From the back of the book:
I have died three times, and three times been reborn, though I am not yet twenty in the old earth years by which it is still the fashion to measure time. This is the story of my three deaths, and my life between. My name is Khemri.
Taken from his parents as a child and equipped with biological and technological improvements, Khemri is now an enhanced human being, trained and prepared for the glory of becoming a Prince of the Empire. Not to mention the ultimate glory: should he die, and be deemed worthy, he will be reborn...Which is just as well, because no sooner has Prince Khemri graduated to full Princehood than he learns the terrible truth behind the Empire: there are ten million princes, and all of them want each other dead.
I had this book sitting in my tbr since the day of its release (sometime in 2012) - not sure what took me so long to get around to reading it but I've got to say it was well worth the wait.
Unlike the other novels I've read by Garth Nix (the Old Kingdom series inc. the new novel (published 2014) CLARIEL, review HERE), A CONFUSION OF PRINCES is science fiction, rather than the fantasy I'm used to from him and the change of pace works really well - even to the extent of making up for my disappointment with CLARIEL.
In A CONFUSION OF PRINCES the reader is taken to a strange far future time where Earth is (presumably) one of many planets in a broad spanning galaxy which boasts a ridiculously high number of princes - though a single Emperor. Protagonist, Khemri is one of these princes; his sole aim to become Emperor and have complete rule over the 'mind' and galaxy.
This was an addictive read with a number of really engaging concepts embedded in a journey of self discovery and personal growth. There's action, tension, interplanetary travel, far reaching sci-fi concepts, and brutal battles - pretty much all you could want from a sci-fi.
I also like the fact that A CONFUSION OF PRINCES is a standalone - too often 'series' authors fall into the trap of writing multiple novels whereas this book reads perfect well as a self contained story in its own right - even if Garth Nix does decide to revisit the setting again.
Touted as a homage to golden age sci-fi in some blurbs I've read - A CONFUSION OF PRINCES does live up to such an accolade.