Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal

Book:  The False Princess
Author:  Eilis O’Neal
Release date:  January 25, 2011
Publisher:  Egmont USA
Pages:  336
Source:  Publisher

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 a fantastic historical fantasy.  Growing up, I loved books by Gail Carson Levine and this one reminded me of her books in so many ways yet still had such a unique feel to it.  I couldn’t help but love it.

Sinda Azaway has always believed herself to be Princess Nalia.  When she finds out on her sixteenth birthday that she’s not, her life changes drastically.  She is forced to move out of the palace and go live with her aunt who knows nothing about her.  When she realizes that she has magic in her blood things get even more complicated.  Forced to move back to the city, Sinda must face her old life, not knowing who she really is.  She will have to find out though because there is a plot against the crown and she is the only one who can save the kingdom.

The False Princess never slowed down.  From the very first sentence I was drawn into Sinda’s life and her misery.  I couldn’t believe what she had to go through.  I connected to her very quickly because of her pain and confusion.  I loved watching her grow and she was forced to do that pretty quickly with the magic and plot against the crown.  I couldn’t put the book down until I knew exactly how it would end.

Sinda was the main character but she was not my favorite; Kiernan was.  He was such a gentleman sometimes and a huge rake at others.  He was funny and kind and he made the book that much better.  He was the best thing that happened to Sinda and he was always there for her.  What a perfect guy!

Overall, The False Princess is one for every historical fantasy fan.  Eilis O’Neal is another fabulous debut author and I hope she has many more books like this one in the future.

First line:  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.

Rating:  A

Cover:  B-

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  1. Hafsah @ IceyBooks

    Glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did!
    I thought it was really captivating and had so many turns – all in all, its now one of my favorites.

    Check out my review and interview with Eilis O’Neal f you get a chance 😀

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