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The Immortal Prince

The Immortal Prince

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by Jennifer Fallon

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When a routine hanging goes wrong and a murderer somehow survives the noose, the man announces he is an immortal. And not just any immortal, but Cayal, the Immortal Prince, hero of legend, thought to be only a fictional character. To most he is a figure out of the Tide Lord Tarot, the only record left on Amyrantha of the mythical beings whom fable tells created the


When a routine hanging goes wrong and a murderer somehow survives the noose, the man announces he is an immortal. And not just any immortal, but Cayal, the Immortal Prince, hero of legend, thought to be only a fictional character. To most he is a figure out of the Tide Lord Tarot, the only record left on Amyrantha of the mythical beings whom fable tells created the race of half-human, half-animal Crasii, a race of slaves.

Arkady Desean is an expert on the legends of the Tide Lords so at the request of the King's Spymaster, she is sent to interrogate this would-be immortal, hoping to prove he is a spy, or at the very least, a madman.

Though she is set the task of proving Cayal a liar, Arkady finds herself believing him, against her own good sense. And as she begins to truly believe in the Tide Lords, her own web of lies begins to unravel...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

First in the Tide Lords series, this complex saga, like Fallon's earlier Hythrun Chronicles, intertwines several vividly realized plots. One follows Arkady Desean, the "Ice Duchess" of Lebec and a scholar of ancient Amyranthan lore, as she interrogates Cayal, a hanged man who inexplicably did not die. She soon encounters legends of the immortal Tide Lords who created the human-animal hybrid slaves called the Crasii-canines to serve, felines to fight, amphibians to pull watercraft-and a thousand years earlier caused the Cataclysm that nearly destroyed the world. Arkady's husband, Duke Stellan, guards his own deadly secret as he maneuvers through palace intrigues and inter-kingdom clashes. Royal spymaster Declan Hawkes secretly aids renegade Crasii and preserves the Cabal, humanity's only protection from the Tide Lords. With snappy dialogue and deft characterizations, especially of her sympathetically drawn canine Crasii, Fallon neatly pulls the story threads together into a multihued tapestry of myth, deceit and ambition. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

When a hanging goes awry, leaving the condemned man very much alive, the prisoner claims he is Cayal, the immortal prince, one of the mythical Tide Lords who supposedly created the half-human/half-beast slave race, the Crasii. Investigating his claim, Arkady Desean, wife of the Duke of Lebec and a researcher of the Tide Lord Tarot and its legends, finds herself believing him and in the disturbing likelihood that the Tide Lords may be returning to an earth they nearly destroyed. Fallon ("Hythrun Chronicles") launches a projected four-book series set in a land of broken dreams, hidden histories, and changing beliefs. Intriguing characters and a rich mythology make this a strong addition to most fantasy collections.
—Jackie Cassada

Kirkus Reviews
First of a new doorstopper fantasy series from the Australian author of Warlord (2006). On Amyrantha, magic swings through thousand-year cycles; when the immortal Tide Lords reach the height of their powers, they invariably quarrel and fight and heedlessly destroy human civilization. Now, at low tide, the powerless Lords have faded into myth and only the Cabal of the Tarot remembers the danger they represent. Lord Cayal, utterly bored and despairing of eternal life, comes to Lebec and murders seven people, knowing he faces beheading as punishment. (He'll grow a new head, of course, but it won't contain any of Cayal's memories.) Unfortunately for Cayal, it's the headsman's day off, so he's hanged instead-and, several agonizing hours later, he's as good as new, with his memories intact. However, the King's Spymaster arranges for physician-historian Arkady Desean to interrogate Cayal and disprove his claims of immortality. Not wishing to torture the prisoner in case he's a foreign citizen, Arkady encourages Cayal to tell her his story. Meanwhile, confined in a cell opposite, Warlock, a dangerously independent Crasii (of mixed human and dog ancestry, bred to serve the Tide Lords, now enslaved to humans) knows Cayal is what he claims. As Arkady probes Cayal's past, so her own circumstances (she's low-born, her husband is gay and will never help produce the heir demanded by the king) slowly unravel. Convincing in broad outline, though the details don't bear close scrutiny: a modestly gratifying yarn for readers desiring to settle in for the long haul. Agent: Jack Byrne/Sternig & Byrne Literary Agency

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Tide Lords , #1
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Hope seemed an odd emotion for a man about to be executed, but that was the only name Cayal could give the thrill welling up inside him as they led him up the steps of the platform.

