The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is more middle school but oh is it GOOD! I think my high school boys (and girls) would love Sage's story. Imagine you are an orphan, busy trying to make ends meet and you are purchased away from the orphanage and you are told by this noble, Conner, you will compete with 3 other orphans to impersonate the supposedly dead prince of Carthya who really was not dead? Nielsen's descriptions of Sage, the other orphans, and Conner grip the reader from the first page and you are in Sage's head and heart as this wild ride of a story unfolds. As I read it I was reminded of The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman and I really enjoyed that book too. Sage was so real as an orphan who is prickly, nasty, honest, the best pickpocket, a faker, a thief but he is also compassionate and will do anything to help someone who is being taken advantage of. The events in the book hurtle along and I was quite content to be surprised, happy, then anguished, then filled with horror. Readers will want to read the next book in the series, The Runaway King.
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