Middle Grade Monday Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

false prince

Release Date:  April 1, 2012

Publisher:  Scholastic

Page Count: Hardcover, 342

Genre: Advanced Middle Grade / shelved with YA Fantasy in some bookstores, Royal fantasy, non-magic, Retelling of Prince and the Pauper

Appeal (in my opinion): I think this is a great book for 11+ boys and girls, but especially boys because it is less common to find male main characters in this genre of children’s lit.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Bookstagrammer Bits: Hardcover dust jacket is blue with gold. IMG_6438 Naked book is navy blue with gold foil on spine, medium blue on cover with title imprinted on it.

Conversations with Kids: Death but nothing graphic, no love scenes, sword fighting, royal fantasy story but no magical element. Great adventure book.


In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

review 5 star


Audiobook – excellent narrator, Charlie McWade.

I absolutely loved this book! I randomly heard of it and the library audiobook happened to be available. This is a Prince and the Pauper retelling and unlike anything I have read in a long time. The main character, Sage, is a 14-year-old boy, which in itself is unique for me since most of the books I’ve read in the last year have strong female leads and that seems to be trending. At times, it is hard to believe the narrator is only 14, but then again, there is nothing that is extremely non-age appropriate either. I did not expect the way the story twisted and it was excellent. I literally could not stop listening to this because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. A nice cliffhanger of power, potential budding romance, hint of war, betrayal, and a sprinkling of loyal characters I can’t wait to see more of in the next book. I’m SO glad all three books have already been published so I can binge read them.

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