Friday, October 14, 2011

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

The False Princess
by Eilis O'Neal

Genre: Fairy Tale | Supernatural | Young Adult
| Fantasy

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia has led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when she learns, 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, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known. Sent to live with her only surviving relative, a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. Then she discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – and she realizes that she will never learn to be just a simple village girl. Sinda returns to the city to seek answers. Instead, she rediscovers the boy who refused to forsake her, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever.

For sixteen years, Nalia had been raised as the princess of Thorvaldor, but one day she learned that her real name was Sinda and that she was part of a complicated plot that would change the future of her country forever. The concept was very intriguing and the emotional aspects really kept the story going for me, but you do get A LOT (almost too much!) thrown into the tale: old magic, royal conspiracies, dark wizards, rocky family history, abandonment problems, sneaky religious acts, oracle prophesies, and much much more. It almost felt as if there were different plot lines running throughout the entire story, but overall it was interesting and an okay read. The setting (be it castle or country-side) was fascinating to me and Nalia/Sinda's torn feelings about her "injustice" was gut-wrenching to witness as times but the end-result worked out well for Kiernan's ultimate plan which was sweet and satisfying. Lots of twists, heartbreak, and supernatural elements come to life in The False Princess - so, expect a bumpy but enjoyable ride.

Likes: Kiernan's perpetual feelings toward Sinda after her sudden separation from the royal family was very sentimental and charming.

Dislikes: The three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds about the secret location of King Kelman's Door that Sinda and Kiernan discovered at the very beginning was a big flop (very un-climatic!) for me. I had high-hopes that it would become more central to the whole tale, but when it finally came into play near that end . . . I kept asking " That's it! " I wanted more to it: more magic, more historical importance, or even more of a pivotal role in the whole story.


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