Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

False PrinceTitle: The False Prince

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #1

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: April 1, 2012


Book Summary:

THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.

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.

Alisas review


I have had this entire trilogy on my Kindle for some time now just waiting for me to read it! If I had known how fun it was going to be to read about Sage, I would have started this a long time ago! (I have to confess that I’m already halfway through Book 2, and had to force myself to stop and review Book 1 before I forgot what happened in which book). While this is written for young readers, I think anyone of any age would enjoy reading this series.

Sage is a 14-year-old orphan at Mrs. Turbeldy’s Orphanage for Disadvantaged Boys. He is caught stealing a roast (admittedly not one of his better ideas) and is being beat by the butcher when he is “saved” by Bevin Conner. Conner has already “saved” two other orphan boys and they are on their way to “save” one more. The boys quickly learn they are part of a bigger plot by Conner that can be considered genius if it works, but will most likely be considered treason by the other 19 regents of Carthya. But the boys are already trapped and have no way to escape.

The story is told from Sage’s point of view. Sometimes it seems like Sage is brilliant, and sometimes it seems like he just has more than his fair share of dumb luck. He definitely is a skilled thief and liar and that saves him several times. Sometimes Sage is a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy, but it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to him then he lets on at first. He’s vulnerable enough to be likable, and gutsy and clever enough to be interesting. You’re never sure what’s going to happen next with him… Which is why I didn’t even wait to start the second book!

(Note: I recommend the entire series – all 3 books are now available)

Content: Clean, no swearing, some sword fighting and beating

5 stars
Rating: 5 stars

Content: Clean, no swearing


Purchase: Amazon


  1. So glad you enjoyed it. I loved this series. And I nominated this for the Cybils and it won. I’m thrilled. Can’t wait to start Jennifer’s new series coming out next winter.