The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson

Date Fri, April 28 2017

For years, my sister has been raving about the Ascendance Trilogy, a series of fantasy books for young adults. She first read them a few years ago (right around the time that the books came out), so I am definitely out of the ideal demographic as a nearly 31-year-old woman, but I wanted to read my sister’s favorite book to see what’s up.

The False Prince is the first in the trilogy, and it’s an easy ready that won’t take much time or effort.

We started with young Sage, a teenager who has been living in an orphanage for a few years. Sage’s life is turned upside down when a lower nobleman, Connor, shows up to collect Sage and bring him back to Connor’s estate for a secret plan.

As we read, we discover that the Connor’s plan is to plant one of the three orphans as the long-lost prince to take over control of the country after the royal’s family recent murder.

Connor is tight-lipped about who killed the monarchs, what happened to the real prince Jaron several years ago or even what will happen to the two orphan boys who Connor doesn’t choose to be the false prince.

Sage is quick to see through the nobleman’s lies and figure out his plan. Our main character also wastes no time when it comes sticking up for the less fortunate. And did I mention that Sage has a secret of his own — and it’s a whopper?

The False Prince might be a fun introduction to fantasy for the younger readers, and it certainly sets the up the rest of the series. Hopefully, we see more character development in this books. Sage is a character who is supposed to be interesting but isn’t necessarily likable, and we’re supposed to like him.

Jennifer Neilsen, the author, certainly isn’t the least talented writer whose words have graced the page. But I prefer high fantasy where more happens and, perhaps more importantly, stories that aren’t quite so cliched and twist that aren’t so easy to guess.

Most of this might just be that The False Prince isn’t intended for adults, and that’s fair. I still get to share knowledge of my sister’s favorite book and series, and that made it worth my time. If you’re encouraging a tween or teen reader to get into longer books, The False Prince might be right up their alley.


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