Soon, one way or another, he told himself, it will be over.

He could see nothing with the black hood over his head, his other senses starved of input by the rough weave of the cloth. He gathered the mask was as much to spare the spectators as it was to offer a condemned man some semblance of privacy. It muffled sound, too, making the world outside seem remote, shrinking reality to only what he could hear and feel. The tall grim walls were gone, so were the overcast sky and the gloomy prison yard. He revelled in his sense of touch; relished the cold air on his bare chest and the musty canvas over his head that reeked faintly of other, successful deaths.

Cayal breathed in the aroma and hoped.

With luck, this might be the last thing he ever knew. Oblivion beckoned and Cayal was rushing to meet it with open arms.

“What the…?” he exclaimed suddenly as a thick, heavy noose was tightened around his neck. He struggled against it, wondering what was happening. They should be ordering him to kneel, making him reach forward to the block.

He didn’t want to hang. Hanging was useless. Futile. And likely to be very, very painful…

“No!” he cried in protest, but with his hands tied behind him, his struggles were in vain. He could feel the hangman checking to make certain the knot was secure and in the right place, just under his jaw below the left ear, the place guaranteed to snap a neck as quickly as possible.

“Any last words?”

The gruff voice sounded disinterested, the question one of form rather than genuine consideration for a dying man’s wishes. For a moment, Cayal didn’t even notice the hangman was addressing him. Then he realised this might be his last chance to object.

In a tone that was anything but repentant, he turned his head in the direction of the executioner’s voice. “What’s going on here? You’re supposed to behead me.”

“The executioner’s on vacation,” the disinterested voice informed him. “Read the charges.”

The order was directed at someone else. A moment later, a shaky voice announced from somewhere on his left: “Kyle Lakesh, citizen of Caelum. You are charged with and have been found guilty of seven counts of heinous murder…”

As opposed to any other sort of murder, Cayal retorted silently, his anger welling up. The headsman’s on vacation? Are they kidding me?

“…For this crime, the Supreme Court of Lebec in the Sovereign State of Glaeba has sentenced you to death.”

Cayal cursed behind the hood, certain nobody would see the irony. He’d killed seven men to get here. Seven worthless humans to get himself beheaded. And the flanking headsman’s on vacation! Still, there was a funny side to this, he thought, wondering what the venerable members of the Supreme Court of the Sovereign State of Glaeba would do if they knew of the seven odd million he’d killed before that.

“Is there any word from the Prefect regarding his grace’s willingness to consider clemency?”

Another question of form, directed at the Warden. A last-minute reprieve could only come from the Duke of Lebec himself, an act that had only happened once in the past fifty years or so. Cayal knew that for a fact. He’d checked. When one was as determined to end their suffering as Cayal was, one did their homework.

Glaeban justice was harsh but surprisingly evenhanded, which suited him just fine. When you were deliberately setting out to be decapitated, there was no point in choosing a country known for its leniency toward killers.

The silence that followed the clerk’s question put to rest any last-minute hopes Cayal had that they might not carry out his sentence. A moment later, he heard footsteps echoing hollowly on the wooden decking of the platform and felt a gloved hand settling on his bare shoulder.


What if I say no? Cayal wondered. What’s he going to do? Wait until I’m in the mood?

“I want to be decapitated,” he complained, his voice muffled by the hood. “Hanging me is just wasting everybody’s time.”

“Do you forgive me?” the hangman asked in a barely audible voice. Cayal got the feeling that of all the questions the hangman asked of his victims, this was the only one to which he genuinely craved an affirmative answer.

“No point,” Cayal assured him.

