Author: Eilis O'NealI'm weird about fantasies. They usually don't hold my interest very well and are usually just 3-star reads for me. Thankfully, this wasn't the case with The False Princess.
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Pages: 328 (E-ARC)
Most Appropriate For Ages: 10+
Where I Got It: For review from publisher
Challenges: Debut Author 2011
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.
Another problem I usually have with fantasies are the bland characters, but again this wasn't the case with this novel. Sinda was a pretty awesome main character overall, though at times I found her to be too a little stubborn and naive. And Kiernan? Kiernan! *tackle hug* He was a brilliant side character. I quite liked all of the characters, actually. Save for the ones you weren't supposed to like, naturally.
Eilis O'Neal has crafted what I would deem a winner. While I occasionally found the plot a little unbelievable even for a fantasy, I still found a lot of enjoyment in this debut novel. The False Princess could very well be the best fantasy I read this year, so if you're a fan of the genre, I highly suggest you pick this one up.
Plot: A bit unbelievable, but fast-paced.
Characters: Really nice.
Kid friendly? Completely.