Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The False Prince

The False Prince
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Scholastic, 2012. 342 pgs. Fiction.

When Sage is bought from the orphanage by a mysterious nobleman named Conner, he joins the company of three other boys about his age, height, weight, and coloring. Conner soon makes clear that he has absolute power over these boys' lives and that in two week's time he plans to pass one of them off as the long-lost prince of Carthya, heir to the throne now that the rest of the family are dead--poisoned by an assassin. Sage is not easy to like--he is abrasive, confrontational, full of himself, but soon it becomes clear that he needs every ounce of his wit and stiff-neckedness if he is going to survive either losing the competition or becoming king and risking treason. First in the Ascendance Trilogy, The False Prince moves deliberately for awhile, setting the reader up for what is to come later in the story, as well as for what will transpire in succeeding volumes. But the reading is compelling--who will be chosen? and what will happen to his hapless "competitors"--and Sage himself shows deeper dimensions and an admirable determination to look after those about him. Tween and teen readers, as well as their grownups, will find much to like in this story of a fairy-tale land in the knife-edge of destruction.

No comments: