Thursday, January 13, 2011

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

book cover

The False Princess
by Eilis O'Neal

ISBN-13: 978-1606840795
Hardback: 336 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Released: January 25, 2011

Source: Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Publisher's Website:
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.

The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.

My Review:
The False Princess is a young adult fantasy novel with some mystery and romance. The story-style reminded me of Shannon Hale's books, which I also enjoy. This novel was a fast read that kept my interest, and I finished it in one day.

The characters were complex and engaging. The suspense was created by some physical danger and several relationship troubles. The world-building was very good and based in the typical "vaguely medieval" fantasy/fairytale setting. Some of the plot events will feel familiar to most readers, but the story did have some unique and interesting twists.

There was no bad language and no sex. Overall, I highly recommend this engaging and well-written novel and I look forward to O'Neal's future novels.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
(Note: I was unable to check it against a final version)

The day they came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds. We were sitting on a stone bench, the delicate roll of fabric lying between us. Instead of looking toward the gardens, however, we faced the gray wall that separated the northern-most edge of the palace grounds from the streets of Vivaskari.

"It can't be there," he was saying. "Look, Nalia."

I glanced up from the map to follow Kiernan's finger, which pointed at the expanse of wall in front of us. Once he had my attention, he jumped up from his seat on the bench and strode toward the wall. He rapped his fist against it, then winced comically. I rolled my eyes. "See?" he said. "There's nothing here. Are you sure, oh princess wise and stubborn, that you're reading it properly?"

I sighed in frustration. He was right. We had examined this section of wall for over an hour, searching for any cracks or indentations that might indicate a secret door, all without success.

"We're where it says we should be. At least, where the part that I can read says we should be." I tugged a hand through my hair, pulling a few of the dark brown strands loose so that they trailed against my neck. "It's those markings along the bottom. I've looked and I've looked, but I can't find anything that even comes close to them. They aren't any modern language I know, or even any ancient one." Which was irritating, since I knew four modern languages well, bits and pieces of six others, and enough of five ancient tongues to at least recognize them.


CMS said...

I would love to win this giveaway. I am a GFC follower (Carrie Smart)


slb3334 said...

Please enter me.