Published by Egmont USA on January 25th 2011
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.
A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.
Ever since I first glimpsed the cover and read the synopsis months ago for The False Princess, I have been eagerly awaiting its release. And now that I have read it, all I can think is that it was well worth the wait.
The False Princess takes a pinch of false identities, a dash of royal intrigue, and sprinkles it all together with a heap of magical powers and romance. The tale centers around Nalia (aka Sinda) who grew up believing that one day she would inherit the royal throne of Thorvaldor. Unbeknownst to her, she is really Sinda, a young girl who was pretty much was born to a lead humble life. After having the carpet pulled out from beneath her feet, quite literally, she is force to find her place in her country not as a princess but as just a normal citizen.
The tale starts off slowly… building the world, the characters, the intrigue. But once O'Neal got started, it was an action-packed ride after that. The False Princess has so much going for it starting with its characters. Sinda is an extraordinary girl. Brought up having everything to only have it taken away. Yet that does not effect who she is inside. She remains strong, independent, and a girl who young women can definitely look up to. The supporting characters are no less amazing. Each is complex and so fun to read about.
As I have said, there is A LOT going on in The False Princess. Yet, I think it is needed. It all blends well together making the story feel complete. And I have to say, I think that adding magic into the tale was quite a nice touch. Maybe not fully needed, but it added a nice extra level to the novel that I wasn't originally expecting. All things considered, The False Princess was a fantastic read. And I am looking forward to whatever Eilis O'Neal comes up with next.