The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: January 25 2011
Format: Hardcover, 323 pages
Challenge: Debut Author
Purchase: Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
My thoughts on The False Princess
YA books are sorely lacking in good old regular fantasy, and especially high fantasy. So you have no idea how happy I was to find this book. A breath of fresh air among all the urban/paranormal books saturating this reading level. I didn’t have very many expectations when I started this book, but they were all met and definitely exceeded.
I loved almost everything about Sinda. She’s strong, even though she’s somewhat submissive to everyone around her, has more backbone than she gives herself credit for. But what I didn’t like was how easily she accepted her situation, she didn’t fight it. But overall, the story works out better for that weakness. Some things might not have been the same without it. I loved any and all interactions between Sinda and Kiernan.
The story itself flowed smoothly. While the plot may not have been convoluted, any time I made a guess at what might happen I was proven wrong with the twists and turns the author used. There was only one thing that wasn’t a twist and turn because you’re given clues that lead to the conclusion I made. The writing style was wonderfully easy to read, nothing jarred me out of the flow of the story.
I would definitely recommend this to those that might be a little tired of all the paranormal fantasies and need a break. And even if you don’t need a break from another subgenre, you should still definitely check this out.