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THE FALSE PRINCE (The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1)

Author: Jennifer A Nielsen

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Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2012

Material: hard cover

Summary: Civil war is brewing in an unhappy kingdom. To unify the people, Connor, a nobleman of court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and use him as a puppet prince. For Connor, there is no other option. Four orphans are recruited to complete the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage suspects Connor’s motives, yet his life balances on the edge of a sword. He must be chosen to be the prince, or he will die ... The False Prince launches this action / fantasy series for middle grade and young adult readers. It has potential as a high interest / low readability series.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 14; read yourself: 11 and Up

Interest Level: 10 to 14

Reading Level: 5.1

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: I have to say right away that the plot twist ending is worth reading the entire book! The beginning of the book is is a bit slow, and the story wasn’t as interesting as I thought it was going to be at first. By the time I got to the end and everything is revealed, the whole story makes sense. I also loved the mystery behind it! The whole book is a mystery, even if you don’t know it is. Aside from the slow start, the only other thing I didn’t enjoy was the main character. At times, he was annoying to follow around. Since this is a middle grade book, it is an especially young protagonist. Other than this, I will definitely be picking up the next book!

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: Lots of action and an amazing twist at the end will have readers wanting the next book right away.

Cons: None, really. Teen notes that there is some mild fantasy violence.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! Once you get past the slow start you'll be hooked. This book would be a great gift to anybody interested in fantasy, royalty, and plot twists.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Finnikin the Rock by Melina Marchetta; The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner; All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill; Starglass by Phoebe North; Fallen Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes THRONE OF GLASS   THE MAGIC THIEF (Book 1)   WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET

Educational Themes: Have fun reading and solving the mystery!

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, mystery, middle grade series, young adult series

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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