~Audiobook~ The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Ascendance Trilogy; #1)

Book Blurb:

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.

I listened to this audiobook on Spotify on my own time. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


If I could experience this book for the very first time, not knowing anything about it, I would relive it over and over again.

The False Prince is completely flawless in every way. It’s funny, it’s serious, it’s dangerous, filled with mystery and romance, and, it’s just everything a fantasy novel should be.

The writing is absolutely enthralling in how the story is narrated from Sage’s point of view, yet is somehow still able to keep us in the dark about much of mystery surrounding the whole plot. This story was so beautifully told that even upon finishing it, I’m left wishing it were longer just to continue to be involved with the story.

Sage is 14-year-old-me’s absolute dream guy. He is spunky, adventurous, quick-witted, yet he’s also kind, sensitive, and courageous. Think the classic Huck Finn (from the book, no movie adaptions–they’re all WRONG), and Sage has a similar, yet still strikingly different personality. Sage’s character is truly what drives this book forward.

I love fantasy that includes mystery. I feel like a well done mystery is harder and harder to come by these days, with too many character point-of-views in one story and things rarely left out for the reader to guess. In The False Prince though, the author had no problem at all adding that perfect spice of mystery to her story. I found a few of the twists to be predictable, but there were plenty of others that took me by surprise. And even in the ones that I had considered as a possibility, there was still enough doubt present so when it did happen, I felt the need to validate my superior knowledge by yelling “I knew it!”

The audio book specifically is positively wonderful. The narrator did an amazing job of voice characterization and tone of voice to match the mood of each scene. The audio book added that much more to the experience and I whole-heatedly recommend listening to this book if you’re able to!

In complete conclusion, I’m so glad to have been recommended this book by a friend! I was pleased at how clean the content was — no cursing nor sexual content — even though the action did get pretty intense sometimes. I would have loved this book so much in middle school and/or early high school so I definitely recommend it to young readers! I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Goodreads | Amazon


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