Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia’s led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it’s revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she’s ever known.
Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.
Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever.
Ironically, I finished this book the exact same day I finished Jennifer A. Nielson’s the False Prince. It was pretty funny actually. The two books have a lot in common. You’ll understand after you read the book. (Don’t want to give away spoilers on the amazing ending of the False Prince). Even on the outside, this book is really similar. There’s magic, danger, deception, a little bit a thriller, mystery, fantasy and just a dash of romance. Plus, they have two amazing authors whose last names sound the same in the beginning.
Haha, get it? Okay, I’m done.
This book really impressed me. Anyone’s book can have an interesting synopsis, but it’s an entirely different story with good writing, thoughtful, incisive characters, a plot full of twists and turns and no plot holes. There were too many books where I was bitterly disappointed and sorely wished that someone else had written the story so I could read it again with a fresh mind and be blown away by it. But alas, it is not to be so.
I admire amazing series and their authors, but I feel that it also takes great talent and ability to recognize when you should just stand back and say, “what I have is great. I’m gonna leave it alone now.” Don’t believe me? Look at movie producers. Transformers and Fast and Furious are just two of the many series that Hollywood has stretched out far too much. A movie does well? Great, they’re gonna make another one, no questions asked. It’s annoying, honestly, because I really, really love both Transformers and Fast and Furious. It was great because this was an amazing stand-alone novel and Jennifer A. Nielson is leaving it be. Not making a series. Two thumbs up for her.
The mystery aspects to this story were handled very well. The magic that Sinda learns how to control is fun to read about and her adventures with Kiernan–her childhood friend–and the other characters, were delightful. I would’ve really liked to see more into the lives of the people, specifically the queen and kind, and learn what their reactions were like when they had to send away the kid they had raised for sixteen years. You see a little bit of it in the beginning, but not much. I also would’ve really enjoyed to have Sinda become closer with the aunt and kind of come back to that village for a while to reconcile with everyone, but it was okay that she didn’t. It was still a 4.2 star book. Highly recommend for fantasy fans, people who liked the False Prince, and girls 11-14.
pg count for the hardcover: 319