Author: Eilis O'Neal
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Source: Purchased and checked out audiobook from my LMC
Audiobook Publisher: Listening Library
Audiobook Reader: Mandy Williams
About the Book: 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.
My Thoughts: I have to admit... this book was a bit of a slow start for me. I just really could not get behind Sinda as a character. However, as the story progressed I grew to like her more and became more invested in her story. I think the main thing holding me back was the pacing. I loved the idea of a princess who finds out she isn't actually a princess but then finds out she has magic! In my opinion that is a totally awesome exchange. I would so rather have magic! It just took a bit long to get there in the story. Once Sinda figured out she could have some control over her future and didn't need to just sit back and let life happen to her the book really picked up. The mystery, action, and romance I was promised finally showed up!
The audiobook was very well done. Mandy Williams was a great choice as a reader for the story. Her pacing and expression really made the story work for me. Even before I was invested in the story I was enjoying the audio.
The False Princess is a great read for fans of fantasy with romance and adventure. I will certainly be recommending it to my middle school students next year!