The False Princess: Solid, But Nothing New

The False Princess is Eilis O’Neal’s first novel. It was published in 2011 by Egmont. O’Neal’s website can be found here. Her blog can be found here

Genre: Fantasy

Cover Art


“Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia has led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when she learns, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known.

Sent to live with her only surviving relative, Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. Then she discovers that long-suppressed, dangerous magic runs through her veins, and she realizes that she will never learn to be just a simple village girl.

Sinda returns to the city to seek answers. Instead, she rediscovers the boy who refused to forsake her, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history forever.”

~Inside flap


“What is my name?” I asked.

For the first time, the queen stirred, raising her head to look at me. “Sinda,” she said, her voice thin. “He said your name was Sinda.”

~O’Neal 16

Warnings: None

Recommended Age Range: 14+

Rating: 3/5

What I Liked:

The False Princess was well-written, engaging, and had enough surprises to keep me guessing. For most of the book I was sure I knew how it turned out, only to find out I was wrong. It had me tearing up/crying in some parts (which I consider a good thing; it means I’ve invested in the characters). The magic system is nothing unique but O’Neal handles it well. Sinda’s relationship with Kiernan was well-developed.

What I Didn’t Like:

I thought Sinda’s back story could have been explained a little bit more. I was extremely curious to know more about her mother. Also, Sinda’s magical prowess, even if she couldn’t control it, is a bit tired and cliché. It seems that all the heroines these days have some sort of amazing magical power that they discover. Like I said above, O’Neal handles it well, but it caused a bit of eye-rolling at first. The whole story was  a bit blah, if you couldn’t tell by the shortness of these sections.

Overall Review:

The False Princess is a solid novel and a good fantasy. It’s a little forgettable and it has a few wobbles here and there, but nothing to really detract from the story. It’s a good read for anyone who likes fantasy or princesses or female leads.

Coming Up Next: The Girl of Fire and Thornsby Rae Carson.

One thought on “The False Princess: Solid, But Nothing New

  1. Pingback: The False Prince: This Reminded Me A Lot Of An Agatha Christie Book That I Won’t Name For Fear of Spoilers « Leaf's Reviews

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