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Publisher's Summary

An epic journey of deceit, betrayal, magic, and a treasonous love sets sail as Meath, a young apprentice to the formidable wizard, Ursa, escapes certain death while a freshly united kingdom is held captive by a false prince. 

In hope of relaying the truth of the usurper, who now threatens the throne, Meath embarks on a dangerous journey with the true heiress, Nicolette, in an attempt to reach her uncle before they, too, are entangled in the lie that has wound itself deep into the lands. 

Amidst the soldiers dispatched to return the princess and capture Meath and his friends, they must avoid the barbarian clans who have begun a savage war on the Kingdom of Draco, evading what seems like fate has become a perilous game they may not be able to win....

©2012 James Fuller (P)2021 James Fuller

What listeners say about The False Prince

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Old-school fantasy, immersive audiobook

Note: I received an audiobook version of the book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review. My thoughts on the audiobook narration are included at the bottom of this review. I have read the book in audio form only.

3.5 stars

This book will surely appeal to fans of old-school swords and sorcery. It has plenty of action, some of it gory, as well as some exciting magic, and not one but two castle sieges. Though it doesn’t break any new ground, it tells its story well, though I was a bit put off by the “To be continued” ending, which leaves the main climax unresolved.
The narrative is quite complex, following a large cast of characters, from heroes to villains to those in between. Fuller handles the plot complexities deftly, though the switches in POV within chapters are not to my taste. This is a writer who knows the story he wants to tell, and how he wants to tell it, and is not afraid of side quests, as long as they serve the larger narrative. As someone who tends not to read a lot of epic fantasy, I struggled at times with the number and length of the various threads, though they did always intersect in interesting ways.

The central plot involves, as the title suggests, a false prince, or rather, a wizard disguised as a prince, and the struggle of our main protagonist, a young wizard named Meath, to help princess Nicolette uncover the ruse and right the line of succession. Barbarians, who are often referred to as “savages,” threaten the kingdom, and their assaults on the castles make for some exciting action. There is an interesting side character named Shania, a barbarian who ends up with the good guys, who can hold her own in a fight, and becomes a love interest as well. My favorite character was Ursa, the wizard to whom Meath is apprenticed, who is wise and powerful, but with clear limits to his power. The magic system is fairly traditional, but it is well done, and balanced; though there are mighty magics afoot, none of them are all-powerful, and it takes a combination of bravery, skill with arms, and magic to win the day.

The fighting scenes, and especially the sieges, were a strength of the book, if you’re into that sort of thing. There were plenty of entrails spilled, countless throats cut, heads (and hands) cut off, in battles both small and large scale. The sieges included a nice combination of large-scale combat and individual acts of valor, as well as some nifty uses of magic to turn the tides of the battles. And one of the sieges had some impressive surprises for me as a reader, which I absolutely did not expect, so hats off for that.

There were aspects of this book that were too traditional for me. It is a fairly straightforward line-of-succession drama, with the bloodlines of the kingdom under threat from the evil usurper and the barbarian hordes aligned with him. There are romance arcs, which also tend toward the traditional, and though we don’t know for sure by the end of the book how they will end, we have some ideas. The magic system, while well done, isn’t particularly novel. The fairly clean divide of good vs evil, with the barbarians (Shania aside) being cast in the latter role, did not sit well with me, but it is perfectly in keeping with the old-school feel of the book.

I want to talk about the ending. Without giving any spoilers, the last line is: “To be continued.” I was really shocked when I got to that point, as I thought things were winding up toward a conclusion, but then it just…ended, leaving the main conflict unresolved. This is the main ding for the book, for me—the lack of a complete story. Even in a series, I want at least one major plot point wrapped up in the first book, and while some minor plots were resolved, the main one was not.

If you’re looking for fantasy that breaks new ground, that challenges your notions of social norms, this book will not be for you. But if you want a well-told tale of classic swords and sorcery to get lost in, you will love James Fuller’s The False Prince.

Now, on to the audiobook narration. This one is going to be quite polarizing, as it’s a highly dramatic affair, like a radio play, complete with sound effects, background music, and one voice actor playing all the roles. I know some people are going to eat this up, but it really took me a while to get used to it. To be honest, the audio narration almost made this a DNF for me, but the story was interesting enough that I powered through, and after a while I made my peace with it. The narration felt overly dramatic to me, which often got in the way of my enjoyment of the story. And though I appreciate the narrator’s talents—and let me be clear, this is an actor with an impressive range and skillset—I found some of the representations of female voices to be very off-putting, a kind of breathy falsetto that grated me every time they spoke.

Some audio readers will love the style—the sound effects and dramatic reading style could make it quite immersive, but it did not work well for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful epic!

From the very first chapter, I was drawn into the world. I believed the characters, even when I didn’t like them. Many times I yelled at them while listening, as if I were part of the story. This is what I want from an epic tale. I want to feel like I am part of the story and both elated and exhilarated with each event. While I generally dislike cliffhanging stories, I’m invested in the story of Meeth and the princess, and I need to know how Ursa handles Astiroth. My only criticism is that there were times the narration, particularly during heavy dialogue, slowed the action awkwardly, tearing me from story and reminding me that I was merely a listener. Otherwise, I am convinced and can’t wait to “read” Part 2!

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I want to give more than 5 stars

This was Epic Fantasy at its best. The story was captivating. Once I started I didn't want to stop. The author created some great characters & the narrator brought them all to life. I enjoyed this audiobook so much & can't wait to listen to book 2.

