The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal
ISBN-13: 978-1606840795
Egmont USA, New York, 2011
336 p.

GENRE: Fantasy, Fairy Tales

TEASER: When the princess of Thorvaldor was cursed at her christening, the King an Queen got another child to replace her until she reached her sixteenth birthday. Her birthday has passed. The princess is safe, but what about the false princess?

SUMMARY: As the heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia has strived to be the elegant princess that her parents want. Just after her sixteenth birthday all of this changes. She is called to the throne room where her parents tell her she is a false princess put in the place of the real Nalia in order to protect her from an evil witch’s curse. She must leave her best friend, Kiernan behind as though she never existed. She is cast out of the only home she has known with practically nothing but her new name, Sinda. She is sent to live with her only relative, a bad-tempered aunt who is a dyer in a small distant village. No matter how hard she tries she cannot adapt to the life of a village dyer. But soon she begins to show signs of dangerous and powerful magic inside of herself. She must go back to the city that used to be her home and find someone to teach her how to use her new powers. She is reunited with her friend who refused to forget her and becomes entangled in a web of deceit and intrigue that will put the entire kingdom in grave danger.

CRITIQUE: The story is told in first person voice through the protagonist Sinda. I loved the plot twists in this book. I also thought Sinda was well written. We see Sinda go through an identity crisis after she arrives at her aunt’s. She tries to ajust but she feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere anymore. She is also faced with the realization that she is in control of her life when she comes into her powers. She has always had her life planned out and scheduled for her. Now she can pursue the life that she desires. I also appreciated the thought that went into the other princess’ character.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eilis O’Neal is a managing editor for the literary magazine Nimrod International Journal. She resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The False Princess is her first novel. her middle name is Arwen. She enjoys going to Renaissance festivals and watching shows by Joss Whedon.

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://www.eilisoneal.com/

READING LEVEL: 12+

CHALLENGE ISSUES: Some might have problems with the use of sorcery.

DEFENSE: I would suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.

CURRICULUM TIES: N/A

BOOKTALKING IDEAS: Sinda seems very accepting of the fact that she is not a peasant. Do you think this is believable since she has been pampered all her life?

WHY INCLUDED: I wanted to included a fairy tale book and this is my current favorite. There are fairy tales where the real princess is switched in order to protect her. I love that we get to take a look at what might have happened to the girl who took her place.

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