Friday 20 July 2012

Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)Title: The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy (1)
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 1 April 2012
Date Read: July 2012
Rating: ★★

Sage, orphaned at the age of ten, has been forced to fend for himself in the harsh, cruel world. He has learned not to depend or trust anyone but himself. He finds himself, along with four other boys in the middle of an extreme plan, by a wealthy regent, Conner, to gain control of the throne. Conner intends on shaping these men to find the perfect impersonator to play the king's long-lost son, the heir to the throne. Sage must use everything in his disposal to win because a certain death awaits those who are not chosen.

I was immediately captivated by Sage. I liked him the moment he opened his mouth. His voice is so entertaining, feisty and defiant. Sage puts such a wonderful sense of humour in the most serious, and inappropriate, of situations. As an orphan, Sage learned that to survive, he must be quick on his feet. He must be willing to do anything- lie, cheat, steal. He has one of the quickest hands ever. Like he could probably take out a piece of clothing from your body, one at a time, and you wouldn't realize it until it's too late (lol). But make no mistake, he has a kind heart. He cares for the downtrodden, keeps his promises, and he is more than aware of his own faults. I've got to give him credit for not complaining, or moping, or bitching, about the getting the short end of the stick. Too often, protagonists can be found feeling sorry for themselves and whatnot when things go bad. But not Sage. He accepts his horrible situation, assesses the best way to deal with it, and gets things done. He is a survivor.

I think The False Prince lacked world building. There wasn't a clear picture about how the kingdoms worked, how they really looked like. I mean, how can I sympathize with the possibility of a civil war when I don't have the details about Carthya, the kingdom Sage lives in, and its neighboring kingdoms. I'm guessing Nielsen plans on expanding on this later on in the trilogy but it would've been much appreciated if we were given more.

The False Prince is an action filled novel. It seemed like chapter after chapter was Sage finding trouble, then getting himself out of trouble. There was never a boring part. But it wasn't like Nielsen just packed the novel full of these meaningless scenes. No. It all served a purpose in the intricate plot Nielsen wove together. It was like piecing together a puzzle, the author revealing seemingly unimportant details, little by little. Then, bam! Plot twist. It was unexpected and the whole book was just a wonderful ride. It kept me on the edge on my seat, frantically flipping the pages as I read on.

I will eagerly wait for the next installment, waiting to see how Sage's world will progress. I wonder what Nielsen's plans are for the rest of the trilogy....

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