The False Prince – Jennifer A. Nielsen (Ascendance #1)

false princeI can’t believe I haven’t posted about this series yet! I’ve read quite a bit of YA fantasy and this is hands-down my favorite. Which is strange because it doesn’t seem to be especially popular.

So, Sage is an orphan kid who is snatched from a horrible orphanage (along with a few other boys) by a bad guy who plans to train one of them up to pretend he’s the lost prince of Carthya. So right away, you get DRAMA! and INTRIGUE! and it’s very exciting. The boys start fighting amongst themselves, Sage is always getting into trouble, etc.

It’s so refreshing to read a young adult novel from a boy’s POV. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but I love unreliable narrators, and Sage certainly fits that description. The awesome thing about Sage as a main character is that he’s…awesome. He’s smart, funny, resourceful, strong-willed, etc. He’s like a young MacGuyver. Or James Bond without all the gadgets. See, Sage grew up as a thief, so he’s got all these survival skills that let him emerge victorious from every situation. So throughout the book, you KNOW he’s playing everyone, but not why, exactly. That’s where Sage’s POV being unreliable comes in.

Man, I just really, really like this book.

Audiobook notes:
Narrator: Charlie McWade. Really excellent, he captured Sage beautifully. He actually reminded me a lot of Jesse Bernstein, who I really liked from the Percy Jackson audiobooks.

My review of Ascendence #2 – The Runaway King

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