HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Cover illustrator: Ken Chai
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, republished 2013
Related website: http://www.scholastic.com/falseprince (book)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10-14
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Nielsen, Jennifer A. The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1 (published in 2012 by Scholastic Press Inc., 557 Broadway, New York City, NY 10012). Sage is an almost fifteen year old orphan from Avenia who lives at Mrs. Turbeldy’s Home for Disadvantaged Boys in Carchar, a city of Carthya, and has the reputation of being a defiant thief and a liar. King Eckbert of Carthya has been murdered, along with his wife Queen Erin, and heir Crown Prince Darius. This information is being kept secret for now, but when it is known the nation could be plunged into civil war. However, the king had a younger son, Jaron, who was lost at sea. A Carthyan nobleman, Bevin Connor, has a plan to place an impersonator of Jaron on the throne to avoid war. He has purchased Sage and three other orphan boys named Latamer, Roden, and Tobias because they are the right age and appearance. After a time of training at Connor’s estate of Farthenwood near the city of Tithio, one of them will be chosen to play the prince.
Which one will win the competition? Can the plan work? What will happen to the boys who are not selected? And just exactly who is Sage? The False Prince, Book 1 of the Ascendance Trilogy, is an action-oriented fantasy filled with danger and adventure. The numerous plot twists, characterized by lies and deadly truths, will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats. I know that it did me, and I enjoyed it. One reviewer wrote, “It moved way to slow, for that reason I didn’t finish reading it, if it got better, I will never know, sorry it isn’t my style of reading.” Yet another said, “There were plenty of positives to this book: snappy pacing, engaging characters, and an almost spartan lack of boring expository details.” I guess to each his own. There is nothing objectionable. It is said that people swore, but no actual swear words are used. One killing scene is rather blunt, but not overly graphic. The sequels are The Runaway King: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 2, and The Shadow Throne: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 3.