Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: April 2012
Pages: 352
Source: Library
For: Fun
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1

Sage was pulled from an obscure orphanage to be part of a sinister plot to place a puppet prince on the throne of the kingdom.  Forced to play a dangerous game and learn everything he needs to become the false prince, Sage struggles to perform.  Especially because there are three other contenders for the position and those not chosen won't survive.

Things I Liked:
Sage had me from the beginning.  I'm not entirely sure why, because I felt like I couldn't figure him out - he was enigmatic.  That might be part of it.  I know a big part of why I liked him was he reminded me of Eugenedes from The Queen's Thief series.  I love intrigue and political machinations and all kinds of stories like this, so I expected to like this one.  And I did.  I liked seeing how little clues placed here and there led to the logical explanations near the end.  While I found the ending strangely unsatisfying, I still couldn't keep myself from being immersed in the kingdom and the history and Sage.  Definitely a character and story I'll be thinking about for a long time.

Things I Didn't Like:
I guessed a big plot reveal in advance.  Mind you, I wasn't 100% certain, but I thought it sounded pretty good and all points were leading there.  There were still surprises and some things I didn't expect, so I wasn't truly bothered.  As I mentioned before, the ending sort of disappointed me.  I'm still not quite sure why, but it felt very quick and the way things worked out pretty easily felt kind of like a cop out after all that building.  And yet, I still really loved it.  Now I'm intrigued where the series will go, because the ending seemed so complete.

The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
s-factor: none 
that I recall

mrg-factor: X
some vague references, nothing on page

v-factor: ->
an incident or two, but not graphic

Overall rating: ****

What's your favorite political intrigue book?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I can't think of a political intrigue book off the top of my head. I guess probably the Study series by Maria V. Snyder, although PI is more a sideshow than the main event.

    1. I love the study series, especially for the bits of political intrigue it does have!

  2. In addition to the ones you mentioned by M. Whalen-Turner and S. Smith, I loved Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Bitterblue, as well as Robin LaFevers' Grave Mercy for political intrigue.

    Thanks for the review!

    1. Ooh, yes. Those are excellent ones! I've got to get Bitterblue read already!

  3. Oh, I've had high hopes for this one, but discovering the ending too soon is such a hard thing for me. :( Lets hope I can keep my head out of it when I do get the chance to read it and just enjoy it because it does sound fantastic (and I do have a copy)! Wonderful review!

    As for political intrigue...eeck!? I have no idea. I'm terrible with that topic, it's just not something I usually read too much. Although, maybe the new Brandon Mull series, the Beyonders? It does have a bit, though the first book was a little slow starting for me.

    1. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think. Beyonders definitely has the intrigue, though I agree it was hard to get into.

  4. I just picked this one up at the library. Glad you liked it....I generally tend to agree with you. And since you compared it to the fabulous Queen's Thief series I am even more excited to get started!


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