June 27, 2012

Book Review: THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book:  The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy: Book 1)
Author:  Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Category:  Young Adult Fantasy

“Will you not look at me?”- Princess Amarinda
“No, my lady.  If I can not look at you as an equal, I will not look at all.”- Sage
“Remember this moment then Sage, when someone of my status offered a kindness to someone of yours.  Because next time we meet, If Darius is dead, I will no longer be anyone of importance.”- Princess Amarinda

Description Via Goodreads:

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

Having just put down the book I am still in a state of shock.  The book is just THAT good.  Honestly I wasn’t expecting much when I started reading because though I like historical fiction, I’m not one for those with much political intrigue.  This has an abundance of that, but it offers so much more.

Author Jennifer A. Nielsen
Sage, Latamer, Roden and Tobias are orphans bought by Conner to compete within two weeks, at the end of which one will be chosen as replacement for the lost Prince Jaron while the rest are killed.  Sage is forced to learn and train with the others, knowing that one of them may very well murder him. But time is of the essence.  The Royal Family, including crowned Prince Darius, have been murdered.  And the only way to save the kingdom of Carthya from an imminent attack is to find the lost prince.

 Both Roden and Tobias have an edge over Sage: Roden is good with the sword while Tobias is educated.  Sage is neither.  What he has though is an iron backbone, quick wit and a sharp tongue which he uses on everyone at anytime, despite threats of extreme physical punishment.  He endures with the help of a mute servant named Imogen and Conner’s own man Mott. 

I can not say much more about the plot as one slip can give all away but do know that this is a must read book for all ages filled with very strong characters and perfectly crafted layers.

Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will find a new hero in Sage. 
I highly recommend THE FALSE PRINCE

This is the first of three books under the Ascendance trilogy.  The 2nd book titled THE RUNAWAY KING is slated to come out Spring of 2013.

You may visit the author’s sites at:

The False Prince is available at National Book Store branches nationwide.


  1. I have a thing with false royals so I think I'd like this book. It kinda reminds me of MWT's Attolia series too, so I'd definitely try this one out.

  2. Much like The Game of Thrones. I will read this!