The False Prince
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Published: April 1, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Format: eBook (342 pages)
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.
The False Prince is such a refreshing fantasy book. Yes, it follows the pattern of traditional fantasy but it didn’t take itself too seriously. There was a lot of humor and wit. The very best part of this book is the anti-hero, Sage. He had every characteristic that a hero shouldn’t have. And somehow they all came in handy. He was very much a young Han Solo that lived in a kingdom instead of a galaxy far, far away. Sage’s character contrasted so well with Tobias, who seemed like the kind of character that would have been the hero in most other fantasy books. Sage is the most well-written character I’ve read in a long time. Just when you can’t take any more snark or cheek from him, he shows an incredibly human side. I adored his character.
Honestly, I saw the end coming. The plot seemed somewhat predictable which I usually frown upon, but I still enjoyed the story a lot mainly because of Sage and how utterly fascinating he is. I found as the story came to the end, it had a beautiful, bittersweet tone to it that I wasn’t expecting.
Another thing I found quite intriguing was the theme about our expectations of people based on how we label them. Do we see certain characteristics as virtues or vices because of the label we’ve given them?
I also loved the little ways that it reminded me of Annie, Aladdin and Pirates of the Caribbean like in the opening scene where Sage is running through the streets being chased by guards because he stole some meat.
Overall, though it had a slightly predictable plot, it was a sensational and entertaining fantasy book with a stunning main character that you shouldn’t miss.
Content Rating: Mild, for some very mild violence.