The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant 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. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
“THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.”Ergh... Not quite.
This one follows a formula but fails to live up to what it’s emulating- Sage tries very hard to be Eugenedis: quick hands, clever mouth… and hiding something (a lot of somethings) and then never tiring of one upping others. But he never quite got me interested in him and his story. Why though? How about the simplistic characters? How about there being next to nothing about the world they live in? How about how there’s nothing new in it, with just about everything happening predictably.
Huge hints are dropped so much and so often, that barely an eighth in that you don’t even have to guess anymore at who holds which secret close anyway. A bit clumsy (simple?) I suppose because eventually there’s no mystery to unravel. By the time it’s time to unravel anything, it’s all been laid out so that you don’t really care which way things go anyway… because whatever you called early on, is likely the way things pan out. .
Had I read this prior to Lumatere and the Thief series, I’d likely have been impressed. But this lacked what those two had: characters you question but still rooted for, writing that’s not once clumsy nor simplistic, as well as world building that’s superb. FALSE PRINCE tries for all that but doesn’t quite get there.
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