Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

The False PrincessTitle: The False Princess
Author: Eilis O'Neal
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 336
Published: Available now from Egmont
ISBN: 9781606840795
Source: Star Book Tours

Description: 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.

I Give This ...

There's always one.  You know that book that totally surprises you.  I have to say this is probably the best young adult book I've read since Anna and the French Kiss.  And I LOVED that one.

Sinda jumps off the pages.  I enjoyed the brief glimpse we get of her as a princess.  I think she would have made a great one and a great Queen.  Sadly, we know we aren't going to get that.  I was upset with the way it was handled when the truth came out that she wasn't the real princess.  How can a girl who's been pampered and educated her entire life be expected to become the exact opposite.  And you have to giver her credit, because she really does try.  But, then the magic comes rushing into her life and she knows that she might not survive if she doesn't learn how to control it.

I liked that she moved back to the city. She felt so out of place out in the middle of nowhere.  I like that she chooses a misfit magician to teach her about magic.  And my favorite part is her rekindling her friendship with Keirnan.  For a change, it's the boy next door that wins out. He's the perfect blend of friendship with the development of romance.  He will literally do anything for Sinda and it shows through out the story.

 I appreciated that the story wasn't just about a princess scorned, or magic, or even just about love.  There's a 16 year old mystery buried within this story.  Sinda must figure it out for the good of the entire kingdom.  That education is put to good use and she unravels all the clues.  Turns out she's not the only false princess, and the villian will stop at nothing to keep the real one off the throne.  It's also a story about vengeance years in the making.  

It was a fantastic book that I almost gave a 5 too.  Why not... well it dragged just a little bit in the middle.  But, the book is well worth your time!

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