"A wonderful fantasy"
Teenage Princes Conal, Darag, and Ferdia, and Princesses
Emer and her sister Elenn are in training together.
However, during a competition, a war-horse dies in a tragic
accident. The careless incident angers Rhiannon, the
Goddess of Horses and other Beasts. She curses the
kingdoms of the island of Tir Isarnagiri.
Though expected to marry Darag, Emer falls in love with
Conal. He shares her deepest feelings as both fantasize of
vanishing together. However the Prince knows he cannot
leave as he has responsibility to his people being one of
the two future contenders for the High King of the island.
When war abetted by Rhiannon explodes, Emer confronts a
personal dilemma between her duty to her beloved homeland
and loyalty to her beloved Conal with the choice she makes
impacting Tir Isarnagiri forever.
Expanding on a chapter from the KING'S PEACE, THE PRIZE IN
THE GAME is an interesting Arthurian-like fantasy that
allows readers to see up close the personalities of the key
cast before they go on their differing quests. The story
line slowly heats up so that the audience knows how each of
the quintet interacts with one another, but once the plot
boils it never cools off until the climax that sets in
motion another sequel. Though told mostly through what
happens to Conal, Emer, or Elenn, the five key characters
enable fans to feel they know this fantasy realm as well as
they do their homeland (then again in the USA geography is
not a forte). Fantasy aficionados will look forward to the
next novel set in Jo Walton's fantasy world.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted December 5, 2002
When a friendly competition leads to the death of a beloved
horse and incurs the wrath of the Horse Goddess, the
kingdoms of the island of Tir Isarnagiri are doomed to
suffer. As the goddess's curse chases them down the years,
four friends destined for kingship-Conal, Emer, Darag, and
Ferdia-are forced into conflict as their countries build
Matters are complicated when Emer and Conal fall in love and
dream of escaping together from the machinations of their
respective families. But Conal and Ferdia are rivals for the
High Kingship of the island, and Conal cannot simply leave.
The contest between them will lead to a visionary quest on a
mountain sacred to the gods-and terrifying to men.
Yet Emer faces an even greater struggle. For when war
finally comes, Emer has two choices: perform her duty to the
homeland to which she owes everything, or protect the one
she loves and be branded a traitor forever. The path she
takes will become the stuff of legend and forever alter the
destiny of Tir Isarnagiri. Set in the world of Jo Walton's
previous novels, The King's Peace and The King's Name, this
book takes us to a shining era of dark powers, legendary
heroes, and passionate loves-all of them ruled by the hand