Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen


Back in September, Clare A. reviewed a novel entitled Silent to the Bone and gave it a low rating, suggesting that some of the content was, to say the least, questionable. In contrast, my book review today will wave a tantalizingly clean and irresistibly wonderful book under your nose. Or rather, under your TBR.

The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Medieval Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 342

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The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)
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.



Language:

(There are a few references to "the devils," but otherwise there is no objectionable language.)


Abuse:

(Ill-treatment of one of the characters is mentioned, but it is put in a bad light. The main character is also whipped for "discipline," but I'm going to come right out and say that his defiance is the funniest part of the book - and would you look at that? I'm getting ahead of myself.)

Lust:

(The book has some romance, but it's completely clean!)


Book Review:

(To put it in words, The False Prince is amazing and you should read it. But I should probably elaborate a little more, so...)


The prince of Carthya died years ago, and the nobleman Bevin Conner is now using that to his advantage. He collects a few boys from various orphanages and takes them to his estate, where he explains that they each bear physical resemblance to Prince Jaron and will spend two weeks learning to be princely. At the end of their training, one boy will be chosen for a plot of deceit and treason. Conner claims, however, that it is all for the good of Carthya.

It's a race for survival, because while the winner enters into a life of wealth and renown, the losers will most likely be killed.

One of the boys, Sage, is our main character and the star of the show. His recklessness, defiance, and arrogance is illustrated clearly from the very beginning, but although those are generally undesirable characteristics, Sage is no undesirable character. He has a heart of compassion behind that rebellious mask, and I find him extremely likeable primarily because of that. Also, his sarcastic sense of humor is perfect and I can't get enough of it.

Make no mistake - Sage does not lack flaws. There were times when I wanted to put my head in my hands because he was building so many hate relationships with his sassy remarks.

The setting is well-thought-out and described in a way that is easy to understand and picture. The plot is slow-burning but never sluggish, filled with incredibly witty dialogue and captivatingly intense character conflict. The twists and turns are clever and sometimes shocking.

As aforementioned, this book is also 100% clean. There's a bare wisp of potential romance, a few mentions of characters cursing - for example, "he cursed loudly" - and one of Conner's servants is implied to be ill-treated by other servants. But the main character is extremely concerned by this and even gets angry, which puts it in a bad light.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend The False Prince. I've read it three times already and will most likely pick it up again for a fourth. It's also the first book in a trilogy, and the following two installments by no means disappoint!

The Lord's Truly,
Lila Kims <3


"I dumped his body into the cellar to get better or not, I didn't care. Next time I checked on him, he'd got over the fever on his own and was a good deal more humble."

Conner looked at me again. "He doesn't look so humble now."

"I got over that too," I said.

-- The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

41 comments:

  1. Ahh, I can't wait to read this book!

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    1. I can't wait for you to read it either! XD

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  2. It sounds AMAZING! Thanks for reviewing it!!

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    1. IT IS AMAZING! And absolutely, I had fun reviewing it! :D

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  3. This book is incredible! Everyone go read it! And awesome review Lila ^.^ <3

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    1. I second that! Everyone go read this right now!

      Thanks, Anna!!! <3 <3

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  4. That quote is brilliant. I'll have to see if my library has it. If its Christian fiction, it probably won't because they only have theology books. (Few theology when it comes to Christian.) But this review makes me want to read it so bad. Definitely joining the TBR. :D

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    1. Isn't it?? The whole book is brilliant!!

      It isn't Christian - I believe the author is Mormon, actually. But I hope it's at your library so you can read it because it's AMAZING.

      Yesss, by all means add it to the list! XD

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    2. They have it, but in the Juvenile fiction section. :p

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  5. *Freaking out because this is one of my favorite series ever!!!!* I love this series to death!!! This was a great review, Lila!! (I actually read this series in one day, send help XD)

    -Lilah
    lilahsmusicals.blogspot.com
    catholicgirlstuff.blogspot.com

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    1. *freaks out too because SAME* THIS TRILOGY IS LIKE THE BEST THING EVER!!!

      Thanks so much, Lilah!

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  6. Aaaah, I MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!!

    Lovely review, Lila! <3

    ~Liv
    livkfisher.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, yes, Liv, YOU MUST!!!

      And thank you! <3

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  7. YESSS everyone read this book. READ IT. Or I'll send my Aussie drop bears after you. xP (I don't want to have to do that... JUST GO READ IT, okay??)
    Jem Jones

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    1. *points up at Jem* WHAT SHE SAID. WHATEVER AUSSIE DROP BEARS ARE, YOU DON'T WANT THEM. Trust me.

      So go read this, peoples!!!!

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    2. You know koalas, right? Except koalas snooze around in trees, stuffing their faces full of gum leaves. Drop bears - much bigger - plummet onto anyone who passes under their territory and maul them with the kind of teeth koalas do not have. The Australian Museum has an article here, if you'd like to have a look. :)

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    3. I have literally never heard of these. This is cool! Well, not for the people who get dropped on, but learning something new is cool. :D

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    4. I hear you have Hoop Snakes in the US? which is also cool. I don't know much about them. :)

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    5. *does some research on drop bears* Hhhmmmm. :D

      And oh, YES, if you ever come to the US, watch out for those hoop snakes. They're vicious. ;) *cough*

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    6. I've never heard of a hoop snake. *goes to look it up*
      Oh. Well then. I already don't like snakes, so this will add to my nightmares.
      XD

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  8. I love this book! Wonderful review Lila, thank you for reminding me of my love for it! <3

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    1. Me too! Thanks, Melissa, and no problem - any time. ;) <3

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  9. Glad you found a book you could unequivocally recommend!

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  10. Awesome review! This really is a great book!

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    1. THAAAAAANKS.

      It definitely is! *cough*betterthanGG*cough* ;D

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    2. But actually it uh *cough* isn't!

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  11. Awesome review, Lila!! I've heard all sorts of good things about this trilogy, can't wait to read it!!!

    Catherine

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    1. Thank you, Catherine! And yessss, it's SO GOOD. Read it soon!!! :D

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  12. I've heard about this book, and it sounds pretty good! Everyone seems to like it, from what I've heard. Just one question: how are the magic levels?

    And a second question (for the whole RW team): Would y'all consider adding magic to the content you consider? I know I'm not alone in preferring books with little to no magic in them, and it is a factor I like to consider before starting a new book/series. I don't mind low levels, but high magic/sorcery/witchcraft is something I prefer not to read. :)

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    1. I haven't read this book yet, so someone who has needs to answer this!

      As for the magic element request, I have no personal problem with magic, as long as it is represented fictitiously, avid Harry Potter fan right here. But maybe we can add an additional content warning section for more conservative readers in our reviews, although I don't think stars should be taken away for magical elements. I'll talk to the team about it.
      Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

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    2. The False Prince has no magic whatsoever! It's a very realistic medieval world, actually. What makes it fantasy is the fact that it's a made-up kingdom. XD

      I totally understand you about the sorcery, Julian - I'm extremely wary myself, and whenever I come across a good witch or wizard in a book or witchcraft that is put in a good light, at worst I DNF and at best I'm just uncomfortable. There are exceptions (like LotR) but generally I'm 100% with you.

      My first thoughts are that it would be a good idea to add that as an element to rate when reviewing fantasy books, but I'll be thinking more on it and also waiting to see what other teammates have to say about it. :D Thank you for the suggestion, Jules! <3

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    3. I certainly don't think stars should be taken away because of magic. :) But I think it would be great if y'all could include a section on magical content, since it can be something that will turn others away from a story.

      But I am loving the RW movement! Keep it up, y'all!

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    4. My parents are actually a bit uncomfortable with LotR - because of the wizard-y stuff. They hadn't grown up reading it, and I'm actually the only reason anything Tolkien is in our house. :|

      A 'magic' category would be much appreciated! (especially after seeing "The Raven Boys" on here with a semi-positive review...)

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    5. I loved the harry potter series though

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  13. This looks like it would be refreshing after Silent to the Bone. Good review Lila! I will be adding it to my TBR list!

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    1. Yessss, read it!! I think it WILL be refreshing. :) Thanks so much, Clare! <3

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  14. I love this book so much!! That twist--so artful. She makes you think you know what's going on and then manages to trick you out of your own suspicions. XD This was a great review, too. :)

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    1. Me too!!! And YES, I've never been so shocked by a twist before. IT WAS SO CLEVER.

      Thank you so much, Nicole! :)

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  15. I loved this series! A good fantasy without magic/sorcery is hard to come by. Sage got a tad annoying and reckless in book two, but the series finale hit a home run! Great review again, girls!

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    1. Me too! And I agree - they are EXTREMELY hard to find. Hidden, it seems, in the nooks and crannies. :D

      And I see what you're saying about Sage. However, I never found him annoying. ;)

      Thanks, Izelle!

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