Royal Deception by Denae Christine

A young Prince is threatened by a mystery arch-enemy in this readable young adult fantasy.

The setting is a fantasy world with a ruling class of blade-shifters (folks who can turn bits of their anatomy into blades), and a down-trodden underclass of animal-shifters (folks who turn into mermaids, centaurs, etc). In between there are common folk who don’t turn into anything, and are apparently there to make up the numbers. The story begins with the ruling class imposing draconian laws on the animal shifters.

Symon is a sickly young Prince with over-protective parents who never let him do what he wants. They aren’t entirely unjustified, because it becomes clear someone is out to get him and others in the Royal family. An unidentified figure known only as ‘Claur’ is sending assassins after him as part of some nefarious plan.

The writing is very readable with few editing errors. The main problem is the plot develops at a glacial pace, and while Symon is likeable, he doesn’t actually do much to drive events.

This is a Book One. The ending is a resolution of sorts, though it’s clear the story continues.

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