Monday, May 21, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The False Prince

Today’s pick:  The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Scholastic, 2012

From the publisher:
The thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger, deceit, and hidden identities will keep readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

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.

 My Take: 
I had so much fun reading this story, I didn’t want it to end! The story moved along at a good pace with lots of twists and turns, but it was easy to follow. I liked the way the author included just enough detail without weighing down the story. And I especially enjoyed the main character Sage’s attitude and sense of humour. He is a complex character with many layers. In this story there is some violence, including sword play and fighting (a boy gets killed by an arrow) so I’d say it’s more suitable for upper middle grade readers (e.g. ages 11-14) or as a read aloud with a parent.

 As a writer, I’ll return to this novel to study how the author creates a strong and engaging first person voice.

 Other Info:
Jennifer Nielsen is writing Book 6 in the Infinity Ring series (an alternate-history time travel series for readers ages 8-12 written by multiple authors, similar to The 39 Clues).

Scholastic Entertainment has optioned movie rights to The False Prince and other books in the Ascendency trilogy.

Other books by this author include:
Elliot and the Goblin War

For more, visit Jennifer Nielsen’s website.


  1. I've heard great things about this book! Hope to read it soon.

  2. Great review. I really love this book.

    1. Me too. It was one of my favourites so far this year.

  3. This is on my to-read list (and one I know my kids would love too). I need to get my hands on a copy SOON!

  4. Thanks for this great review. The book sounds wonderful.


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