The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal
* Jan 25, 2011 *
– fantasy, YA –
reviewed by Tara SG
received for review via Star Book Tours
Author’s Website : www.eilisoneal.com
Author’s Twitter : @eilisoneal
Add To Your GoodReads TBR List (26 ratings : 4.38 avg)
In Six Words
perfect plot twists and sweet romance
Why did I read this? And am I glad I did?
I came across this one via the tour site and thought I’d give it a try. With how much I love books set in this time period, I can’t believe I don’t search out more. I really enjoyed this one. The story was creative and kept me guessing. You can’t help but feel sorry for the lead and I absolutely loved her character growth. The romance built slowly and sweetly and was refreshing compared to all the “love at first sight” YA’s I’ve read recently.
I will without a doubt look for more by this author and hope that there will be more books in this series.
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.
– via GoodReads.com
I can’t imagine having my entire life ripped away and quietly shipped off to a small town to become a poor villager after spending my life believing I am a princess and preparing to take the throne. Sinda’s story is sad at first, but her journey after the switch was uplifting and encouraging. The magic elements blended perfectly which was something I was worried about and shouldn’t have been. I honestly had very little idea of what would happen next and even the conclusion leaves us with enough to wonder what happens now.
The pacing was extremely well done. I believe I read this front to back without once feeling bored or rushed.
Sinda is a fantastic female lead. She loses her whole life; family, friends, wealth, and future. Her reaction to such a loss was realistic and depressingly touching. I was immensely pleased with how she handled the change and the steps she took to reclaim a life for herself. She is smart, determined, and caring.
Kiernan has been Sinda’s best friend since they were small children. They balance each other out and bring out the best in each other. He was extremely sweet and caring. I loved how he jumped right in to help her when she tries to unravel a dangerous threat against her ex-family. Not that it was all easy between the two of them. Her move and loss of position are huge obstacles for them to try to overcome.
The other side characters were also well-developed. From Sinda’s aunt who has a teenager with no life skills dumped on her doorstep to the quirky professor that helps Sinda tame her magic when no one else will.
Going Deeper (NO spoilers!)
I really loved that the author took the time to mention the pain the “new” princess must also be in. While one might think it would be a great thing to suddenly go from being an orphan to a princess with a family, she still left a home and family behind and is now forced into a position of great responsibility. This could have been easily skipped over and I’m extremely glad it was not.