Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The False Prince~ Jennifer A Nielsen | Review

Title: The False Prince (The Ascension Trilogy #1)
Author: Jennifer A Nielsen
Genre: Middle Grade/YA Fantasy
Length: 342 Pages
Release: April 2012
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I first read The False Prince in 2015 and fell absolutely in love with it. Recently I reread it with a friend of mine and loved it just as much the second time around.

The story follows the orphan Sage as he is taken from the orphanage and taught to think, act, and become a prince. But it's not just Sage being trained, there are two other boys. And after two weeks one will be chosen to rule.

Sage is one of my favorite characters. This story is told in first person, so you get to spend a lot of time in his head. It also has kind of an unreliable narrator feel to it, because you're not entirely sure about some of the stuff Sage is telling you as the narrator. Which is awesome. And he has this sharp wit and humor that are spot on.

In some ways this story is predictable, but to me predictability is not really a bad thing. I don't mind being able to figure things out or know the ending before I get there, because that's not what reading was about. It was about seeing how it happened. And here it was such a fun journey. You get be with Sage as he makes new friends, new enemies, is tested by himself and by others.

This has a fantasy feel, but has no magic or mythical creatures, so isn't exactly a fantasy novel. It's one of those nice in-between type reads. It feels fantasy enough to be a fantasy adventure, but is real enough to have happened in history. Perfect blend.

And one thing that I truly gained an appreciation for in rereading this was the way that Nielsen was able to turn her foreshadowing into an art. Seriously, it was beautiful. And having already read the entire trilogy I was able to pick up on all the subtle hints she laced throughout this first novel. Hints that tell you exactly what will happen without you even realizing it! Absolutely beautiful work.

These characters are all extremely well developed and real. Sage, Imogen, Mott, and Roden in particular stick in my mind. Conner, our antagonist, is so bad that you start to feel sorry for him at points. You start to wonder how he got where he is. And the journey that all of these characters have taken was utter perfection.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in reading it. It's a really quick read and a lot of fun. So pick it up and fall in love.  

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