Title: The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Year Published: 2012
Synopsis: 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.
Why?: Books filled with adventure and mystery tend to usually be very exciting. Especially when discovering the truth could lead to someone's death. It's also been a while since I've read a more middle-grade book, and I think it will be a nice change of pace from the older YA novels I've read lately. I also think books about a kingdom and trying to save a people from inciting a civil war sounds very much like a fairy tale, and I love fairy tales.
Expectations: I expect a richly developed world with characters who only want to save their current way of life. And then, in the midst of that, I expect there to be an antagonist with minions who wants to completely change the way things are to his/her benefit. Sage will probably get himself into a lot of trouble, and will learn things about himself, Conner, and his kingdom that he never knew and/or never wanted to know.
Judging a book by its cover: The cover has simply a broken crown on it, with the title and author in gold. This leads me to believe that Sage and Conner will have a hard time rebuilding the kingship and creating a new prince to fill the shoes (or crown, as the case may be) of the old, missing prince. It kind of reminds me of the cover of the Song of Fire and Ice books, as well as many other high fantasy books, and I would probably pick it up off the shelf in a bookstore based solely on that.