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.
I first read this book in the summer of last year. June 2012. It brings back good memories. I was sweating like a pig in an office waiting for my brother wishing for nothing more than to get on the road and sip a cold can of lemonade. Then this book caught my attention. It was really good in the beginning, then it slowed down, got good in the middle and fantastic in the ending. I love good endings! This one has such a nice twist and satisfying end that I loved it.
The strength of Sage’s voice as a narration alone was beautiful written, close and true to the character and well crafted. He’s a very well-written character, and for him alone I would characters four stars in this book. It was a pity, because I didn’t like some of the other characters as much, because Sage blew them all away. He’s an underdog with an attitude that seems to be about ten steps ahead of everyone else. In that way, it’s kind of a mystery book.
There are endings, and then there are those endings. The ending of The Usual Suspects, the ending of Ender’s Game and the ending of this book, the False Prince, belong to a category all their own. In between the beginning in the end, this book may feel slow to some, but keeps up a great pace through backstabbing, shaky alliances and devilishly clever moves by Sage. He’s a character that you never know what to expect from next.
The cover! I’m a sucker for good covers. If I had a ton of money, I’d give every book a mindblowingly good cover, (or just make all the covers black so no one could judge a book by it’s cover), and even though the cover to this book was simple, I loved it. It was sleek, well done and not overly complicated. The more simple something is, the harder it is to cover up mistakes. The more complex something is, the easier it is to make mistakes. So you always have to weigh those odds.
Just finished the second book in the series, the Runaway King. I didn’t like it nearly as much, but it’s a great followup to the False Prince. Definitely a series worth checking out.
pg count for the hardback: 342
series: the Ascendance Trilogy