Having not read this book for a long time in fear of another clique adventure, we were amazed by the twists and turns, as well as lovable characters. The False Prince is a must read! Here is our review, and thoughts on the book!
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With a country on the brink of war, power-hungry nobles fight for control over the now vacant throne. Right as it seems the divide in the kingdom could never be mended, Prince Jaron, who was thought to be killed by pirates, reveals he is still alive. He then ascends to power... at least, this is what Conner, a nobleman of the court, plans to make happen.
Sage is living in an orphanage, when one day he is taken, along with 3 other boys. They are given the opportunity of a lifetime, to stay and train to assume the role of Prince Jaron. The punishment for refusing, death. Sage wants nothing to do with being a king, but he doesn't like the alternative much either. Unfortunately, neither do his competitors. As the twisted competition continues, Sage is wrapped in a web of lies and treachery, but he has secrets of his own....
(Skip to the last section to avoid spoilers)
There are so many things we want to include in this section! What about the whole book?
Although The False Prince is told from Sage’s perspective, it is not your basic 1st person narrative. Sage is known for keeping secrets, and he keeps plenty from the reader. As the story unfolds, so does the intricate plans and schemes Sage has articulated.
We were very impressed! All of the plots twists and turns, although some may have been more predictable than others, left us shocked and looking for more.
After finding out Sage is actually Prince Jaron, we were in shock and impressed by all he had accomplished, and how he had grown as a character. Although some things were a relief. It was genuinely frustrating to read as Sage so blatantly ignored lessons, only to find out he knew it all to begin with. At least he wasn’t as bad of a student as we thought.
The whole book was beautifully and skillfully executed, and we can not wait to reread it! This time we know Sage’s schemes, and so we have a feeling it will be a much different experience than the first time.
What Would We Want Improved?
Overall, there isn’t really anything we would want improved about this book. Although we did have some original concerns, that were later addressed and executed beautifully. Still, we thought we would share those thoughts with you all.
At first, the world and character building for any of the characters, aside from Sage, seemed rather dull. There wasn’t much mentioned, although The False Prince is the first in a trilogy. The development improved tremendously as the book went on, and even more as the series continued. The character development throughout the series is remarkable, and unexpected in many ways. The False Prince helps us to set the stage for the later books without overwhelming the reader with too much information at once.
Now, the most controversial topic of this book…
The fact that Sage is actually Prince Jaron.
At first, we hoped that Sage was the Prince, but as the book continued, our feelings started to change. Maybe we wanted Sage to just be... Sage. We loved his character so much that we were worried that an incredible character would be swept up and ruined by a clique ending. Was the character we had grown to adore just the clever disguise of a hidden Prince? I was hoping Jennifer A Nielsen would take a different route, creating a truly unexpected plot.
If I knew how wrong I was…
Sage being Prince Jaron only grew his character, making him even more incredible and enhancing all of the qualities we loved so much about him. It allowed us to see that, although Sage was an alias, he was not a lie. The story allowed us to grow to love the characters without labels and assumptions getting in the way. Now, after reading the series, we cannot see Sage as anyone other than the Ascendant Prince Jaron.
***The Rest is Spoiler Free***
We would give this book 5 stars! Every reader will be shocked by the many twists and turns, although some more predictable than others. Jennifer A Nielsen amazes us yet again with her foreshadowing and lovable, lifelike characters. It is nearly impossible not to love Sage and his snarky attitude. Another incredible aspect of this series is that it can be enjoyed by so many different ages! We devoured this series, and can’t wait for the newest installment The Captive Kingdom, which will be released on October 6, 2020!
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