Book Review: “The False Prince”

“The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)” by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy


Other Ascendance Trilogy books

Source: Bought

Summary from Goodreads:

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.


  • Sage was a difficult character to like. He definitely followed the beat of his own drum. He was  incredibly stubborn and reckless but I also liked him for that. There were so many times I wish he’d give in and do what was asked of him because I hated to see him punished. I really admired him for sticking to his morals though.
  • Nielsen did a great job with Sage (and his story). You believed everything coming from him.  Nothing about him felt faked.
  • Even the side characters were nicely developed!
  • I know false royal story line is common but I love it. Treason, lies, secrets! So many things to love in a story.
  • There was a perfect dose of politics in this story. You got small hints of it everywhere. You know that war has been brewing for a while. The royal family is all dead and under suspicious circumstances. Far too many people want to take over. It will be interesting to see how things continue for the rest of the series.
  • I did like the twist towards the end. Sure things were a bit too perfect but that’s okay.
  • I love that it’s great for all ages. It doesn’t feel overly juvenile and there isn’t a lot of language or violence. On top of all that, it’s not a simple story. There’s a good amount of depth to the story and the characters.

The bottom line? Quite good.



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