Welcome to the ninth stop on the official Cinder Blog Tour! I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts so far, and have learned lots about Cinder, her friends and the brilliant Marissa Meyer.
Today, I have the great honour of introducing you to the heir of the Eastern Commonwealth, His Royal Highness Prince Kai. The Prince has graciously agreed to answer some questions about his life as a royal, his most treasured memories and his hopes for the future.
Angel: What is the best thing about growing up as a Prince? Conversely, what are some challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Prince Kai: There’s no humble way to say this—it’s nice being beloved by an entire country. To have men wanting to shake my hand, and women wishing me a lifetime of happiness, and girls, you know… being girls. There isn’t a citizen in the Commonwealth who wouldn’t welcome me as a friend into their home, just as we welcome the residents of New Beijing into our home for each annual ball. That’s the sort of trust and mutual respect that should have to be earned, but I’ve been lucky to have been given it freely.
On the other hand, that same adoration comes with a supreme lack of solitude and freedom, that I have yet to get used to. I may be free to come and go from the palace at will, but I risk drawing attention from every person I pass, unless I take efforts to be invisible. And of course, royal security is always watching me and can track my location through my ID chip at any given time. It’s unnerving to know you’re never truly alone.
Angel: Who are your role models and how did they influence you?
Prince Kai: My Dad, for sure. He’s one of the best rulers the Commonwealth has seen, since even before the unification. He’s firm in his decisions, but open to compromise, and always fair and generous toward our people. And despite the demands his position puts on him, he still always manages to know what subjects I’ve been studying with my tutor and take an interest in my life. I aspire to be half the leader he’s been.
Angel: When and where were you happiest?
Prince Kai: Going to the Annual Peace Festival when I was growing up. We would go every year as a family, before my mother died. Sure, there were a lot of photo ops and diplomatic meet-and-greets and royal traditions that my parents had to tend to, but Mom always found a way to sneak in a few private moments. Just the three of us, eating spicy noodles from the street vendors and watching the musicians practice for the parade that we would inevitably miss (being a part of it ourselves). It was during these moments I felt the most connected to both my parents and the Commonwealth.
Angel: What is your most treasured possession?
Prince Kai: My portscreen. Every childhood vid and photo, every friendly contact, every school lesson, beloved book, and distracting drama—all contained on a lightweight tablet I can hook on my belt. I’d be utterly lost without it.
Prince Kai: When I was fourteen, I was convinced that I was in love with one of the chefs-in-training here at the palace. She was five years my senior and engaged to an architect in the city, but I thought for sure she would leave him for me, given that I am a prince and all. I was devastated on the day of their wedding, but once I came to my senses, I learned two very important things: love and infatuation are not the same thing, and being a crown prince isn’t worth all that much when it comes to true affection. I’ve dated other girls since then, of course, but nothing too serious, and I haven’t had my heart broken since that one time. I guess when it does happen, I’ll know it’s for real.
Angel: What do you believe the future holds for you and your kingdom?
Prince Kai: Times are tough, we all know that and I can’t sugarcoat what the Commonwealth is going through right now. With Letumosis claiming more lives every day, even threatening the life of my own father, we are as weak as we’ve ever been. I do fear that there are those out there—namely, Queen Levana and the Lunars—who would take advantage of this vulnerability.
But I remain optimistic that we will pull through this, and be stronger because of it. Scientists are working around the clock to find a cure for this awful disease, and my father and his cabinet have been implementing programs across the country to assist those who have been hurt the most. And though I can’t go into details, I myself have been researching ways to diplomatically resolve our differences with Luna. Nothing is ever easy, but I believe in the Commonwealth, and I want to earn my place among many generations of respected leaders. I won’t let the Commonwealth down.
Thank you for coming to visit, Prince Kai, and best wishes for you and the Eastern Commonwealth!
Want more Cinder? Comment below or on my review of the book with your email address and/or Twitter handle to win a finished copy or an audiobook! I’ll be picking winners at the end of the tour. (US/Canada only)
January 2: Firefly and the Lunar Chronicles
January 3: A History of the Lunars
January 4: The Evolution of Cinder
Thursday 1/5: Cinder and the Photos That Inspired the Story
Friday 1/6: A Deleted Scene from Cinder
Saturday 1/7: Cooking With Marissa
Monday 1/9: Marissa’s Writing Journey
Tuesday 1/10: The Story of the Sale
An interview in which Marissa talks about her inspiration and offers advice.
An interview in which Marissa talks about her challenges and influences.
In which the book designer and Marissa talk about the cover art.
In which Marissa contemplates the symbolism behind a fancy-dress ball.
In which Marissa shares some songs from the CINDER playlist, and how they inspired the book.
An interview in which the characters get stuck on a desert island and Marissa confesses her karaoke song.
In which Marissa’s husband, Jesse, is interviewed!
In which Marissa eats noodles and crawl under cars. In other words, research.
In which Marissa shares the query letter that hooked her agent.
Watch the beautiful trailer: