Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Audio Book Review: The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I would describe The False Prince as "simple but entertaining."

Sage is an orphan. One day a man comes and  pays the head of the orphanage to take Sage away. It turns out that Sage isn't the only orphan the Conner has "rescued." There's also Tobias and Rodan. They are taken to Conner's castle, where they discover they are in a life or death competition.

Conner is one of the king's advisors. What no one knows is that the entire royal family has been murdered. The youngest son, Prince Jaron, was lost 4 years ago when the ship he was on was sunk by pirates. He was presumed dead, but now Conner wants to convince the country that Jaron is still alive. And one of these three orphans is going to become Jaron and be crowned king. The orphans know that the plan for the two of them that don't get chosen is certainly death.

They have two weeks to train and learn everything about the kingdom and Jaron. Sage is belligerent and uncooperative. He challenges Conner and all of the servants over and over. He's sneaky and learns more about Conner and the castle than he should.

The False Prince is simply written and well-told. I felt the story was on the "light" side. I think that middle grade students are the perfect audience for The False Prince. I never really felt my heart pound. I didn't feel the danger was real. I felt detached from the story and the characters. Something was missing as far as the depth of the story. For example, this book could be compared to something like The Girl of Fire and Thorns. But in that book, the main character is a strong, kick-ass fighter who I really became attached to. I just didn't get that with The False Prince.

There are surprising twists and turns. It's really an interesting premise and the plotting is great! The ending is pretty "happily ever after," but I didn't mind that either. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The False Prince to my students -- especially the younger ones. And, I wouldn't mind reading the second book, The Runaway King at some point.

The audio book narrator, Charlie McWade did a good job with the narration, and I would recommend the audio version without reservation.

Published by Scholastic (and Scholastic Audio Books) 2012
Audio book obtained from Sync YA Literature
355 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. I've heard such great things about this one and the common complaint is that it reads like a MG book which I don't mind. From what I've heard it gets darker with book 2. Your post reminded me to pick up Carson's series. Thanks!


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