Principle Destiny
by David A. Cleinman
Black Rose Writing

"To me, it's a simple choice. The masses come first, the common good comes first. It's time for a change!"

Alyssa Kaia, Princess of the Kingdom of Landing, is a beautiful and determined woman with a strong sense of right and wrong. She is the heir to the throne of Landing as an older sibling to her brother, Tobias. However, Alyssa must participate in a several-months long endurance race in order to claim the crown that should be rightfully hers. The race, which tests physical endurance, strength, and sheer will, takes Alyssa on a wild romp through the kingdoms of Landing, Lowdusk, Sepia, and Calyx. To win the crown, she races against the other royals from Lowdusk, Calyx, and Sepia, and also against her own headstrong but mislead baby brother Tobias, Prince of Landing. In addition to overcoming mountains, lakes, swamps, and battling the elements, Alyssa must also manage to stay alive during the race. Evil forces are at work to keep her from winning and claiming the crown, including her own father, the power-hungry king of Landing, who would rather see his son Tobias win, and General Skenter from Landing, who by eliminating Alyssa hopes to attain the throne for himself.

Alyssa prevails with the help of her loyal friends that are watching her on the trail during the race and her fiancée Skye, Prince of Sepia. Toward the end of the race, Skenter manages to injure Alyssa in order to keep her from finishing and winning the crown, but her father and her brother both have a change of heart and claim her a victor when they realize that she could have been killed by the general.

Principle Destiny is a classical struggle between good and evil, and true to form, the good wins. The novel shows strong emotional struggles between Princess Alyssa, her brother Tobias, and their father, the king—an intriguing story of human behavior as well as a treatise about political struggles for power. The author chooses an interesting setting—a kingdom more familiar to antiquity, yet with all the amenities of a modern society like cars, weapons, and a working economy. Cleinman's description of the countryside, happenings, and the characters' struggles are a treat for the reader, but in places the descriptions tend to slow the story and obscure the gem that is buried beneath: Principle Destiny is a good read, in which all bad eventually comes to pass and goodness prevails.

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