A bold plot leads and orphan on a terrible journey… to the brink of treason.
I discovered The False Prince on booktube a while back, but didn’t pick it up until it was recommended to me again by Tracey Dyck (check out her awesome blog here). Boy am I glad I did! This book was so much fun to read, and I flew through it in under a day. Just a warning, there may be minor spoilers for The False Prince in my review, so if you like going into a novel knowing next to nothing, I’d advise you to read no further.
First things first, the writing. Her style was easy to read, and I thought she did a good job of allowing readers to enter in to the story and invest in the characters without drawing attention to the writing itself. The book is set in a fantasy world (complete with a map!), and I liked how the setting was present, but not jarring. Sometimes I get tired of reading fantasy worlds that are so different from reality that the author is required to spend a lot of time describing its mechanics, which slows the plot considerably. This was a world I could jump right into and not feel incredibly disoriented until 1/3 of the way through the novel, which I appreciated.
I went into this book knowing that there was some sort of major plot twist at the end, and felt mildly miffed that I had figured it out fifty pages in. The foreshadowing was not heavy handed, however, and I enjoyed watching all the puzzle pieces slowly fit together. The twist was very satisfying when it came, so even though I knew it was coming I still really enjoyed it when it came.
The False Prince is fast-paced and full of action from page one. I liked the main character, Sage from the start, and grew to love him by the end of the book. He is very quick-witted and sarcastic, which sometimes gets him into trouble (a lot of trouble), but he had me laughing out loud several times while reading. Did I mention that he also happens to be a talented thief? He can be very light fingered, and even the reader doesn’t know the full extent of his thieving until near the end of the book. Though he is rough around the edges, he is a good person, willing to give up a lot for others, which I was not expecting from an orphan thief.
My feelings towards Tobias and Roden flip-flopped several times during the book, but I was not expecting them to end up where they did. Author points to Nielsen for surprising character development.
I never liked the nobleman Connor. He was basically pure evil. I found it interesting how he thought he was working for good, but while he had valid reasons for what he did, the end never justifies the means for me. I also thought it was fascinating when Veldergrath (another nobleman) and Connor had a disagreement, because while I wanted Veldergrath to loose, he was also completely justified in what he was doing.
Mott was my second-favourite character, and I had a lot of sympathy for him. I enjoyed the progression of Mott and Sage’s relationship.
Immogen was an interesting character, but she felt a little bit flat. I felt badly for Amarinda, the princess-to-be, but again, she felt two-dimensional. I am interested to see where their character arcs go in the next books, and I have high hopes that they will be more fleshed out in the next instalment of the trilogy.
Overall, I would compare this book to literary comfort food. It was good and enjoyable, and also nice and clean; there was no swearing, inappropriate scenes or innuendoes, and while there was some violence, there was no gore. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a quick, easy, and lighthearted fantasy read.
Rating: 4/5 stars