Monday, April 30, 2012
Middle Grade Monday - The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
Nielsen, Jennifer. False Prince, The. Scholastic, 2012. 6.99. 9780545433471. (reviewing the pb version from Scholastic Book Club)
Genre: Realistic, Adventure
Latamer, Roden, Sage, and Tobias were "rescued" from various orphanages by Bevin Conner and his two henchmen, Cregan and Mott. Conner, a minor regent in the kingdom of Carthya, has it in his head that he can replace the missing Prince Jaron with a boy he trains in the art of princeliness. He just needs a boy who either looks like Prince Jaron or reminds people of him. Jaron has been missing for four years and presumed dead. No body was ever recovered. If Conner can succeed at placing a false Jaron on the throne, he can rule through him. Of course, Conner only needs one boy but he has four.
The False Prince is a lot more fun than it sounds. Sage has a sly sense of humor and is smart to boot though he hides his intelligence from the others. He uses his wit to hide his true feelings and cause the others to underestimate him. The other boys have an opportunity to move beyond the stereotype as we learn more about them while they study how to be a prince. Although the setting is not distinctive, it's not necessary to get the story across. There was one small surprise that might prove predictable if you are an avid reader though you still want to read to make sure you are right.