Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

Sage is plucked from an orphanage by Conner, a nobleman.  Along with two other orphans Sage is schooled in manners, swordfighting and academic subjects.  Conner's ultimate plan is to choose one of the boys to impersonate the long lost, presumed dead, prince now that the rest of the royal family has been poisoned.  With his own imposter in place Conner plans to take control of the kingdom for himself.  After witnessing Conner's cold-hearted killing of one of the orphans who defies him Sage and the remaining boys realize that their competition literally has life or death consequences.  Despite this Sage seems to go out of his way to annoy Conner at every opportunity but his schemes have a plan behind them that Sage slowly reveals to others around him.  This is a great adventure with interesting characters, including the secondary characters.  I suspected what was going on with Sage but that just made it more fun for me to read to see if the events confirmed my suspicions.  And although I was correct in general, there were a great many more things in play that I didn't see the significance of at the time.  Adventure, mystery and some very satisfying revenge made this a favorite for me.