The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1) by Jennifer A. Nelson
The False Prince
is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger
and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing
breathlessly to the end.
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. Four 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.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace,
layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth
is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than
all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure
filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have
readers clinging to the edge of their seats.
This one I picked up on a whim from the Kobo store when it was dirt cheap and then I read the whole series in less than 12 hours. It was SO GOOD. It bridges the gap between middle grade and young adult fantasy and I think it is a super good series to read.
I thought the pretense was a good set up and even though it was quite predictable, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought the characters were all interesting and well developed. I quite enjoyed Sage and his story but my heart was with Roden from the beginning. I don't know what it is with me and the bad boys but I always seem to give them my heart. I think what I liked best was that none of the characters were stereotypes, even Tobias and Roden who could have easily just been placed into the "brainy" and "brawny" category while Sage, our hero, was somewhere in between. Both Tobias and Roden were able to think for themselves and scheme to try and it really impressed me that they weren't just stereotypes.
While the story was minimal on the world building front, I was still pretty impressed with the world that the story takes place in. Probably because there was no infodumps and everything was learnt through conversations. As well, it wasn't as though Sage knew everything and was relying information to us twice, which was really nice. I would have liked more world building but I was okay with what we got and since it was just number one in the series, I am sure there will be some more in the next book!
Overall: 4/5 stars only because the big reveal was a little sloppy in my opinion. It was done in such a confusing way that I wasn't sure if it actually happened or not.