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. Three orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
©2012 Jennifer A. Nielsen (P)2011 Scholastic Audio
I teach middle school, and I use summers to catch up on what's hot in adolescent fiction. I spent a lot of time this summer with books in the "Hunger Games" vein, but this one was a welcome change of pace. This is my favorite kind of book--driven by fascinating characters with complex motives. It also has a well-crafted plot and intriguing politics that left me hungry for the sequel. It reminds me in all the best ways of Megan Whalen Turner's "Thief" series, but is not derivative of that. It involves a "Prince and Pauper" scheme to usurp the throne of a completely believable fictional kingdom, but layers of secrets and plot twists keep the story consistently engaging. The main character has a compelling mixture of strengths and weaknesses, and the more the reader knows, the more he/she can identify with him.
The reading was fabulous--perfect for the characters. I listened on a long drive and was completely lost in the book.
The False Prince will be among my top recommendations to my students, but it was certainly no chore to read it. I hope there's another Nielsen/McWade treasure out by next summer!
I had been waiting for False Prince to come out for months, and eagerly snatched up my audio copy. The book is a wonderful listen/read and goes at a good pace, especially later on. At first it may be a bit slow because of the "training" but once you get past the first bit of that, then interesting things begin to happen, several of them were small enough that I didn't realize they were of import until later in the book when it came out. I want to listen again so that I can see what else I may have missed.
Overall I give this book a 4 star because it was a good first impression. I may re-rate once I go through it again.
The book is clean, no sex, no profanity, some violence, there is always some level of that in any adventure story, boys are whipped, stabbed, shot, threatened, etc. This book is safe for 12 and up, possibly younger as long as your child can handle the death of a secondary character or two. Nothing is graphic (ie: blood spilling every where, etc)
If you enjoy this book I recommend the very similar False Princess. Another great read/listen.
Sage, the main character is well written, a bit sassy with a lot of heart.
Sage. He's the narrator. He gets himself into scrapes because of his stubborn streak. Reminds me of people I know.
Can't pick. It's just not possible for me.
This is a great book for younger readers, although I am a mom in my 30's and loved it. No swearing, no sensuality, very little violence. The violence that it does contain is not graphic. I enjoyed Charlie McWade's narration.
I really loved this story! The characters are great. I really liked Sage and Mott. It had a great twist at the end and I can't wait until the next book comes out! This is an adventurous, clean story for all ages. I'm excited to add this book to my classroom library and share it with my students!
This is the story of Sage who was taken from an orphanage by Conner, who also gathered three other boys from other orphanages. The first two-thirds of the book are about Conner training these orphans to see who he will pick to impersonate the lost prince. They have lessons by teachers, learn table manners, sword fighting and horseback riding. The king, queen and crown prince had been murdered, although that wasn't common knowledge yet. The second son had left earlier and was presumed to be lost at sea when his ship was attacked by pirates. It isn't until the last third of the book when Conner is finally getting ready to choose whom he will present as the lost prince that it becomes more interesting, although there are a few predictable surprise twists in the story.
We learn at the end of the book in a narration by the author that this was originally intended to be a standalone novel and then was turned into a trilogy. Even though I enjoyed the last third of the book I'm not sure I will listen to the other two,
The narrator did a presentable job with the male and female voices. There was a lot of narration as this was a first-person book.
I love to read!
I listened to this on a car trip with my 4th and 7th grade sons and we all enjoyed it. We can't wait to listen to the second book!
I like to have something on hand for my 11 year old son to listen to on the way to school and the way home because we have quite a drive every day. It was a bit tough to get him interested in the story but once he started listening it didn't take long to get him hooked. By the end he was rooting for Sage and making his own predictions about the story and the outcome. Now he's begging for the next installment so I would say this was a hit.
We liked this book! I liked that Sage was his own person and never changed his character throughout the story. The book made and answered a lot of questions. Excellent listen! The narrarator did a great job too! My daughter commented that it was similar to "The Goose Girl" which happens to be one of my favorites.
Set in medieval times, the story is about an orphan who is trained to be the prince who will be crowned King. The orphan(Sage) has more character than everyone gives him credit for. I can't wait to listen to book 2!
This is an exciting story that, for me, overcame a so-so narrator. The middle is a bit slow, but the twists and turns at the end more than make up for it. I didn't care for Charlie McWade as the voice of Sage. He tried valiantly to voice the characters, but accents sometimes slipped a bit and I couldn't tell any of the three boys apart. I'll be reading the second book in print.
This book is great for a family road trip. Looking forward to next book in the series which set to be released in March 2013.
"Quite simply, Superb"
Sage was brilliant, the right amount af angsty and genuine to make him a memorable and original narrator (and also making me love him). The plot was fast-paced, clever and brilliant. Even though I did guess the plot twist, it still was an extremely enjoyable listen (Charlie McWade has the perfect voice for Sage) and a book that I'd recommend for everyone.
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