Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.


The False Princess was a magical and captivating debut that after I got into it, I couldn't put it down. The plot was very unique and original and Eilis O'Neal wove a tale that combined many elements: royalty, romance, friendship, magic, and adventure. I never knew what was going to happen next and I know many readers will fall in love with the world Eilis has created.

Nalia has always been Princess of Thorvaldor and never once imagined she could be anyone else. Until a little after her sixteenth birthday when it is revealed that she is really a stand in for the actual Princess Nalia who was hidden away as a baby for her protection from a prophecy that said she would be murdered at a young age. The newly-named Sinda is sent away immediately and is forced to leave behind the life, parents, home, and best friend she had always known. My heart went out to Sinda because I am also sixteen and could never imagine learning that I am not really who I have always thought I am and being evicted from my home... Sinda is sent to live with her only living relative, her aunt, a dyer in a small village. In so short of a time Sinda's life is turned upside down and she must adjust to this new lifestyle. Soon though, Sinda realizes she also has magic powers, and that she has no idea how to control them. So she returns to Vivaskari to figure out the truth...

From there the plot begins to really move along and I was constantly rooting for Sinda and wanting the best for her. She was a protagonist I quickly took a liking too and this only strengthened the more I read of her story. There are many characters introduced in The False Princess but each is developed and plays a strong role in the story. When Sinda becomes a scribe for a wizard in the city, she starts to discover things she never knew about herself, her family, and the very kingdom she once was destined to rule. Luckily, her best friend from childhood, Kiernan, reenters the picture and together they set out to uncover the truth. There is a lot of suspense and intrigue involving the Princess and Thorvaldor and it's up to Sinda and Kiernan to save the day.

I loved reading about their adventures and the different people they met along the way. Their relationship only grew stronger because it was tested many times over the course of the book. They truly were perfect for each other and Kiernan was a strong, dedicated character, who would do anything to ensure Sinda's safety.

The plot of The False Princess was filled with tons of twists and turns and new secrets and mysteries were constantly being unveiled and nothing was fully revealed until the end. Eilis O'Neal crafted a fantastic and engaging tale that will leave readers breathless and begging for more. I loved experiencing Sinda and Kiernan's adventures and learning about Sinda's magical powers and how she could control them. There was rarely a slow moment in The False Princess and I was gripping the pages at the end.

Overall, I highly recommend picking up The False Princess. It's a magical and well written debut that proved Eilis's worth as an author. I'm hoping to be able to see more of Kiernan and Sinda in future novels, or at least be able to visit Thovaldor again!

Overall: 4.25 out of 5 stars

January 25, 2011/Egmont USA/319 Pages/Young Adult

Source: Publisher (ARC and Finished Copy)


  1. The False Princess sounds good!
    Gotta add it to my TBR :)

  2. Great review--I'm looking forward to reading this book!

  3. Love the review! I read this one a while back and really enjoyed it as well. Oh, and I agree with you on seeing more of Kiernan and Sinda in future novels- that would be amazing.

  4. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the review!

  5. This sounds like a good book. I've added it to my to read list on Goodreads! (:

  6. I'm reading it right now, and I agree that it's a really nice book :)

  7. Sounds great, I really want to read it now!

    Awesome review! ;)

  8. This book sounds almost too good to be true. Romance, fast-paced, fantasy adventure and it's a standalone! I'm so glad you confirmed all of my hopes. I really can't wait to read this. Thanks for your great review!

  9. I'm really wanting to read some more traditional fantasy, so I can't wait to read this one! Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Not heard of this one, but sounds like one I would love to read.

  11. I love magical stories and this one sounds perfect. Love that cover too, so fun. Kiernan sounds perfect!

  12. great review! would love to read this.

  13. This is very high on my TBR but I think you just promoted it to the next read! I have nominated you for an award <a href=">here</a>. :)


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