Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is a weekly feature started by MG author Shannon Messenger and is a weekly post featuring an upcoming MG release, a MG Author Interview or a MG review. You can find out more about this series posts, and find links to author authors and bloggers who are taking part in this feature here. You can also my Must Have Middle Grade Readsfeature on Mundie Moms.

Published by: Scholastic
To Be Released on: April 1st, 2012
Source: book from publisher, ARC from ALA Midwinter
Ages: 10 & up
5 stars: I LOVED IT!
Pre-Order from: ScholasticAmazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Series: Book #1 in The Ascendance Trilogy

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 -quoted from Goodreads

I absolutely love it when I can get completely swept away in a well written middle grade fantasy. That was the case with The False Prince. What an amazing fantasy adventure. The characters, the setting, the story, everything came together perfectly and was so well written. I still can't get over that shocking twist and that fabulous ending! This is one of those books that left me wanting so much more after I read it! I can't wait to see what awaits the characters in the next book. This particular story is centered on Sage, a young orphan who was bought than trained to possibly become an impersonator for King's long lost son. I loved this character. He's relatable, he's real, and he's sympathetic to those around him. I of course also loved that he's feisty, brave, cunning, smart and he knows how to stay ahead of the game. He kind of reminds me of a younger version of one of my favorite YA characters.

Sage is one of those characters who made me laugh, made me cringe with some of the situations he got himself into and had me cheering for him the whole time. He's definitely a stubborn character, but that's one of the things I came to admire about him. He refused to bend toward his master, Conner's will. He wanted to be his own person, and though he takes some brutal punishments for it, I didn't want him to give up, which he doesn't. He's truly a character who will wiggle his way into your heart and leave you wanting him so much more for him and from him. Every hero has a villain and unfortunately for Sage that person is Conner, his owner if you will. He is one of those clever villain's who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He's one of those guys few ever have the courage to stand up to and walk away from doing so. He's a guy I'd fear, but for Sage he's someone he refuses to fear.

There's more to this story than just Sage. Sure, he's the main character and someone you'll quickly fall in love with, but there's a cast of fascinating secondary characters around him, a Kingdom to rule, it's rich history to learn about, and a mystery to solve surrounding the lost Prince. This is a book that once you start reading it you won't be able to stop. It's rich in fantasy, adventure, and twists! Did I mention it also ends on a happy note? Don't be fooled by the ending though, there's so much more to this story that's yet to be told, and I can't wait to read it! Let me just say, this book will be a hit with even the most reluctant reader. Boys will love it. Girls will love it, and parents will enjoy it! I'm parent and I LOVED it! I HIGHLY recommend picking this book up when it's out next week. This is a must have for every book shelf!   

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~