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The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
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The False Princess (edition 2012)

by Eilis O'Neal

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4554822,893 (3.86)22
Member:ljldml
Title:The False Princess
Authors:Eilis O'Neal
Info:EgmontUSA (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

  1. 00
    The Jewel of the Kalderash by Marie Rutkoski (keeneam)
    keeneam: Both this books deal with magic and deception and royalty
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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Despite the generic YA cover, this isn't paint-by-numbers fantasy. This book was clearly written out of a deep appreciation for and knowledge of fantasy tropes.

Nalia is a princess whose only real joys are old documents, languages, and her one friend, Kiernan. She's shy and clumsy, but she hopes to grow up to rule her country well. Then her parents summon her to their throne room and reveal that she isn't a princess at all. 16 years ago they paid her father for her, so that the real princess could remain in hiding, safe from a prophecied death. Now that the prophecy has been avoided, the real Nalia can be brought to court, and the false Nalia--truly named Sinda--will of course have to leave. Her former parents give her a small sack of gold and send her to live with her aunt, a woman she's never met. Her aunt, a poor woman who works hard and likes being solitary, isn't cruel but is not particularly pleased to be saddled with her late brother's useless daughter. Sinda has courtly accomplishments, but was so divorced from the ordinary world that she has to learn how to dress herself.

After miserable months at her aunt's, Sinda realizes that the uncomfortable feelings she's been having are her magic, long repressed by the court magicians' spell to make her resemble the princess. She returns to the city she grew up in and begins training her magic. She resumes her friendship with Kiernan and even strikes up a tenuous relationship with princess Nalia, who is having a hard time adjusting to life in the palace. But then, just when everything seems to be settling into a good new pattern, Sinda makes a terrifying discovery. The Princess Nalia isn't the real Princess Nalia, either. The real princess is still somewhere out there!

I really liked this book. Sinda has a unique and likeable voice; I immediately related to her and wanted the best for her. And I loved the twists on prophecies about princesses--the plot is so clever, without being overcomplicated. I liked that no one (save perhaps SPOILER) is downright bad, but that entrenched power structures and privilege do a lot of damage, not all of it intended. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This was an enjoyable read with a good mix of intrigue, romance, fantasy and drama. My only complaint would be that there were a few parts where the plot slowed, but thankfully it sped up again quite quickly. Overall, a good debut novel. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
Plot: This book has pretty much everything you would want to read about; romance, adventure, magic, fantasy, mystery, etc. There is a lot happening in the story-line, but it is not at all confusing and is really easy to follow along with. There were some parts that were easy to guess, but there were just as many that surprised me. I had a hard time putting this book down because of all the suspense. I needed to know what happened next! The magical aspect of the story seemed to be a bit detached at the beginning and just seemed to be an added detail that wasn't as important as everything else. However, once the story picked up, so did the magic. Sinda had a hard time with it at first and I admired the fact that she never gave up.

Characters: Sinda is the first false Princess and I thought she was a great main character. When she finds out that the first 16 years of her life were a lie and is sent to live with her only surviving relative who she has never met before, she tries to make the best of a pretty bad situation. She does not complain as most people would if they were in the same situation. Instead, she tries her hardest to be the best dyer she can be and to help her aunt with anything she needs. She is not very good at it, but at least she tries. All of this makes her strong and less selfconsious. Kiernan, Sinda's best and only friend, is pretty amazing too. He is extremely loyal, kind and a bit of a prankster who really helps Sinda get out of her comfort zone. He sticks by Sinda's side even after it is revealed that she is not the real princess and it is obvious that he is in love with her from the beginning. Then there is Orianne and Mika. They were both very nice, but my favorite of the two would have to be Mika and her sarcastic personality.
Cover: I tend to pick books based on their covers (which is a no-no, but I still do it anyways) and this one was no acception. I love the purple wallpaper background. I'm not quite sure which of the three girls it is on the cover, but I'm guessing it is Sinda wearing a locket with a picture of Nalia. It reminds me of the old Elle Enchanted cover.

Overall Impression: For anyone that likes fantasy, magic, wizards, kings, queens and a whole bunch of other things, this is definitely the book for you. This is the first YA fantasy I've picked up in awhile because there aren't that many and I really liked it. I will definitely be looking for more and other books by Eilis O'Neal from now on. ( )
  joanab951 | May 21, 2015 |
Nalia, is the Princess of Thorvaldor--and as the Princess she has a privileged life, She's been tutored her whole life in history, languages, and everything else it takes to be a princess; she's fed gourmet foods every day, given beautiful dresses, lives in a castle, and everything else that one would expect comes with being a Princess and heir to the throne.

But, just after her sixteenth birthday, while romping around the palace one morning with her best friend Kieran, Nalia is called to meet with her parents--something strange in and of itself. They inform her that she is not the real Princess. She is a false princess, brought as a baby to stand in for the real Princess who was sent away for her protection.

Now that it is safe for the real Princess to return, Nalia--or Sinda, her real name, is sent away to live with her biological ant a dyer in a far away village. Sinda is never able to quite able to fit in with the people of the village--nor is she able to learn the tasks required of a dyer.

And soon she's discovering she posses magic, something a part of that world, but not the royal family 'Nalia' believed herself a member.

With magic sizzling inside her, an aunt who doesn't like her, a best friend she was forced to leave behind, a village where she doesn't belong, and a life that was a lie, Sinda will have to decide what to do next. Little does she know her choice could change the Thorvaldorian history, forever.


The False Princess is such a great book. At first some of the names of places and characters threw me a little, but once I got used to them, I kind of like it. One of the things that worked well for me, was that except for really one part, it was harder to tell just when this book was set (date-wise). It was as if it was in a nameless time and place so I wasn't trying to connect it with actual dates and places while reading.

Sinda was a very easy character to relate to and I loved seeing how she changed and developed throughout the story. She was a great main character and really led the story very well.

I was a little weary at first about the way magic was going to be used but it was just a part of the story, it fit in seamlessly. If you like magic in your books at all, you should really try this one--and if you don't you should still read this!

The plot of The False Princess had more twists than I went into it expecting it to be and I'm really glad that it did. It was a great mystery but there was still the romance and the intrigue and some action as well.

I think if you liked reading Avi's Cripsin books, you'll like reading this book. This one is a tad more grown up, but I still think it's in the same vein as those books.

Overall, I think you will like The False Princess if you like books with magic, if you like fantasy historical, if you like fantasy romance (it's not quite paranormal romance), or just a good book).

9/10


thank you very muchly to the publisher for a copy of this for review ( )
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
Intrigue. Family vendettas. Babies switched at birth. A soap-opera type tale with a magical twist. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
I couldn't choose. For my mother, and all the days in the garden. For my father, who opened the door to Middle Earth and beyond. And for Matt, who, like Kiernan, knew first.
First words
The day they came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds.
Quotations
No, whispered a tiny voice in my head. Why should they care if a poor man hurts himself or his family with magic he can't control? After all, they were willing to let a weaver's daughter be killed so that the true princess would live. And happy enough to send her packing when they were done with her.
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Book description
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.
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For sixteen years, Nalia has been raised as the princess of Thorvaldor, but one day she learns that her real name is Sinda and that she is part of a complicated plot that would change the future of her country forever.

(summary from another edition)

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