Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

March 16, 2014 Review 38 ★★★½

Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 342
Release Date: April 1st, 2012
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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.

bec (2)

A few months ago I started THE FALSE PRINCE audio book and didn’t get very far. Turns out I don’t have the attention span or multitasking ability required to listen for that long… However I was enjoying this story and had only heard good things about it so decided to get it from the library in book form. And I’m really glad I did.

Middle Grade fantasy isn’t something I’ve really ventured into before. I stick to the more adult and YA stuff, but THE FALSE PRINCE is in no way a lower standard. It is quite complex. The characters a questionable, you’re never entirely sure of the motives and it keeps you guessing. You can’t even trust what our narrator has to say.

Speaking of, I LOVE Sage. He’s such a sassy little… guy. Made me laugh so many times. And he’s so clever! His narration made the novel even better, though I did have a few issues with the way he interacted with Imogen. I just…. I don’t know. Something about it rubs me the wrong way

Another good aspect of this novel: there’s some fantastic twists. And I mean BRILLIANT ones. The things that are kept from the reader are just… HOW DO YOU KEEP THAT A SECRET BUT STILL MANAGE TO FORESHADOW IT THAT WELL??? Now, I must admit I did predict that major twist before I even started (because I’m just that awesome), but it would take a many of the target audience/less observant readers by surprise I suspect.

Overall THE FALSE PRINCE was really enjoyable. Definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a nice, easy fantasy to read. Or something that makes you question ALL OF THE CHARACTERS.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.7

38 Responses to “Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen”

    • Bec

      I remember listening to a silver brumby one YEARS ago, but this was my first attempt since and it didn’t work for me :(

      But the book overall was great! Very fun :)

    • Bec

      It is a nice and light fantasy and that’s all it needed to be, especially for the age group its aimed at. Sage was so fascinating, he kept surprising me.

  1. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I loved this book so much that after it came out, the next two books were auto-buy (so how bad is that I haven’t read that two books? Gah! Time. Need more of it). And I pretty much agree with everything you said. I rarely read middle-grade, but something about this caught my eye, and Sage is a sassy-pants little bugger, but I adored him, and YES! How do you foreshadow that well w/o giving anything away?! So yeah. I liked it. *snickers*

    Great review!
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Bloodfire by Helen Harper

    • Bec

      Don’t worry, there’s quite a few series I’ve done something similar with. There’s so many sequels sitting on the tbr…

      The only other middle grades I’ve read are The School for Good and Evil and the Percy Jackson books. This was so good!


    • Bec

      I think if you get a really good audiobook it’s easy to listen to. If you don’t then, well… it’s not so easy.

      Yay! Should let her know about it then ;)

    • Bec

      There’s some amazing MGs out there! You should branch out sometimes XD

      Great twists are always amazing! Thanks :)

    • Bec

      ahaha Sage is hilarious. He made so much of the story great.

      The author did do a great job! I’m just really good at predicting things so I guessed it. But I still loved reading the unveiling because it was so awesome

  2. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    Hmm…this definitely sounds intriguing. Like you said, it’s definitely not a particularly mind-bloggling, full of depth novel, but it definitely sounds like it has the entertainment factor! Sage sounds like an awesome protagonist, which really excites me! Definitely going to have to check this one out when I’m looking for a filter read between books. Thanks for sharing Bec, and, as always, fabulous review! xD
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Maybe One Day

    • Bec

      I haven’t tried driving to them yet (I dare say I’d get to distracted) and when (if) I work out I need music to pump me up.

      It is very entertaining and not a bad starting novel. Can’t wait to see where it goes.

    • Bec

      I’d never tried MG fantasy before, but fantasy is my favourite genre so I was pretty sure I’d enjoy it XD It is a really good twist!

  3. Goldie

    I love surprise twists! And I love having my mind blown while reading. It’s like, you’ve read a lot of books, and then bam! A book hits you with its awesomeness.

    P.S. Glad to know I’m not the only one who cannot listen to audiobooks. Although, in your case, you did say to audiobooks that long. I cannot listen to them at all!
    Goldie recently posted…Review: Going Rogue [Also Known As, book 2]

    • Bec

      ahah YES to all this!

      It wasn’t that the book was long, it’s just that if I’m going to listen I have to sit and do nothing but listen otherwise I get distracted by other silly things…

  4. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I was hugely surprised with this one! I kind of just read it to “cross it off the TBR” sort of feel…but I really enjoyed it. I laughed. And I was really engaged. I don’t really know why Imogen was really there…at all…er *cough* And I didn’t quite guess the twist, but at the same time I wasn’t surprised and I didn’t think it was 100% logically set up. BUT WHATEVER. I loved the sass.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy (Also: I write an incredibly cryptic review)

    • Bec

      I read it for a similar sort of reason (also because audiobook was being offered for free at the time) and it was a good surprise! Imogen is a bit of an… interesting character to include. She isn’t of much use or point right now though.

      The sass was brilliant

    • Bec

      It wasn’t that it was long, I just can’t focus to simply audio. Only got like 40 pages in (well, the equivalent of…). That’s a REALLY long time!

      I was really interested in the story and wanted to continue! So glad I did :)

    • Bec

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Yeah, for a while I was wondering if they might take it somewhere else because there was almost no indication! But then the way it just makes sense and they way it’s explained is perfect. Thanks!

  5. Kirsty-Marie

    I haven’t actually read a MG since I was younger, because honestly I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, so I mainly stick to YA, and occasionally and Adult depending on the story. But, I read one last week and it was amazing. Never thought that would happen, haha. Okay…so, that major twist, does it have something to do with He’s such a sassy little… guy.?
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Side Effects May Vary (AKA, I actually liked it.)

    • Bec

      I am going to be one of those people that refuses to grow up XD MG can be amazing! And some of the lessons in those books are great reminders for us.

      Well, not really to do with that. I was going to call him something other than guy there ;) But it does have to do with Sage.

    • Bec

      The only MG I’ve read recently is fantasy. I should branch out for other genres… I’ve found the characters and plot to be complex in all though!


  6. A Canadian Girl

    I love fantasy but haven’t read too many MG ones. This one I believe has a lot more crossover appeal though. I’m hoping to start this series – or read at least the first book – next month because a lot of people have really enjoyed it. One of my friends compared Sage to Gen from The Queen’s Thief series. I’m not sure if you’ve read that series, Bec, but it’s awesome~
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    • Bec

      It definitely has crossover appeal! A lot of events could be considered shocking even by a YA audience. I hope you love it!

      I need to read the Queen’s Thief series! I think I’ve read the first one, but need to reread it. Then get the rest…

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