February 4, 2011

Book Review: The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

False Princess
At First Sight: Brought up as the princess and heir to the Thorvaldor throne, Nalia's life is shattered when, soon after her 16th birthday, she's told that she's a false princess, her real name Sinda. The real Nalia was hidden away soon after her birth due to a dark prophecy surrounding her possible death. Since it's time for the Real Nalia's return, Sinda finds herself vanished to a small, rural village, to live with her only surviving relative.

But once there, and still reeling for her sudden change in circumstances, Sinda discovers that her birth mother had some magical power, and that so does she. Her magic is dangerous though, it has been suppressed for too long. So she returns to the city, looking to find a way to control her powers, to make amends with her best friend Kiernan... and she stumbles into a secret surrounding her and Nalia, a secret that might change the course of history.

Second Glance: I don't know what it was about Sinda, but I connected with her immediately. I think I had already cried twice by the third chapter alone. She was a terrific narrator and Eilis O'Neal crafted such a world, and wrote it in such a way that I felt like I was right there with Sinda and Kiernan and everyone else.  The False Princess is a wild ride, it's action and adventure for girls -and I mean that in the best possible way:  there are lots of things happening, there is a dash or romance and magic and even a quest. 

I can't say enough good things about it. It's a complex story, because the secret itself, the one Sinda stumbles upon, is complex and very well plotted. Books like The False Princess prove that girl hobbits not only also went to Mount Doom but - and to quote Lorelei Gilmore - they went in high heels, as in, it proves that girls can also go on epic quests and save kingdoms.

My only hang up is that the chapters are a bit long, but that's because personally I prefer shorter chapters.

Bottom Line: This book has a strong heroine, a sweet story about friendship and love, many hard choices, and says something wonderful with being okay with who you are. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Favorite Quote*: "Please let me stop. I just want to be me - I just want to be useful and ... content. I want to stop wondering if I'll ever feel whole and just be whole. I want to have a purpose, one that I can look at without feeling like I'm less than I was." - Sinda
starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

 * There was another quote a liked more but it was a bit spoilery ^-^

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