|The False Prince|
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
"THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.
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.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats."
I really enjoyed this book, and I think middle-schoolers will gobble it up. It had a great plot, fun and interesting characters, action, adventure, and humor. I liked the main character, Sage, and cared what happened to him. And I loved that the book actually had an ending of sorts. It will definitely go on, but you're not left up in the air about important things. A fun, fun read.
No language or sexual situations. Some violence - a teenager is killed in front of other teenagers, another boy is put in a dungeon and beaten.
School Library Journal - Grades 5-8
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 8-14