The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen was one of those books I devoured. Then I devoured it again. Every time I read it (and I own it, so I’m up to like, in the teens) I fall in love with it all over again. I just listened to it on a road trip (practically the only time I get to read anymore, sad) and wow, it’s good.
Sage is an orphan with a penchant for picking pockets. He’s in trouble (shocker) when a mysterious noble named Bevin Connor selects him for this weird, almost Bachelor-esque, competition. Sage joins three other boys in an effort to have Connor select one of them to pretend to be the long-lost prince of Carthyia. I know, you’ve heard this story before. But it’s never been told quite like this before.
Sage makes the book. He is so completely unpredictable that even in a predictable story like this you truly don’t know what he’s going to do next. His character fascinates me and his ability to appear as if he’s completely out of control while actually controlling and manipulating the entire situation is masterful. I love the fact that there’s two other books about him.
There’s a bit of violence, theft, torture, and general mayhem. Some more adult situation are insinuated, but the average middle-grade reader probably won’t pick up on it – they’re pretty glossed over. There’s plenty of adventure and action which makes it a fast read.
Full disclosure: clicking the picture above will take you to the Amazon page for the book where you can read more reviews and purchase the book if you’d like. I receive a percentage of the sale, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to pay more for the book than you normally would. It just helps me out. Thanks!