I was actually very entertained by this book, and it was a quick read. I was on the fence with Sage as the main character, but the reveal that had my super suspicious from the beginning kind of explains his unbending personality and it suits him. I will have to pick up the rest of the books to know what happens next!
THE FALSE PRINCE
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Scholastic Books, April 2012
Children’s fantasy, adventure
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies
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.
I saw this trilogy sitting in my classroom last year and a half, and one of my voldies from last year had recommended it as something good to read. I finally decided to have a listen (because yay to Libby for having a copy of the first book as an audiobook!), and I honestly was quite entertained by the perspective.
We follow Sage, a sassy orphan boy who gets taken in with other orphan boys in some crazy plot to pose as the missing prince Jaron. While Sage is only one of four who fit the bill, there’s still some work to get done, and Conner–the man orchestrating this deception–has a deeper agenda of his own. Something doesn’t sit right with Sage, and he’s bound to find out what it is sooner or later.
Honestly, as entertaining as Sage’s perspective is, he does come across as a cocky little smartass sometimes, and occasionally I did want to smack him in the face. One of my big problems with him is his random and sudden attachment to the “pretty servant girl” that shows up in the middle of the book. I don’t buy it, and it bothered me, considering I really didn’t care much for Imogen (I’m also not fond of the “guy falls for pathetic and slightly helpless girl and tries to protect her” as a plot point. I hated it in The Night Angel trilogy, and I absolutely loved that series, so…).
In any case, it was an easy enough read, the pacing of the story was fast-paced, and I could have easily listened to it nonstop without a problem. I’m kind of amused at how things turn up at the end, and it does look like there’ll be more to the story now that we know what’s actually happened to the royal family. Also, I love Mott. More Mott, please!
4 out of 5 cookies! Urgh, my library needs to get the rest of the Ascendance trilogy on audiobook so I can continue listening to this.