Book: The False Prince
Author: Jennifer Nielsen
Teen Reviewer: Kinsey Manchester
Rating: 5/5 stars
In a faraway kingdom, a nobleman named Bevin Conner comes up with a clever plan. This plan, if successful, would save the country of Carthya from a civil war. Conner plans to disguise an orphan boy as the long lost Prince of Carthya. With the other Carthyan royalty dead, this Prince would be the new King, thus preventing the nobles from fighting over who should be King. Conner captures four boys and tries to teach them how to be upper class citizens in less than two weeks, when Conner plans to choose one boy as the long lost “Prince Jaron." One of the boys is a rebellious teen named Sage. He fights against Conner and refuses to surrender to him. Sage hates to participate in this act of treason against Carthya, but he soon realizes that he has no choice. If Sage is not chosen to be the Prince, he will surely be killed by Conner and his guards. Sage has a plan to ensure his own safety, but he has to be careful, because the other boys are just as motivated as he is. Sage can trust no one. When Conner decides who should be Prince Jaron, things start to unravel. Secrets are revealed and lies are told, and nobody can predict what will happen next. Even Conner and his foolproof plan are completely blindsided by perhaps the most dangerous revelation of them all.
The False Prince is a story full of danger, action, and mysteries. I finished this book in one day because I couldn’t put it down. I simply had to know the fate of Sage, who is an easily likable character. His defiance is admirable, even in the obvious face of danger. Despite Conner’s efforts, Sage continues to stay true to himself and not give in to the immense pressure of becoming someone else. The other boys, Latamer, Roden, and Tobias, were good competitors. I liked how Sage and Roden would agree when teasing Tobias, but Sage and Tobias would agree when teasing Roden. Errol, who was Sage’s personal servant at Conner’s mansion, was a funny character as well. He always laughed at how improper Sage would act and realized he was lucky to have been assigned the one boy with any character. Imogen, a mute maid, was a very caring and loving addition to this violent tale. She always took care of Sage when he was hurt and in the end, she proved to be a faithful friend. I thought it was very sweet of Sage to stick up for Imogen when she was in danger. The characters were wonderful, but the plot was even better. I expected a few things, which I ended up being right about. However, I did not come close to guessing the biggest secret of them all. It was a large, unexpected plot twist and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the ending, even if it clearly leaves room for another book. After all, this is a trilogy. I recommend this book to any teen reader who enjoys a good adventure or action book!