Monday, February 28, 2011

Review of False Princess by Eilis O’Neal

False Princess

Released: January 25, 2011

Hardcover, 336 pages

Interest: Debut Author Challenge, plus it had the word princess in the title!

Summary from

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.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.


The False Princess was originally slated to be released last summer, and it was on my debut author list back then.  By the time it was released this January, all I remembered was that it was about a princess.  Which is usually enough to interest me.  This book was so much more than a princess story though.  It was about finding out who you truly are, court intrigue, mystery, and yes, a little romance.

Sinda got the raw end of the deal.  She was raised as Princess Nalia, only to find out at the age of sixteen that she’s not the princess after all.  She was only a stand-in for the real princess who was prophesied to die by her sixteenth birthday.  Now, Sinda gets sent off to her only living relative with an education, but no practical skills.  What’s a girl to do?

Sinda is a strong female lead.  I enjoyed watching her grow from the timid Princess to “someone to be reckoned with.” 

I would recommend this book to fans of fairytales, historical fiction, or a combination thereof.

Book Pairings

For another false princess situation, try Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

For more court drama try, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith


Cover: 9/10 Fits the book well

Plot: 9/10

Characters: 9/10

Ending: 9/10

Overall Enjoyment: 9/10

No swearing that I can recall, nice and clean.

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