Book Cover
Title The Prince of Whales
Series ---
Author R.L. Fisher
Cover Art ---
Publisher Tor Books - 1987
First Printing 1985
Category Children
Warnings None

Main Characters

Toby, Diomeda, Murdo

Main Elements Anthropomorphism

Young Toby's uncontrollable dream music filled the Arctic night sea with sound that brought great danger to all the whales in Toby's pod. His powerful and thundering music was sure to attract the human hunters with their killing ships and hideous exploding harpoons. For the safety the pod, Toby had to be banished, exiled to certain, lonely death - unless he could silence his song.

But then a strange, ghostly spirit appeared, setting Toby on a quest that led from the depths of the haunted oceans to the mystery of an enslaved sunken city. A quest in search of his true voice. Somewhere in Toby's song was a secret that reached from the seas to the stars. And only Toby's music could unite all the beings of the land and the water, to save Earth from a dark, evil creature who hated whales, hated humans, hated Nature and, most of all, hated - Dreams.

I picked up this book in a used bookstore. I like whales and you don't often see stories from the point of view of the whale itself. Plus it was fantasy and involved magic, so it looked like a good mix.

The story was ok, and I probably would have liked it even more had a been younger when I read it, but it certainly isn't going to be one of my favorites. For one thing, I felt it was rather cliched to treat killer whales as the equivalent of the mafia. Yes, they do look the part and they have the attitude, but its just so obvious and rather unfair to the whales. Also the somewhat cheezy theme, that "if we all dream and sing together we can get through to those evil humans who are destroying the world and we can all live happily together". While dreams can be powerful things, it takes a little more to stop an armada of whale ships I'm afraid. I felt more could be done with the concept of a dreamsinger, but perhaps I'm setting the bar a little high given the age group this book was intended for. And the sunken was just sort of weird that all these aquatic animals created a world so similar to our own Las Vegas or Atlantic City, it just kind of didn't make sense to me. They were too human for my tastes. And Diomeda is such an awkward name for the villain. But everyone on Amazon who reviewed it loved it, so maybe it's just me!

I have noticed that the book is very easy to find in used bookstores. I don't know if that means it was very popular when it first came out, or that no one wants to keep their copy. Just the same, even though it is out of print you should have no trouble tracking down a copy if you wish.

Posted: March 2011


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