Monday, June 11, 2012

My Review of THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer Nielsen

Photo Credit: Scholastic Press

The fate of medieval land called Carthya is at stake after its king and queen are murdered. In the wake of this news, a nobleman named Conner has a plan to use one of four orphan boys to impersonate the king’s long lost son named Jaron. In two weeks’ time he will prepare each of the boys to both fool and assume rule of the kingdom as the kingdom’s only hope for peace. One of the boys, Sage of Avenia, is a rebellious kid with no desire to be Conner’s pawn, but he realizes the only hope of his own survival may be to become the long lost prince Jaron. In a contest to see who is most like Jaron, will Sage be able to convince Conner that he can be the prince of Carthya?

THE FALSE PRINCE is the first book in Jennifer Nielsen’s new Ascendance Trilogy, and it is a surprisingly thrilling journey of one boy’s ingenuity in the midst of a desperate struggle to survive a man who will stop at nothing to bring his risky plan to completion. I picked up THE FALSE PRINCE because of its comparison to THE HUNGER GAMES. I loved THE HUNGER GAMES, and I love trilogies, so I was hoping to discover a new series that would keep me intrigued throughout. While THE FALSE PRINCE is a quite a different story from THE HUNGER GAMES, I really enjoyed the story, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next.

The story is told from the first-person point-of-view of Sage, and this takes us into the mind of angst-driven rebellious teenager. As his story, and where he’s from, is progressively revealed throughout the story, I got the sense that Sage is a drifter, trying to find a place in the world where he belongs. Conner is a brutal man who isn’t above killing to get what he wants. The bitter contest between the boys forces the character of each of them out. This becomes clear through the actions that Roden and Tobias take throughout the story to put themselves ahead of the curve.

Nielsen has created a world on the brink of war, and this makes the events of the first novel in her trilogy important. It’s thrilling and ultimately surprising in the end. It’s a great introduction to what is surely going to be a well-known and loved story.

I received this book for free for review from Scholastic Press, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own

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