A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
My rating 5 of 5 stars
Who doesn't love Garth Nix? There were several Middle School readers at my school anxious about missing the release of each new "day" in his Keys to the Kingdom series - they'll love this new book.
Khemri was chosen by the Emperor Hierself's minions to be a Prince, a life he believes will lead to something like the one he's seen in a number of videos: commanding a starship of some kind, ruling a world, surrounded by luxury and adventure, and many, many rebirths. The reality of life post-Ascension isn't quite that, what with potential assassination plots, service in the Navy and trying to learn something about how to stay alive.
Turns out that he's somehow special. Quite how special isn't revealed until later, when he's sent on a mission to a world on the Fringe. Stripped of his "enhancements" and virtually human, he learns to survive and - most important - not be one of the cookie-cutter princes that litter the universe. I can't go into detail here without massive spoilers, suffice it to say that the twists in Khemri's life aren't 100% predictable.
ARC provided by publisher.