Blinded by the hood, he couldn’t tell what the hangman’s reaction was to his reply, and in truth, he didn’t care. Cayal was beyond forgiveness. He was beyond despair. Just to be sure, he reached out mentally, wondering if there was any trace of magic left, but he could sense nothing, not even a faint residual hint of the Tide he once commanded. The magic couldn’t save him from the pain he knew was coming…

Almost before he finished the thought, the platform dropped beneath him. He plummeted through the trapdoor without any further warning.

The rope tightened savagely, cutting off his breath. Cayal thrashed as the air was driven from his lungs, the knot under his left ear pushing his jaw out of alignment, snapping his neck with an audible crack.

Filled with frustration, Cayal jerked viciously on the end of the rope, choking, asphyxiating, hoping it meant he was dying. His eyes watered with the pain. His very soul cried out in anguish, begging for death to claim him. He thrashed about, wondering if the violent motion would complete the hangman’s job. The agony was unbelievable. Beyond torture. White lights danced before his eyes, his heart was racing, lightning bolts of pain shot through his jaw and neck, he couldn’t breathe…

Cayal cried out in a language nobody in Glaeba knew, pleading with the powers of darkness to take him…and then, with his last remaining breath, his cry turned to a wail of despair. He’d been thrashing at the end of the rope for far too long.

His cry had driven the remaining air from his lungs. His throat was crushed. His neck broken.

And still he lived.


They left him hanging there for a long, long time, waiting for him to die. It was the nervous clerk who finally ordered him cut down when it was clear he wasn’t going to.

Cayal hit the unforgiving ground with a thud and lay there in the mud, dragging in painful breaths to replenish his oxygen-starved lungs as the noose eased, already feeling the pain of his dislocated jaw, broken larynx and neck beginning to heal of their own accord.

“Tides!” he heard the clerk exclaim as they jerked the hood from his head. “He’s still alive.”

The hangman was leaning over him too, his expression shocked. “How can it be?”

Cayal blinked in the harsh spring sunlight, glaring painfully up at the two men. Rough, unsympathetic faces filled his vision.

“I can’t die,” he rasped through his crushed larynx and twisted jaw, not realising that even had he been able to form the words properly, he still spoke in his native tongue; a language long gone from Amyrantha. Realising his error, he added in Glaeban, “I’m immortal.”

“What did he say?” the clerk asked in confusion.

“Something about a portal?” the hangman ventured with a shrug.

Cayal took another deep breath, even more painful than the last, if that was possible, then lifted his head and banged his face into the ground, jarring his jawbone back into place.

“I’m immortal,” he repeated in his own tongue. Nobody understood him. Even through the pain, with the failure of these fools to give him the release he craved, he found himself losing patience with them. “You can’t…kill me. I’m a…Tide…Lord.”


It wasn’t until later—when the Warden came back down to see what was going on—that he’d recovered sufficiently to repeat his announcement in a language even these stupid Glaebans would understand.

“I’m…a Tide Lord,” he’d announced, pushing aside the agony for a moment. He’d been expecting shock, perhaps a little awe at his news—after all, they’d just borne witness to his immortality—certainly not scepticism. “And as I’ve now proved…you can’t hang me, I demand…to be decapitated!”

The Warden had been far from impressed. “A Tide Lord, eh?”

Ignoring the throbbing in his neck and jaw, trying to sound commanding, Cayal nodded. “You must…execute me again. Only this time, do it properly.”

The man had squinted at Cayal lying on the ground at his feet in a foetal curl, smiling humourlessly. “I must do nothing on your command, my boy. I don’t care who you think you are.”

Cayal hadn’t actually thought about what might happen if they didn’t behead him. Not in practical terms, at any rate. He had wanted to end things so badly he hadn’t allowed himself to consider the consequences, just in case it jinxed him somehow. Lukys would have called him a superstitious fool for thinking like that. But then, Lukys would have had quite a bit to say about this entire disastrous escapade if he’d known about it. Cayal wondered, for a moment, what had happened to him. It was a century or more since Cayal had seen any of his brethren. Perhaps, if he had, he might not have come to this, but finding the others was nigh impossible if they didn’t want to be found. It was easy to get lost in a world of millions when there were only twenty-two of you.

