The Shadow PrinceDavid Anthony Durham
fantasy > historical fantasy, young adult
In this middle grade solarpunk novel set in an alternate Egyptian universe, twelve-year-old Ash must compete and survive to become the shadow--and protector--of the prince.
FIVE DEADLY TESTS, ONLY ONE SHADOW PRINCE
Growing up in a village in the middle of the desert, Ash thinks his future holds nothing but sand, sun, a few annoying bullies, and lots of boring chores. Boy, is he wrong!
On the night before his twelfth birthday, Ash learns that he was born on the same day as Prince Khufu, which makes him eligible to compete to be the prince's shadow, a coveted position as the friend and bodyguard of the boy destined to be pharaoh of all of Egypt. At first, Ash can't believe it, but when a floating royal barge takes Ash and his mentor to the bustling, magical, solar-powered capital, things get real.
What awaits Ash and the candidates is deadly--five days of dangerous tests filled with demon fighting, monster slaying, and magical spells--each overseen by a different Egyptian god. Ash finds two friends willing to fight by his side--the first friends he's ever made. But there are candidates who will lie, cheat, and even harm others to win. Not all will survive, and only one can become the prince's shadow.
To make matters worse, Ash is up against Lord Set, the devious god of chaos, who is secretly working to make the candidates fail. But if they do, the very survival of the kingdom is in peril. Can Ash and his new friends save Egypt? And will any of them survive to become the shadow prince?
David Anthony Durham was born in New York City to parents of Caribbean descent. He grew up mostly in Maryland, but has spent the last fifteen years on the move, jumping from East to West Coast to the Rocky Mountains, and back and forth to Scotland and France several times. He’s married to a Scot that’s just as restless as he is, though they claim they’re settling down in Western Massachusetts after one more move...
He is the author of a trilogy of fantasy novels set in Acacia: The Sacred Band, The Other Lands, and The War With The Mein, as well as the historical novels Pride of Carthage, Walk Through Darkness, and Gabriel’s Story. He’s won the John W Campbell Award for Best New