly written book that will take you away for a couple days then I say read  Princess and the Apprentice.


  1. Thank you for the nice review! It's comments like yours that help me to press through those dark times and continue writing.

  2. Thank you for the nice review! It's comments like yours that help me to press through those dark times and continue writing.