In Search of a Prince is a wonderful contemporary fiction novel. It reminded me of Princess Diaries to start with, but even better. The main character, Brielle Adebayo, is a Middle-Grade teacher, and she loves her job. Content with her life, nothing has prepared her for the bombshell her mother drops one lunchtime. Brielle, with her best friend Iris, ends up travelling to Oloro Ilé, a small island off the African coast. Brielle is travelling as princess Brielle…
Toni Shiloh has done an amazing job in setting the scene and sharing Brielle’s emotions with us. Poor Brielle went from teacher to heir to the throne during one lunchtime. So many emotions came to the front as becoming heir wasn’t as straightforward as it seemed. Iris, Brielle’s friend is such a wonderful character as well, and I’m thrilled to hear she’s having her own book soon as well! I can’t wait to read her story.
Brielle gets off the plane in Oloro Ilé and meets Dayo, her secretary. Dayo becomes the person Brielle relies on to plan her days and make her time run smoothly. Dayo shares how thrilled she is to have a female heir come forward and explains to Brielle the difference she can make to the women on Oloro Ilé. Then there is Tomori, the young palace runner who gives her strange feelings deep down, simply the way he carries her luggage for her or teaches her the language, Onina. If only he was a prince…
Toni has used Yoruba, a language spoken in Nigeria as the island’s language, adjusting where she wanted to, especially in place names. She was very careful in making sure the setting has an African feel to it, and I loved the food references as well as the gorgeous beaches. Oloro Ilé sounds like the perfect holiday destination, although the book exposes areas of poverty as well as unhappy undercurrents.
Brielle has a long road to go before she is even considered the next in line to the king, King Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo. I loved her grandfather, he sounds such a wise gentleman, and the love he has for his granddaughter is beautiful. I felt so sad for Brielle that they hadn’t managed to connect before and it was such a deep lesson. Anger and bitterness can ruin so much, and we’re not always able to make up for lost times.
In Search of a Prince deals with so many questions, weaving faith into it and showing where Brielle’s strength and wisdom come from. The story has a sense of foreboding as well, especially when Brielle’s life might be at risk. Or isn’t that what the notes mean? I couldn’t wait to have the answers to all my questions, and I loved the ending. At least, this ending, for I surely hope there will be lots more books set on this beautiful island?!
I was given a review copy via Love Books Tours but was under no pressure or obligation to write a favourable review.