Series: Ascendancy #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. Australia on June 7, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
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In a discontented kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan. He will 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 as Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to the king’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold. Until, finally, a truth is revealed that may prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together…
The False Prince tells a riveting story about Conner, a noble who kidnaps four orphans to fulfil his cunning plan of training one of them into becoming the lost Prince. One of these boys is Sage, a trouble maker, pickpocket, and trickster who refuses to bend to Conner’s will. His defiance may ultimately lead to his death, but will he become The False Prince in the end?
With its multiple layers of deceit and trickery, this middle grade story targeted at middle school level was thoroughly enjoyable. Told through the first person perspective, the novel weaves a story that is intricate yet easy to read and grasp. Sage’s voice in the story perfectly conveys his mischievous, yet smart and cunning personality.
Sage is one of the most entertaining characters that I’ve met in a story, he’s always one step ahead of everyone, and his defiant behaviour eventually falls into place in the end. He’s cunning, mischievous, clever, and gets some of the sharpest lines in the book.
Roden, Tobias and Sage were an interesting trio. When they were first kidnapped, they bonded in confusion and built a friendship on camaraderie. Slowly, as they are pitted against each other to excel in their lessons, you begin to see their desperation in different ways. Roden, the strong fighter and Tobias, the bookish sort were multi-faceted throughout the book.
Unlike many YA titles dominating the market, it’s refreshing to see the limited amount of romance in this one. The False Prince tells a story, albeit a powerful one that can be read over and over again.
I was given a review copy of this book from the publisher courtesy of the Readplus blog in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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