Death or Deceit in Jennifer A. Nielsen’s The False Prince


Myra here.

I have been reading a lot of positive reviews about this book and seeing that it fits quite well with our current theme on Blue Bloods and Aristocracy, I thought I’d give it a shot, and I am glad I did.


The story revolves around Sage, a sharp-tongued, quick-witted orphan with very nimble hands. He was selected by Conner, a powerful and rich nobleman, along with three other orphans to compete in impersonating the missing Prince Jaron (presumed dead) who would assume the throne as the entire royal family was murdered. But first, Sage needed to prove that he is exactly what Conner needed to convince the court regents that he is the missing prince.

I like how the layers of deceit, the struggle for power, the hidden agendas, and the complexity of moral issues and good intentions (the age-old philosophical query of “do the ends justify the means?”) are captured in the book. Plus, the twist caught me by surprise, which made me enjoy the book.

However, I did have a few issues with the narrative. The story is told through Sage’s eyes, except for one chapter when there seems to be an omniscient narrator telling the story, which made the storytelling a tad disjointed and discontinuous. I am also not a huge fan of neatly-resolved endings with all loose ends tied, rough edges smoothed over. I would have preferred a little bit of uncertainty and further twists rather than a neat ending. That being said, I would be reading Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief next, as The False Prince is said to have a similar story-line as Turner’s Newbery-Honor novel. Hopefully, I would be able to read at least the first two books of the Ascendance Trilogy and the sequel to The Thief before our theme ends.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Published by Scholastic, Inc., 2012. Book borrowed from the public library.



Update: 14 of 25

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1 Comment on Death or Deceit in Jennifer A. Nielsen’s The False Prince

  1. I enjoyed the book, & didn’t notice the change in POV you mentioned, Myra. I must say I liked book two better. The characters are more experienced, layered, perhaps. Thanks for your opinion, too!


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