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The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

This book, with a target audience of 13 and up, appeals to even this thirty-something, and it is the first book in three years that I had to read in less than three sittings.  While Young Adult (YA) fiction is often overlooked by adult audiences, it is easy to forget that YA is actually a perfectly satisfactory genre for older readers.  “The Catcher in the Rye” and “The Lord of the Flies” are literary classics that technically fall under the YA umbrella.

As for “The False Prince,” the main character is an orphan named “Sage,” he is bought by a tyrannical Lord named “Connor” along with three other orphans.  The first part of the book consists of a series of tests and quests designed to see which of these orphans will best execute Connor’s shrewd plan.  The second half is the execution of this plan, and surprises are abundant as we near the end.

Well written and excellently paced, this book will appeal to most fantasy fans.  Harry Potter fans looking for that next series that will captivate them need to look no further.  While the characters take more time than I’d like to develop, the story line and adventure carries readers through as we get acquainted.

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