Marco Kunst and Marieke Nelissen

The Prince’s Desire

Classic adventure story full of wild seas, foaming waves and striking characters

A three-master called The Prince’s Desire has been sailing the world’s oceans for three hundred years. The crew is searching for the Indonesian island of Prince Adi. Because he is the only one who can break the curse.

Anyone who goes on board the ship and dreams about the prince is struck by the curse and can never leave. All the crewmembers want to do is to get away from the ship, but they’re doomed to one another’s company. The protagonist is an orphan boy, Lode, who doesn’t escape the curse but deals with the situation in his own creative way. He realises that the prince played a role in his parents’ death and holds the key to the ship’s problem. This adventure sails towards an inevitable climax, taking interesting detours along the way.

This is an exciting and sophisticated tale with appealing and colourful characters, including the ‘word man’, the freckle-faced girl Tulip, Tyman, who’s in a wheelchair and plays the trumpet beautifully, and the exasperated captain. The moral of the story is that there’s no need to go in search of ultimate, everlasting happiness; it usually proves to be a short-lived illusion. The richness and variety of the evocative language used by Kunst is remarkable, with songs, poems and flowery made-up words. The colourful illustrations by Marieke Nelissen support the power of Kunst’s imagination.

The Prince’s Desire is a captivating and layered story packed with mystery and secrets. It’s an exciting adventure book that’s been unanimously hailed by the press as the highpoint of Marco Kunst’s writing career to date.

The writer combines the modern world with a fairy-tale universe, making it sometimes feel contemporary and at other times classic.


Marco Kunst

Marco Kunst (b. 1966) – a philosopher by background – proved with his futuristic Gewist (2004) and fantastic Kroonsz (2014) that he does not shy away from telling big stories that reach through time and space. He refuses to be pinned down to any single genre or style. In 2013, he surprised his…

lees meer


Het verlangen van de prins (2020). Children's books, 240 pages.


Marieke Nelissen

Age: 8+
16.5 x 23 cm



Zijlweg 308
2015 CN Haarlem
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 23 541 11 90
Fax: +31 23 527 44 04

[email protected]

lees meer