Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

From goodreads: 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.

This book is a little reminiscent of The Sleeping Beauty with the prophesy of the princess's demise before her 16th birthday, and the king and queen hiding the real princess away. Sinda is surprised to discover that she has been a decoy princess her entire life. In shock, she is escorted from the palace-from the only life she has ever known. It was interesting to see how Sinda goes from a priviliged life at court to learning how to do everyday things, like cooking and cleaning and making a living as a dyer. I couldn't put the book down, wondering what would become of her, and knowing she had been trained for a more important position--the future queen.

It was remarkable how Sinda recognized her weaknesses, overcomes them, and comes to terms with her new self. I was gripped to the world this book portrayed, and even more so after the twist in the middle.  I loved watching Sinda find her place in the world, and taking her destiny in hand. I have been raving and recommending this book to everyone I know!

Rating 4
Age 11+
Published: 1.2011


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