Bantam, $6.50, ISBN 0-553-57432-9
Fantasy Romance, 2001
As Glenna McReynolds’s conclusion to her – gee, what’s the name of the trilogy anyway? – well, the conclusion to her trilogy, Prince of Time is a missed opportunity. It’s like an overdose of Mad Max clichés minus Tina Turner’s big hair and a choir of scraggly kids screeching “We don’t need another hero-ohhhh…” Needless to say, it’s not fun.
Our hero Morgan ab Kynan is the charming thief who falls into a wyrmhole and is thought to be dead in The Chalice and the Blade. I did a melodramatic “No…” when Morgan fell into the hole, because I like Morgan. But in Prince of Time, Morgan is alive, but no longer in 12th century Wales but the 10,012th century. No, that’s not a typo – Morgan has traveled 10,000 years into the future. And Ms McReynolds depict the future in a most typical, boring scenario of deserted wastelands and polluted atmospheres and other unimaginative scenarios I’ve seen before a zillion times in anything from Mad Max to Terminator. Fine, I don’t mind such familiar settings, but at the same time, the author doesn’t actually succeed in creating a cohesive picture of that time and how the people function either.
And what happened to Morgan? The story starts with him already leading a gang of thieves to crash some sort of temple to steal a treasure. Little does he know, he is marked by the worshippers of Death as the Prince of Time, the messiah of some sort that they have been waiting for so long. The priestess Avallyn, especially, has been waiting for him all her life so that he will marry her and they will – uhm, do what exactly? Let me check again… ah yes, defeat some great evil and make the world a better place again, or something like that.
It’s sad, isn’t it? Be it 1100 or 10,100, women seems to spend their live waiting for that Mr Right to give their lives meanings.
Anyway, Morgan just wants to get drunk and whore around and hopefully, die an early death. He’s not happy, and I don’t blame him. But Avallyn is persistent. No matter how many times he pushes her away, she will keep clinging to his heels. She’s tenacious – she has found her destiny and she will never let go!
That’s the problem I have with this story. Morgan and Avallyn have no chemistry, all they do is bicker or spat or he making her miserable, but Avallyn insists that he’s the one because he kisses her and she knows – he’s the one. How sad. Then, when the story requires them to have save-the-world-sex (now that’s an orgasm for a noble cause), they’re professing undying love and Morgan undergoes a makeover in personality from drunkard sloppy joe to superhero. How did that happen?
The main characters are blander than bland, the great evil thing is done in an unspectacular manner, and the whole futuristic setting is just blah. It could’ve been grand, you know. Morgan could have been one of those cheeky, roguish reluctant noble heroes. But what do I get instead? The drunkard and the doormat.