Book Review: The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal

Title: The False Princess

Author: Eilis O’Neal
Details: Hardcover, 336 pgs.
Published: January 11th, 2011 by Egmont
isbn: 1606840797 (ISBN13: 9781606840795)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Purchased

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia’s led a privileged life at court.  But everything changes when it’s revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection.  Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she’s ever known.
Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks.  But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.
Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever.
A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.

I’ve been in the mood for a good fantasy for awhile and ever since I saw a review of this one I was dying to read it!  You might say I had some high expectations, but this book still exceeded them!  It really was a fantastic fantasy story.

Sometimes a fantasies get a little heavy because of all the descriptions of the world and how it all works, etc.  This book was not at all heavy.  I was able to understand the world, the magic, and how everything worked and I never once felt laden down with descriptions.  The way the author had everything unfold was completely brilliant and I wouldn’t have her change a thing. 

Sinda was an amazing character.  Can you imagine being told one day that you are not the princess and then being immediately sent away with nothing and to live with a poor relative you’ve never met?  Talk about culture shock!  Sinda deals with it all so well.  We know that she’s struggling, but she doesn’t really mope about.  It takes a little push to get her to change her life though and once she does things really take off!  
She was so strong through it all and I understood her motivations most of the time and her personality was very clear.  She was never all over the place on what she wanted, she may not have always known, but she never went back on her beliefs and principles and risked her life time and time again to right a wrong even though she could have used that wrong to her advantage.  I really think she was an amazing character.

Keirnan *sigh* what an amazing guy.  He’s Sinda’s childhood friend and he’s her only friend who sticks by her.  Sinda may be a little blind to things and she’s painfully shy, but these two have some things to work out that are more then just friends.  And wow, I just loved him from the beginning, but I fell in love with him when there was a teensy tiny bit of a sword fight (very teensy).  

There are other characters that shape the story as well and I thought they all played their roles well.  The author did a great job in creating hardships for Sinda but placing people where they can assist her and made the story come together brilliantly.

This book was full of twists and turns and I never could predict where things were going.  More then once I was just sure I had it figured out and I was wrong.  It was fun watching it all unfold and plenty of times I was on the edge of my seat reading as fast as I could.

This book is appropriate for younger teens as well as older.  There’s no cursing, no sex and no violence.  There’s a little kissing, and that’s it!  Completely clean in my opinion.

If you enjoy fantasy, or maybe if you don’t because it’s too heavy for you, give this one a try.  I think you’ll love it!  I certainly did!

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  1. Great review! I’ve been eying this one for a while now. I still have 2 more review requests and then I think I’ll pick this one up!

  2. Thanks for the review! I’ve heard about this book, but it has never really been on my radar. Now it is definitely going to be on my to-read shelf.

    Thanks again!

  3. Seriously, why the heck have I been skipping over this one? I’ve seen it around a bunch of times but was never really inclined to read the synopsis or anythnig (am I stupid or what?). You’ve sold me. This sounnds great. I haven’t see it anywhere locally, so if my library doesn’t have it then I’ll have to go look online!

  4. Every review I read of The False Princess keeps telling me that I need to read it, but your review has to be the most convincing yet. I probably would have continued to pass this one up, but now that I know a bit more, I’m off to add it to my ever-growing wishlist.

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