So, alone and despairing, Cayal had waited until the lowest ebb of the Tide and then, quite deliberately and methodically, set out to put an end to his desolation.

And failed miserably; a problem he was only now—as he heard the Warden demanding to know what had gone wrong—beginning to fully appreciate.

“I am…Cayal, the Immortal…Prince,” he gasped, between his whimpers of agony. The damage done by the noose and his anxious jerking about at the end of the rope was substantial. This wasn’t going to heal in a few hours. Overnight, it might, but it was going to take time.

“You’re a right pain in the backside, is what you are,” the Warden muttered, turning to the guards who stood over Cayal, watching him writhe on the cold ground in agony as the healing progressed apace. “Take him to the Row while I decide what to do with him.”

“Didn’t you…hear me?” Cayal demanded as the Warden walked away, wondering if his inability to stand was somehow robbing his words of authority. The Warden seemed singularly unimpressed by the importance of his prisoner.

“I heard what you said, you murdering little bastard,” the Warden assured him, glancing back over his shoulder at where Cayal lay. “And if you think acting crazy is going to save you from the noose, you can think again.”

Crazy? Who’s acting crazy?

“You don’t know…who you’re dealing with!” he tried to yell hoarsely at the Warden’s back. The pain was unbelievable. Healing at an accelerated rate was a very nasty business.

“You’ve got a lot to learn about Glaeban justice yourself, old son,” one of the guards informed him, hauling him to his feet. “Come on, your holiness. Your royal suite awaits you.”

Cayal’s legs hung uselessly beneath him, his shins banging against the stone steps as they dragged him up the narrow curving stairs to Recidivists’ Row while they worked out what to do with the man who wouldn’t die.

The man they refused to acknowledge as an immortal.

Copyright © 2007 by Jennifer Fallon

Meet the Author

Jennifer Fallon is the author of The Hythrun Chronicles, and one of Australia's bestselling fantasy authors. She lives in Australia.

Jennifer Fallon is the award-winning author of The Hythrun Chronicles, and one of Australia's bestselling fantasy authors. She lives in Australia with a lot of children and a lot of pets and a lot of ideas for more books.

