The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
Also by this author: A Royal Birthday
Published by EgmontUSA
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Read in: January 2011
Source: Personal Collection
Add to: Goodreads
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
First Sentence: The day they came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds.
Super Brief Review: A wonderful story about a girl whose entire life has been a lie.
Favorite Quotes: Substitute princes, failed dyer, scribe – none of those role had prepared me for this.
Slightly Longer Review: The False Princess is an amazing tale that grabbed my attention from the first chapter. Sinda was very easy to relate to and didn’t get on my nerves. The only life that she has ever known is stripped from her and she’s tossed aside and forgotten like a used Kleenex. As a reader I understood clearly both sides of the story but I felt that the way Sinda was left behind was extremely harsh. Perhaps this was done on purpose so that I would bond with Sinda instantly.
Sinda leaves the palace without putting up much argument and accepts her new role in life with a sort of numbness. Life for Sinda outside of the palace is exceptionally difficult. She was only ever prepared for life as a future ruler. The day to day life of the working man is hard to adjust to but not for a lack of trying. This is something that I truly admired in Sinda. She wanted to learn how to do everything that she could. She just had a hard time picking up the dying trade, or cooking, or cleaning….you get the picture.
Sinda decides to return to the only city that she can really call home. She has no clue that doing so will start into motion the biggest adventure of her life.
Sinda is surrounded by great secondary characters and without them the story would probably not have been the same. O’Neal does a wonderful job setting up her story and then following through with almost non-stop action. Anyone who enjoys a good adventure story with a mix of fantasy and young adult romance should pick up this book!