AMULET: Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsAmulet: Prince of the Elves by Kazu KibuishiAmulet: Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi

Prince of the Elves is the fifth book in Kazu Kibuishi’s AMULET series. The war with the Elf King has heated up, and in this book Emily, the newest Stonekeeper, learns more about the true nature of the enemy they all face.

Prince of the Elves provides the back-story for two major characters; Trellis, the prince of the elves and Max, the mysterious boy Emily met in Cieilis. We discover that Max is much older than we originally thought. Through his flashback, and later his memories, the story gives us a glimpse behind the curtain at the identity of the mysterious voice Emily hears from her amulet.

Beginning with The Cloud Searchers, the stark lines of Good and Evil began to blur for Emily as she discovered more about the Stonekeeper Council and some of their decisions. Faced with a test set by them, Emily trusted her intuition and did the right thing, but in Prince of the Elves, it’s not so clear what the right thing is. We get some clues, though, by the different stories of Trellis and Max. Each character confronts guilt and loss. The differences in the way they do it explains why each boy is on the side he’s on.

Kibuishi continues to unfold the mythology of the amulet world. In earlier books we saw the matrix stone, from which each amulet comes. In this story we are introduced to the Void, and both Emily and Trellis learn more about the voice in the stone, a voice that only very rare stonekeepers hear. It’s disturbing and suspenseful, therefore, when we read the last few pages of this book and see what choice Emily has made.

The artwork continues to delight. Kibiushi’s use of certain palettes is a pleasure to the eye. The most notable example in this book is a sparring match between Trellis and Emily in a burnished autumnal forest. The pages are pretty linear in layout, and his technique of repeating an image, fainter and fainter each time, is still effective. Prince of the Elves is a solid entry into the series, moving the story into even deeper drama.

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Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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  1. I’m going to get this series for my daughter. Thanks, Marion!

  2. Brad Hawley /

    Marion, though I still haven’t gotten to this series that is sitting on my bookshelf, I enjoy reading your reviews working through the series. I’ve noticed you give consistent 3 1/2 stars to books in this series, and as a fellow reviewer, I have some questions about your rating system: 1. What guidelines do you personally follow when rating books? and 2. Do you have a different approach or guidelines when it comes to comics as an art form compared to literature that is solely prose?

    Thank you for continuing to write Fanboy Friday columns! I always look forward to them.

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