Monday, March 26, 2012

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen: Review

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
The False Prince
By: Jennifer Nielsen
pst! Read my review in The Deseret News

Peace is teetering on the edge in the kingdom of Carthya. A divided court and rumors that the royal family has been murdered cause Conner, a nobleman, to devise a plan to unite the kingdom. He purchases four orphans to train and compete as impersonators of the lost Prince Jaren, including a particularly fiesty one named Sage. With only a few weeks to prepare, and his life on the line, Sage has to learn to play the part and join in on the scheme.

The False Prince is the best middle-grade historical fiction that I have read this year. Period. I loved this book from start to finish, and was captivated. From the very beginning, Sage had my heart. He's such a rascal, but at the same time, he's just a puzzle waiting to be put together. In many ways he reminded me of Gen from Megan Whalen Turner's Thief series. Like Gen, Sage is a thief. They both have this attitude that they just can't be bothered to care about something, even when they clearly do not have the upper hand. And, like Gen, Sage manages to somehow always seem to have the upper hand. Even when he doesn't. Is that confusing? That's the beauty of both of these characters. I couldn't get enough!

In addition to its dynamic characters, Jennifer Nielsen has created a plot with twists and turns in all the right places. Upon first glance, the plot seems easy to pin down. But where this novel truly shines is by building upon itself with action not immediately shown the readers. This results in a climax that will have readers turning back to previous pages to find all the clues that were there the entire time. The way that the critical plot points unfolded was absolutely brilliant. Like a great writer, Nielsen plants little things earlier in the novel that turn out to mean something later in the book.

Give The False Prince to your reluctant readers, particularly boys. There isn't much romance in The False Prince, which is why I would consider it an upper middle grade or lower young adult. I'm hoping that as the trilogy continues, there will be a little something more there for the girls. But, as it is, I really think that girls will enjoy this book too. “The False Prince” contains very little violence and no heavy language.





I've got a signed ARC to give away! Enter using the rafflecopter form below. If you're in a RSS reader or email subscription, you're going to have to click over to enter.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

33 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you liked this!! I've been wanting to read it. Now I'm even more excited to delve into it.

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  2. I've been hearing such wonderful things about this book. Thanks!!

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  3. I really hope I win! Would love to have this to review for my Blog!

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  4. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

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  5. Sounds interesting, and I'd like to read it. Thanks for having this giveaway.
    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

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  6. I would love to win this! I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer at a book store opening and she is so nice! Plus, David Levithan raves about this book. He says it's Game of Thrones for kids.

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    1. That's a great comparison. It is really awesome!

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  7. I love fantasy novels. There seem to be not enough of them on the YA market. I hope to read this soon.

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  8. I'm so in love with this book. I've had MWT's series on my list for so long, but I'm bumping it up now that you've said Sage reminds you of the main character. Thanks!

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    1. Sage is younger than Gen, and definitely more foolish. But, he's definitely sneaky, and you'll love him!

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  9. I learned about this book a few weeks ago and I'm super excited for it.
    Thanks for the chance.

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  10. I so want to read this book. It sounds AMAZING! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  11. Oh my goodness! Best this year? Well, I need to read that for sure!

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  12. Is this really like The Thief? Ooh such an exciting giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win! :)

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    1. It is like The Thief! Sage isn't exactly like Gen. But, he's clever and endearingly stubborn.

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  13. OMG!! I'm so excited to read The False Prince!!! I've been dying to read it since I first found out about it in August!!

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    1. I hope you win though so you can read it! It's wonderful!

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  14. I really love the idea of this book! Thanks for offering it! I love the main character's name, Sage, because it means wise!

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  15. I've been wanting to read this! Thanks for the giveaway! = )

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  16. I am loving your blog layout (totally unrelated to this post, sorry!)

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  17. This sounds like a book that I would enjoy, even though MG fiction! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Leanne

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  18. I want this book on my shelves so bad, especially in my future History classroom! I'd love to see some kids start picking up more books!

    Thanks for the giveaway

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  19. WOW Great Giveaway!! OMG I want to win sooo badly!! :) I'm hosting a giveaway too... care to check it out?? Thanks!!

    The Teen Book Guru

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  20. fab giveaway! sounds a fantastic book xo

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  21. thanks so much for this giveaway! I saw this book on goodreads.com recently and would LOVE to win it :) Thanks for your review, sounds like an amazing book!
    blessings,
    Kara
    karathewriter.blogspot.com

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  22. I'm taking a class on Young Adult Literature in the fall, and this sounds like something that might be interesting to study in that light.

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  23. Thanks so much for the giveaway, great review. ^.^

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  24. Thank you so much for the giveaway! This book looks so interesting!

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  25. Thank you so much for the giveaway! This book looks so interesting!

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  26. This book looks cool. I love middle grade, but only when done well

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