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4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Silvers_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Cayal, the Immortal Prince, is tired of millenia of living, and he thought he found a way to solve his problem. Unfortunately, a botched hanging leaves him very much alive and in full possession of his memories. So,back to prison he goes. Meanwhile, Arkady Desean, academic historian and the Duchess of Lebec, is sent to interrogate the man who claims to be the Tide Lord Cayal and to prove him a liar, and in the process, she finds herself not quite believing--yet also not quite disbelieving--his tale...<br><br> Jennifer Fallon weaves an intriguing tale, which twists and turns all throughout, and she obviously ascribes to the maxim, "Things are not what they seem." The story is written from the points of view of many persons, each of whom contributed to make the story whole, and from each of their perspective, we see how the world and the gods of Amyrantha are viewed by the different factions--humans, gods, and Crasii (half-human, half-animal creature).<br><br> I love a good yarn, and this story certainly delivers. Aside from which, there are 3 more books to look forward to in the series! I've heard that this series (all 4 books) has been published and read by the Australian public, but Book 3 is just going to be published in the US in 2010, and Book 4 the year after. I'm just going to have to exercise my patience to wait (unless a good Samaritan from Australia wants to send me the books, anyone?), but at least I'm assured that I'll complete this series some time down the road.<br><br> Jennifer Fallon's gods are interesting, because they weren't gods who came into being from nothing or whose origins are unknown, but they were once mortal who were then made immortal. Their powers also come and go with the Tides. At the start of the book, the tide has been gone for a long time--a thousand years, if I'm not mistaken--and the Tide Lords have faded into legend and memory. Because of this, Cayal has a hard time convincing Arkady that he is indeed a Tide Lord. And he couldn't do anything to prove it, because when the tide is out, the Tide Lords lost all their powers, though they remain immortal.<br><br> If Cayal were the hero of this series (because in a fantasy series, one never knows), I'm not sure if I like him very much. He's not the typical romance hero, definitely, heroic and made larger than life, but he's all too like us--human with flaws and prone to selfishness and making stupid calls in life. I don't know if meeting Arkaday (or thousands of years of living) will make him a better man, but things he's done in his past made me cringe and wonder how he could have done such things.<br><br> However, this story is more than just Cayal's and Arkady's romance. There is a larger game at play, one which involves all the other Tide Lords.<br><br> This is definitely a great start to the series and I'm interested to see how Cayal will evolve and mature/grow in the next books, and how his budding relationship with Arkady will affect him. To be honest, the back cover blurb didn't draw me in, but once you start reading, Ms. Fallon's way with words will hold sway over you and won't let go until you've read the last page. <br><br> ~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad... not great... but worth a read
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ElizabethT More than 1 year ago
Great read. I really enjoyed it
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kanoots More than 1 year ago
Much in the way Patrick Rothfuss tells the story of Kvothe-- in lengthy flashbacks-- Jennifer Fallon tells of the immortal life of Cayal of Lakesh, the Immortal Prince. Unlike Kvothe's story, however, Fallon's flashbacks feel weighty and distracting, neither the past nor the present bear any storyline that's compelling enough to really engage the reader. Cayal is an interesting character, as is Arkady, but their love story seems awkward and forced. I never got the impression that Cayal was at all interested in Arkady, for example, until they were already declaring their passions to each other. Also, I kept waiting for it all to go to hell in a hand basket. I was waiting for the status quo to be so rocked as to seem hopeless, thus making the comeback that much more amazing. It never happened, though. There were no big shockers, no big upsets to the routine of the book, and that made this read simply average for me.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In Lebec, royal spymaster Declan Hawkes directs noted ancient Amyranthan lore historian Arkady ¿Ice Duchess¿ Desean to question mass murderer Lord Cayal, who miraculously somehow survived a hanging. Declan expects Arkday to prove the dangerous psychopath is delusional with his insane claims of immortality. Bored with his current life cycle and ergo seeking freshness Caval expected his head to be sliced off so that when a new one grew in he would have no memories of his previous life----------------- Intrigued by the scholar¿s energy, he provides her with fascinating information on the legendary Tide Lords who supposedly created the human-animal half-breeds Crasii slaves. The Tide Lords ebb and flow in power reaching their apex every thousand years only to self destruct into squabbles and ultimately myth until the cycle renews. The last time they were at the pinnacle of power was a millennium ago when the great Cataclysm devastated the ancient world and the Tide Lords. Meanwhile Declan also serendipitously abets the rebel halfbreed engineered Crasii while also insuring the secret Cabal remains diligent to defeat the Tide Lords when they return----------- The first Tide Lords tale, THE IMMORTAL PRINCE is a fascinating fantasy due to the strong cast in which readers get inside their heads. Fans know Cayal desired decapitation because he believed a new head would grow in containing a blank slate to refresh him Arkday realizes the ruler expects her pregant but her spouse is gay and she is from the lower class Caval is Machiavellan working behind the scnes to keep humans safe from when the next high tide occurs finally the Cassii represented by an imprisoned canine-human is outraged and angry by their inhuman treatment. Although much of the novel is introducing the players and the newest Fallon realm, fans of the author will enjoy the opening of a new fantasy saga---------------------- Harriet Klausner
laurastine More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up cause I have read other Jeniifer Fallon books, and I was not Dissapointed! I enjoyed it all the way through to the end. The only downfall of the book was waiting for the next one to come out.I thought the chracters were well written, and the story line interesting and with a few twists. Some were predictable, but even then I was still very surprised by a few. The ending was well played which leaves the reader wanting more and wondering what happens next. Which for me is always a plus. There are quite a few characters you will love and a few more you will hate. I thought it was intersting how some basic human faults are exploited in the "Gods" and their thinking's. I am ready to read the next book and its already in my wishlist for what to order next. (got a another book to finish first) So I would recomend this book to any Fallon fans or any 1st time readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have not yet read "The Immortal Prince" but since I am a fan of Jennifer Fallon, I know it will (as always) be excellent.