The False Prince (The Ascendence Trilogy, Book 1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
This summer, I have been immersing myself in YA and middle grade reader books. With the tween twins visiting, these summer reads surrounded me–and tempted me to put down other books and enjoy the pleasures of hot weather reading. Meghan recommended I give The False Prince a try. (Actually, she said I would love it and on a trip to Powell’s, I chose it when the whole family picked out a new book for our afternoon reading time. ) Turns out this series is just like the old potato chip commercial: you can’t eat just one. I devoured The False Prince, raced through The Runaway King (I know I am mixing my metaphors), and I have just started the last of the trilogy, The Shadow Throne.
I really appreciate Nielsen’s writing skills. She has a way with realistic dialogue, and nuanced characters. The plot is full of adventure and surprises, but the surprises are grounded and don’t come out of nowhere.
In Book 1, we meet Sage, an adventurous and risk-taking young orphan. He and a couple of other orphans are kidnapped by the kingdom of Carthya’s regent noble Connor who plans to pass one of them off as the lost Prince Jaron and rule with a puppet king. Though Sage doesn’t want to be involved in this treasonous plot, he must go along as the boys who are not chosen will be killed. Mixed in with the adventure are funny episodes, wit, treachery, and questions of honor. No spoilers here, but some real surprises in the plot, too! A perfect end-of-summer read!