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I had the pleasure of meeting Olivia Gates at the crazy-huge signing on the last day of the Romantic Times Convention. Since she lives in Egypt, it is not often that she gets to meet many of her fans face to face, let alone sign books for them. Being an RT virgin, I didn’t think to bring any books with me to the signing, but man, I wish I had had my copies of her Throne of Judar trilogy with me!

However, she had some copies of her May release to give out, and she kindly signed one for me (with a lovely message too; thank you again, Ms Gates!), so you can imagine how difficult it is to write a negative review for it.

The Once and Future Prince, by Olivia Gates


First in Ms Gates’ new trilogy, The Once and Future Prince introduces the setting for these stories, a mythical Mediterranean island kingdom. This kingdom, like real life small kingdoms and principalities in Europe, is the product of many varied and, occasionally, opposing influences. In this case, Moorish and Italian are the prevalent heritages. So far, Castaldini has survived in part due to its location and relatively small size, and partly due to the foresight of its first king, whose succession law decreed that it would be personal merit first, and bloodlines second, that make a worthy heir to the crown.

And yet, it is this same law that produces the conflict behind these stories.