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review 2017-09-28 19:31
The False Prince
The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen

The False Prince is very easy to read, but it's kind of a strange reading experience. It takes a loooong time for the story to get going and then the ending is quite abrupt. The twists are pretty easy to spot* especially after having reread all of Turner's The Queen's Thief series earlier this year. Nielsen uses similar techniques to Turner just not as successfully.


I will check out the second book just to see where the story's going, and Nielsen's other trilogy, Mark of the Thief, sounds interesting so I'll probably check that out as well. I'm mostly just trying to fill the void finishing Thick as Thieves has left if my life. If it all goes badly, I might just read The Queen's Thief series all over again.


*The biggest reveal comes in the middle of the book, so you're not kept waiting the whole time at least.

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review 2016-07-01 05:28
#TheAscendanceTrilogy: Fun story, boring everything else...
The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Runaway King - Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Shadow Throne - Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Ascendance Trilogy wasn't everything I hoped it would be.


I was hoping for an exciting Middle Grade story with well-written characters and a strong plot.  What I got was a moderately fun Middle Grade story with boring, flat characters and a predictable, forced plot.


The first book was by far the best.  Had it stayed a stand-alone, I think I would have enjoyed it much more.  Unfortunately, book one was followed by books two and three where the characters didn't change and plot got worse.


It's like a coming of age story, but no one came of age.


I'm sure the target audience of 10 to 12 years olds will be much more forgiving that I am, and the basic story was a lot of fun.  I'll be sharing it with my kids, but for anyone else looking for a kings-and-swords Middle Grade story, I'll send them to Brandon Mull's Beyonders before give them The False Prince.


Happy Reading!


The Value of a Star: Ratings Explained

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review 2016-04-20 00:00
The False Prince
The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen I won a copy from Jean Book Nerd.

My previous excursions in middle grade books didn’t go well. Not just plots being obvious and stale, but the characters weren’t people, but abstract shadows. None of that is a problem in The False Prince.

In the beginning I was sure of where this was going. It felt so obvious. But as it went on, I was less sure and more confused. What I knew…I doubted. Sage threw me and I don’t know what’s going to happen next. And I can’t wait to find out.


Sure, so far it’s not an original high fantasy. The world isn’t explored far. What we do see is the standard several contentious countries, high court in-fighting drama, and economic strife inside Carthya.

I'm not all that excited about this aspect, but it's solid.


Sage is a fantastic protagonist. He’s mischievous clever trickster with layers.


I haven't read such a great male YA perspective in a long time. He seems able to manipulate and do it all but I'm sure we'll see more downsides now he's out of his element and seemingly clueless.

He’s unreliable, dramatic, and doesn’t back down from what he thinks is right. He psyched me and everyone else out. Even after his truth is revealed his plan isn’t. I couldn’t stop reading. I had to find out what he was going to do and how he was going to pull it off. His narration MADE this book.

The other boys aren't nearly as great, but they're no slouch in the character department either. I'm really excited actually to see how one of them turns out next.

The Villain had the same type of surprising but *facepalm* obvious reveal that I'm so impressed with. He's not so well done, being so morally repugnant but I like how it illustrates how people justify the terrible to themselves.

There aren't many women or girl characters but what I see so far is good. I'm impressed with The Servant's sneakiness and tactics. The Princess we only meet briefly but I like her fire.



It somehow makes the obvious surprising and new. The focus is so tight in The False Prince, I honestly don't know what's coming in the next book.

And I will absolutely be continuing.
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review 2015-03-16 20:34
The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen

WOW, great book! I could barely put it down. It is shelved in GR in Children's section, although it is not. It has conspiracies, murders, torture... And that twist!

I loved Sage's character, so rebellious and grumpy and clever.

Right now I can't write a proper review without giving too many spoilers, but it was really good. Started a bit slow but I grew fond of all characters eventually.

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review 2015-02-23 00:00
The False Prince
The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen I got this book because I was talking about the reading challenge I'm doing and wanted to know of any good trilogies that I could do on audio (I'm already reading a physical copy book at home and wanted something for my car. Beep Beep!). This trilogy was recommended. I thought it would be awesome! A kingdom in ruin and deceit left and right. I was intrigued and ready for action.

I was disappointed. I understand that this book isn't for my age group, but this book was so terribly written. I was bored. Sage was one-dimensional, though Nielsen did try. I didn't believe in any of the characters.

Things conveniently happened. Where did you get that crown? Oh, stole it several chapters ago. How handy, right? No. It's obnoxious. It's not coy. I get that some authors try to keep us in the dark and have things revealed as the story progresses, but this was poorly done.

The climax wasn't very climaxy. No faster breathing. No relief afterward. I was less than impressed.

I'm unsure as to whether or not someone reading this in the correct age group would be entertained. I don't think I would be.

Short review for a short book.

The only reprieve this book had was with the voice actor. Thank you to McWade. He played the cocky, annoying Sage very well. The voice was exactly the voice I would imagine for this character. Fitting in every way.

I'll take better notes for books, so my reviews are flashes of what I think I remember.

My rating and why: I gave this book three stars. I read it and it just wasn't for me. I wasn't a huge fan, but it was ..... ok.
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