When Sage, a proficient thief and liar, is plucked out of an orphanage by the mysterious Conner and his two muscular associates, it seems like any orphan’s dream come true. To be made into a gentleman in two week’s time while getting a warm place to sleep and all the food he wants? What orphan would turn that down?
Still, Sage is suspicious of the mysterious nobleman and his two servants, and his wariness stands him in good stead when the one of other of the four selected boys opts to leave the group of potential trainees at Conner’s gracious invitation. The offer is a trap, and the boy is shot down as he climbs into the wagon which would have returned him to the orphanage he was taken from. His death is a clear warning to the remaining three.
Over the next few days of intensive training, Conner’s traitorous plan emerges. He is training a boy to appear as the recently deceased royal family’s lost son, whose body was never recovered after his ship was attacked by pirates years before. Conner hopes one of his protégés will be convincing enough to take the throne, guaranteeing Conner’s power over a kingdom on the brink of war.
There are no good options, as Sage sees it. The boy who wins Conner’s contest will live a life of royal ease, but he’ll have to sell his soul to do it. And they all know what will happen to the losers.
An imaginer of people, places, and happenings, Jennifer A. Nielsen has been a writer from the time she was a child, although it is only in recent years that she has turned her talents to writing young adult and children’s fantasy. Packed with suspense, “The False Prince,” Jennifer’s first book in The Ascendance Trilogy, takes the reader on an intensely twisting journey well worth traveling with no simple ending in sight. It’s a perfect choice for the avid middle grade reader. Find this and other books by Jennifer at our local libraries listed below.
- Gail Borden Public Library
- Schaumburg Public Library
- Bartlett Public Library
- Batavia Public Library
- Poplar Creek Public Library
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source of review copy: Gail Borden Public Library