Friday, July 26, 2013

"The False Prince" {by Jennifer Nielsen} Book Review

 TITLE OF THE BOOK: The False Prince                               
AUTHOR: Jennifer A. Nielsen  

PUBLISHER: Scholastic
GENRE: Adventure, Fantasy                                                       

BOOK SUMMARY:  Sage is a young 14 year old orphan who is used to starving and stealing to survive. Sage's real adventure begins though when he meets Conner, a nobleman of the court. In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner comes up with a plan to find a young boy to impersonate the Prince of Carthya, who was lost at sea and presumed dead. Sage and two other boys are bought by Conner to go through a two week training course where they learn what it takes to be a prince, but only one of them can be chosen. Layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed in the end that may be more dangerous than all the other lies. 
Our group rating for The False Prince was 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Watch the book trailer below to learn a little of what this book is about.

OUR GROUP REVIEW: Jenny did a fantastic job Moderating for The False Prince. She had a wonderful power point that you can download for your own book club by clicking here.
·         Some themes we found in the book:
One of the things we discussed was what some of the most powerful motivators for human behavior are, and what motivates different characters in the book. There are so many things that motivate human behavior and the ones we came up with that drive human behavior the most are; Fear, love, survival, greed, power pride, and loyalty. The main character Sage seemed to be driven mostly by survival, pride, and compassion.

Another theme in the book we discussed was “the end justifies the means” and did we agree with that statement. King Eckbert and Conner both do this. It’s hard to agree with some of the decisions that they make and it might not seem right, but to them the end result was so important that they justified their actions. Especially with Conner he justifies murder and treason because he believes what he is doing is for the greater good. We definitely could not agree with the statement “the end justifies the means” in this situation, but we could with King Eckbert’s and how he dealt with his son Jaron.

·         What were some of our favorite things about the book? (SPOILER FREE)
We really enjoyed the plot twist! Most of us didn’t see it coming and it was a fun surprise. Many of our readers read the book twice and said they enjoyed it more the second time knowing the twist and seeing the little hints the author leaves beforehand.
We really liked the characters, and thought the book was a fun and enjoyable read.

·         What characters did we like the most?
We really liked Sage’s character, and how the book was written in first person from his point of view, but we still didn’t know what the twist was. The author did a great job of not revealing anything, which would be hard from first person. Mott was also a favorite. He was smart and loyal to the right people. Mott’s character was very likable in general. At first most people didn’t love King Eckbert, but ones we found out his motives and why he did what he did with Jaron, we liked him a lot more. Prince Darius and Queen Erin seemed to be true, honest, and genuine characters.

·         Some of our Favorite Quotes:
Jenny posted some great quotes from the book on the PowerPoint that we all enjoyed.
-          “My father said a person can be educated and still be stupid, and a wise man can have no education at all.” – Sage
-          “…a strong heart will always overcome a strong body.”  - Mott
-          “If you can’t give anyone pain, you can’t give them joy either.” - Roden
·         Overall what did we think of this book, and did it make a good book club book?
This book was a great book for book club. We had so much fun playing up the royalty theme with our food and decorations. Not only was it fun to have a royal feast, but the book provided some great discussion when we talked about it.
In general everyone seemed to really enjoy this book. This is the first book of a trilogy so it’s hard to rate it on its own, but it was a definitely a fun entertaining read and we can’t wait to see what happens in the next books to come!

Amazon Exclusive: Q&A with Jennifer A. Nielsen
I liked the "action shot" of Jennifer better than her dust jacket photo lol!

Question: What inspired you to write The False Prince?
Nielsen: I’d had the general idea for The False Prince for some time, but could never find the right protagonist to carry the weight of the story I wanted to tell. The central character, Sage, was found in the words of a song called Guaranteed, by the great Eddie Vedder. It said, “I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me, guaranteed.” From that line, I had the instant image of a defiant but charismatic boy who always stays a step ahead of the game, and where other players have no clue that all the rules are very quietly being rewritten.

Q: Where did Sage’s voice come from?
Nielsen: Sage came to me as a complete character, as fully developed as if he had been a real person. So writing The False Prince wasn’t really about creating him, but instead, it was the experience of discovering him as the story unfolded. There were several moments when I knew what was waiting for Sage if he didn’t back down, and yet, he never would. So I gritted my teeth and let things unfold the only way they could with him. As I work on the sequels, he continues to surprise, amuse, and shock me. He’s the most complex character I’ve ever written, and I’m always thrilled to get feedback from readers who are as fascinated by him as I am.

Q: Was the setting or any of the other characters inspired by real people or places?

Nielsen: Sage is very much his own person, and as a whole, is completely unique. However, there is one trait of his that I borrowed from a student I had when I was a high school debate teacher years ago. He was popular, brilliant, charming, and an amazingly talented thief. At the start of every ride to a tournament, he would steal the watch off of the bus driver’s wrist, then keep it for the entire trip. As he left the bus at the end, he would hand the watch back to the driver, explaining it must have fallen to the floor. Then the driver always thanked him for being such a great and honest kid. I should’ve been angry, but I never was – he just pulled off his scams that well

Q: Where do you like to go to write?
Nielsen: I’ll write anywhere. I work out scenes in my head while driving or in the shower, and pick up inspiration from events I notice each day. I try to always keep a pen and extra paper handy so that if something occurs to me I can write it down and not risk losing it (I hate it when I know there was something I thought of earlier that I had loved, but now can’t remember it!). My favorite places for actual writing aren’t very exciting. I love to write curled up on a love seat beneath a sunny window. And nearly every night I’ll print out pages I’ve worked on in the day and edit them in bed before I fall asleep.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you first know this is what you wanted to do?
Nielsen: I’ve written for as long as I can remember, but the idea that I could turn that into a career never seemed real to me. I never knew any authors growing up, and as far as I could tell, they were mythical people who lived like the Great Gatsby on the other side of the country, or who had lived a hundred years ago. So I wrote as a hobby, then planned on other careers that real people had, such as being a detective, or working somewhere in the theater, or being a teacher.
That all changed after my oldest child was born and I stayed home to care for him. Suddenly, I had a lot more time on my hands, which I filled with reading. But it wasn’t long before the stories in my head became more interesting than the books in my hand, and I realized that I wanted to hold a book of my own. That was when I decided to seriously pursue writing as a career. It’s the perfect place for me to be now, and I can’t imagine being happier anywhere else.


 Check out book club ideas and our photo recap of this book HERE


Kellie H said...

Shalease great job. I loved your review! That was a fun night.

jullie said...

Yeah it's only when you play a unit ability help with assignment, not the spell, I had to test this for myself just to be sure, and a regular silence works.

Werin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olsen said...

as for me an excellent book, it is strange that you put 4 stars out of 5. although if the author used the help when writing , for example somewhere here, then I think you would put all 10 out of 5 stars.

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