False Prince
by Nielsen, Jennifer A.






A first entry in a new trilogy by the author of Elliot and the Goblin War finds court nobleman Conner endeavoring to unify a kingdom on the brink of civil war by finding an impersonator of the king's long-lost son, a role desperately played by a defiant youth who faces life-threatening dangers.





Jennifer A. Nielsen is the acclaimed author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Ascendance Series: The False Prince, The Runaway King, and The Shadow Throne. She also wrote the New York Times bestselling Mark of the Thief trilogy: Mark of the Thief, Rise of the Wolf, and Wrath of the Storm; the stand-alone fantasy The Scourge; the historical thrillers A Night Divided, Resistance, and Words on Fire; the second book in the Horizon series, Deadzone; Book Six of the Infinity Ring series, Behind Enemy Lines; and The Traitor's Game series: The Traitor's Game, The Deceiver's Heart, and The Warrior's Curse. Jennifer lives in northern Utah with her husband, their children, and a perpetually muddy dog.





This first book in a planned trilogy is action-oriented fantasy, but don't expect magical creatures. Instead, it revolves around political intrigue ( la Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief, 1996). Sage is a street-savvy orphan, and along with two other boys he is recruited by Conner, a nobleman who wants to remake them in the image of their country's lost prince, a victim of pirates and presumed dead. The task is urgent, as the rest of the royal family has been murdered and civil war seems imminent. As the boys, chosen for their passing resemblance to Prince Jaron, compete to assume a new identity and the throne, Sage discovers some unpleasant truths about their host, beyond his treasonous plans to pass one of them off as royalty. Sage is a likable hero full of smart-alecky snarkiness. Especially appealing are the friendships he forges: one with his bodyguard and teacher; another with a mute serving girl. Though lacking in subtlety, Nielsen's plot twists keep coming, and readers will want to see how they play out as Sage's adventures continue. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.





A brazen 15-year-old orphan living in the imaginary kingdom of Carthya becomes embroiled in a treasonous power-play to install a false prince on the vacant throne. For years, Sage has survived by lying and stealing in Mrs. Turbeldy's Orphanage for Disadvantaged Boys. When scheming Bevin Connor removes him, Sage assumes he will serve Connor, but he quickly discovers he's one of four orphan boys chosen by Connor for a more dangerous game. Connor plans to secretly transform them into gentlemen and select one to impersonate Prince Jaron, who is missing and presumed dead. Carthya's current king, queen and crown prince have been murdered, and war could erupt at any moment. When the regents meet in two weeks, Connor plans to produce long-lost "Prince Jaron," who will rule as his pawn. Competition becomes fierce as the boys realize the one chosen to play Jaron will be the only survivor. Sage's disdain, defiance and reckless arrogance mark him for failure, but his boldness, instinct and innate decency indicate there's more than meets the eye. Could Sage become Prince Jaron? Sage reveals his story in the first person in slowly unfolding layers guaranteed to shock. Ruthless ambition, fierce action and plotting, complex characters and lots of sword play and hidden passages keep pages flipping. Readers of this multifaceted, well-crafted tale will eagerly await Sage's further adventures. (map) (Adventure. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.





From The False Prince


"Would you ever be on my side, even if I chose you above the other boys?" Conner asked.


"I'm only on my side. Your trick will be convincing me that helping you helps me," I replied.


"What if I did? How far would you go to win?"


"The better question, sir, is how far you will go to win." I looked him steadily in the eyes as I spoke. "You killed Latamer. So we know you're willing to murder to win."


"I am." Conner backed up, speaking to all of us again. "And I'm willing to lie, to cheat, and to steal. I'm willing to commend my soul to the devils if necessary because I believe there is exoneration in my cause. I need one of you to conduct the greatest fraud ever perpetrated within the country of Carthya. This is a lifetime commitment. It will never be safe to back down from my plan and tell the truth. To do so would destroy not only you but the entire country. And you will do it to save Carthya."






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