Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The False Princess by Eilis O' Neal

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.

I actually read this book over Labor Day weekend, but it was the book we were reading for a book club that I'm in--Bookaholics Anonymous. Since we don't meet until the end of the month, I had to wait until now to post my review. I actually really enjoyed this book--which is a good thing since 1) it was my pick, and 2) I've been dying to read it all year. There were moments when the story went a little too fast and others where it dragged. Despite the erratic pacing, I couldn't put this down.
Can you even imagine?? Nalia spent the first sixteen years of her life thinking she was a princess. She was educated, trained, and treated like royalty. Then she found out that everything she ever knew about herself and her life was a lie. Nalia isn't even her real name. It's Sinda. When Sinda is turned out of the castle with next to nothing, she is shipped off to her only real living relative--an aunt who never even knew Sinda existed. Sinda tries to create a normal life for herself in her new town, but everyone only knows her as "the false princess", which ruins any chance she has at making friends. 
Sinda decides to go back to Vivaskari and make a life there on her own. Along the way, she meets an eccentric wizard, rekindles a friendship with Keirnan, and gets in the middle of a deadly plot. Sounds awesome, right? It was! I loved Sinda. I felt so terrible for her, but I thought she came into her own by the end of the book. I thought the suspense and intrigue were great, and the plot was well thought out, with just enough surprise to keep me hooked until the last page. 
Like I said, I really enjoyed this book. Definitely one to add to your To Be Read (TBR) pile. 
Happy Reading!

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