Math is an apprentice for a Wizard named Ursa. He is a great teacher to Meath but they had some unfortunate occurances that caused them to go on a dangerous journey. Meath had to protect Nicollette at all costs since she was the heiress. Ursa, Meath and Nicollette set off along with some friends to travel to her Uncle. While on the journey they get separated & Nicollette is determined to do her part in the battle. She holds her own. This is a story filled with friendship, deceipt, lies and triumph.

if you love fantasy then this is a perfect one for you. The story will draw you in especially if you like true friends that stick together until the very end. No matter what. The narration is awesome & keeps your attention. I also really enjoyed the sound effects. Wonderful listen.

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swords and sorcery

it's got everything someone would want in a swords and sorcery story. the audio sound effects were a plus, the reader was good too.

it ended on a cliff hanger which i hate for books, but it's okay due to the others already being out.

The only thing i did not like was the occasional scene that felt needlessly extended. without spoilers there was one scene where someone wanted to go back to town and they kept arguing pointlessly with people about it for too long, the arguments were circular too and served no purpose so far as i could tell.

on a plus note the massive battle was not needlessly too long, it was pleasantly too long. the magic system was not overly complex (which would have been fine either way). the father figure wizard was not too prideful and generally made good decisions which added to his character.

i hope part 2 has a great explanation for why they couldn't tell the main character why they kidnapped him, such as magic prevented them from explaining it. I just hope it isn't they were simply following orders. She seemed too intelligent to be like that.

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Amazing Story

This story has high stakes for the main character, and the author turns up the heat with every page turn. I was entertained by the narrator’s performance. Can’t wait to dive into the sequel!

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Great book

This really got he into it once I started I could not stop listening to it. Great story wizards magic what more could you want. Now I just want book 2. I must say this is only of the best narrations I have heard. Love all the sound effects. Great job Nigel.

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Had potential

This could of been a really good buy, but the music and whimsical addition to the narrative killed it for me. I couldn’t even make it thru to chapters without several breaks and rationalizing that it was a good story, then some harp music and echoing background noise comes on and I would be done for awhile

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Good story line with excellent audio.

This had sound effects which really helped keep my interest due to the length of the story. Nigel is able to use his voice in various pitches and tones which allow the reader to distinguish between the various characters and the high and fall of the plot.

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a fun read

Good story, fair character development and fun narration. The production sound effects pulled it together. I had it on while I did my chores and my horse neighed back to the horse on tape.

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To much

I’ve tried for two days to get into this story but the production is to much. This may be a great story, it’s hard to tell from the overproduced mess.

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  • Jacky
  • 01-17-22

Compelling intriguing fight for life brilliant

This was a brilliant book a fight for survival amidst magic betrayal lost love a very clever mix of wizardry, myth and quite modern thoughts, it is really well narrated, setting the scene and giving insight into the scenery. Meath is on a dangerous journey to keep Nicolette safe and a nice love story to go with the fast paced storyline, looking forward to the next book

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  • Kath D
  • 12-01-21

Fast paced adventure

What a great audiobook. I couldn’t believe I had reached the end and can’t wait to listen to the next volume. Fast paced and action packed you quickly grow to love (and hate) the characters. Much is left to find out when you reach the end

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nephixx
  • 11-10-21

great story, hate the princess.

I thought at first the sound effects during the story would irritate me but as the book progressed it really brought the story to life. Will definitely listen again to try to get any parts of the story i may have missed. hope book 2 comes out soon

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-30-21

Great start, this series has potential

I hate the princess.

I love the system of magic. I love the mystery, the intrigue. I love how long this story took. yet still needing more time to fulfill the by series.
As I said, this book has so much potential but it is also lacking depth with the sub main characters.

Again I hate the princess. I'm not sure if it's intentional but she just comes off as a whiny love stricken buffoon. Who does not think of any consequences and who is definitely not ready for the role she was given. My hope is that the next book allows her to grow and become better become worthy of the man she wants.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynn Walker
  • 04-22-21

An excellent story

By far one of the Best audio books ive ever listen to An excellent story that I would put up there with the likes of Lord of the rings once again Nigel does not fail with his narration and affects which helped bring the story to life I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series And to find out how the story plays out And what becomes of the characters

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daddy Bear
  • 04-08-21

Thrilling & Gripping

Another fabulous performance from Nigel Peever. A wonderfully gripping novel that is brought to life by Nigel’s flawless narration. With the sound effects and music the extra dimensions added to the story had me taking a longer route to my destination as I listened on my travels.

I wasn’t expecting the cliff hanger ending. I hope book 2 will be along very soon.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KelseyMac
  • 03-22-21

Enjoyed

I really enjoyed this book, I first thought the background and atmospheric sounds would be annoying however as the book progressed it really added depth. Really enjoyed the story and the way the book really created vivid pictures in my mind! Give it a listen!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Grace Shelton
  • 03-11-21

Incredible!!!

Absolutely incredible! I've never heard a book like this before. It really is like "watching" a movie with all the scenery noises (I don't know if there is a specific term for it or not) but I was aways wondering what was going to happen next and can't wait for the next book. Such good writting and an incredible performance! I wish I could give the narration more than 5 Stars!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • johnathan goodall
  • 02-19-21

a great story of magic and much more

get ready to enter a world of fighting for kingdoms that are protected by wizards that will have to fight a great evil, the story will leave you gripped.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • william
  • 02-15-21

great story

ok this was my first audio book with background noise music ect it took me a couple chapters to get used to it. that said once I did it really did enhance the book. story line picks up at a good pace an it is narrated very well all in all I enjoyed this book I will now go find the second

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  • Lyndon
  • 11-27-21

A rollicking adventure with heart

This is an entertaining fantasy tale that wears its heart on its sleeve. While I enjoyed the setting and battles, the characters are what really stood out, they bring an air of positivity and good nature that made me really want to root for them and see them make it through the many twists and challenges thrown at them. I have to save a special praise for the narrator and the dramatic sound effects, they give the story a Hollywood polish, which works well.