Thursday, January 6, 2011

The False Princess

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.

Beth says 4.5 Stars...

This book was absolutely adorable. I needed a fix of a delightful princesses story filled with independent women which this filled nicely. The plot wasn't too complicated to where it became confusing but managed to remain unexpected. Just when I thought that I had everything figured out I managed to miss the mark completely as the plot turned in a different direction. Of course there were some predictable aspects, but they honestly were more minor things instead of gigantic portions of the plot. One of the only real problems with the book was that it had the tendency to jump from one thing to another. Although the action needed that to move forward, it did interrupt the flow. I read the book in one sitting and didn't want to pull myself away from it. O'Neal's writing was easy to read and created a lovely world, made more impressive by the fact this is her debut novel.

Sinda was just what I wanted in a heroine. She definitely had her flaws, particularly when her situation changed in the beginning. However, instead of spending half of the book brooding and feeling sorry for herself, she adjusted to whatever happened within a reasonable amount of time. Her strength and intelligence weren't too much and made sense in context. Keirnan was just tons of fun as a character. He made a nice counter to the seriousness that almost overwhelmed Sinda at times. They also had some delightful chemistry in more ways than just one. The supporting cast was just as interesting, although I would have liked to see a little more of them. Honestly, that's not an uncommon problem, particularly in debuts.

This is for fans of books like Princess Ben and those of Shannon Hale. A nice change from the flood of paranormal romances, I can't think of a better word to describe this novel than fun. With enough heart and brain to make it engrossing this book hit the spot for me. It's a perfect girly fantasy, and look at that cover... so lovely. This is a good kick off for the 2011 debut authors!
Book from Publisher


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