Note: I will be going through all my previous posts and adding new categories so individual books will be easier to find. Instead of merely tagging them distinctly, I will also be categorizing them distinctly so that they are more accessible on the right-hand side of the page. I realized that merely categorizing the books in “reviews” doesn’t help much when you have 45+ of them…therefore, I will be adding categories for fantasy, realistic, mystery, tough reads, etc. for easier access.
The False Prince is written by Jennifer A. Nielsen. It was published in 2012 by Scholastic and is the first book in the Ascendance Trilogy. Nielsen’s website can be found here.
“In a faraway land, civil war is brewing. To unify his kingdom’s divided people, a nobleman named Conner devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him on the throne. Four orphans are forced to compete for the role, including a defiant and clever boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. His rivals will be devising their own plots as well, so Sage must trust no one and keep his thoughts hidden.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of deceit unfolds, until finally, a truth is revealed that may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.”
“If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I’m not sure I ever had a choice.
These were my thoughts as I raced away from the market, with a stolen roast tucked under my arm.”
“Conner smiled. ‘I’m afraid for now I must ask you to trust me on that. It’s my secret and mine alone. However, since the regents are unaware of my proof, their trip to Isel is only to end any official doubt before another king is chosen. That is where you come in. Because you see, many Carthyans have small hopes that Jaron is alive. Nobody has seen him for nearly four years. He would be fourteen today, about the same age as you boys. Surely the three of you have noticed certain physical similarities between one another.’ He paused a moment and his smile widened. ‘You also have similarities in appearance to Prince Jaron as he might look today. My plan is simple, really. I intend to convince the court that Prince Jaron is one of you.’”
Recommended Age Range: 12+
What I Liked:
Well, a while ago I reviewed a book about false princesses and now I’m reviewing one about false princes!
I really enjoyed the way Nielsen handled the first person POV. It reminded me quite a bit of a book by Agatha Christie (I’m afraid to say the title in case I accidentally spoil either book), where Christie did similar things with the first person POV as well. It makes for a bit more mystery in the novel and leaves the reader guessing, although I did figure it out before the “answer” was actually revealed. That didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book, though. Sage is witty and clever and a pleasure to read, and the plot, while maybe not the most original, was suspenseful, exciting, and enjoyable.
What I Didn’t Like:
I had a bit of issue with the writing style. I think I was just used to reading a more descriptive (or something) style, so Nielsen’s frank statements just stood out to me. The more I got into the book, though, the less I noticed it.
The False Prince, while not being outstanding, is a book worth reading. The dialogue is witty, the mystery, while easy to figure out, is thrilling and suspenseful, and it was easy to get sucked into the plot and the characters.
Coming Up Next: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood