This week’s hot read, The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, kept me up reading WAY past my bedtime! If you enjoyed Michael Kirby’s Icefall, be sure to pick up this terrific tale.
In the kingdom of Carthya, trouble is brewing. Not only is there danger of war with the neighboring kingdoms, the nobles of the land are plotting and a battle to determine who should rule looms over the land. Connor, a concerned nobleman, has an ingenious plan to ensure that the kingdom is saved. Four years ago, the king’s youngest son was presumed dead after the ship he was traveling on was attacked by pirates. Now Connor has “recruited” four orphans to compete for the chance to impersonate the young prince and claim the throne in an effort to avoid an outright civil war. One of the orphans, a smart, street-savvy youth named Sage isn’t convinced of Connor’s good intentions. Yet, he must tread carefully, for his very life may depend on being the one chosen to portray the young prince.
I truly loved this story and I believe it is the character of Sage that made it such a great read. Street-wise and smart, Sage suspects something more is afoot almost immediately and works stealthily to foil Connor’s plans.
It is very hard to classify this fantastic book in any one specific genre as it has elements of historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy. The medieval-like kingdom appealed to me as I love of historical fiction, particularly stories set in the Middle Ages, while the fairy-tale-like quality of the story will appeal to those readers who prefer fantasy. The major plot line adds an element of mystery that moves the story along swiftly with great twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages. These elements combine to create a fabulous story that I place in a genre I call historical fantasy (the book feels as if it could have happened, but there are no factual elements to the setting or plot).
I highly recommend The False Prince to lovers of historical fiction, fantasy, and/or mysteries; any fan of those genres will find plenty to like in this novel. I cannot wait to read The Runaway King, the second book in Nielsen’s planned trilogy, due to be released in the next few weeks, though I might need to wait until spring break to begin reading it. I need my sleep!
Title: The False Prince
Series: Book 1 of The Ascendance Trilogy (Second book in the trilogy due out March 1, 2013 – The Runaway King)
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Setting: Kingdom of Carthya
AR BL: 5.2
AR Points: 11.0
Alerts: Violence, murder, theft
Recommended: Highly Recommended Grade 4 and Up
More Historical Fantasy: Icefall by Matthew Kirby