The False prince (Book 1 in the Ascendance trilogy) by Jennifer A. Nielsen, Scholastic Press, 2012.
From the publisher:
In a faraway land, civil war is brewing. To unify the kingdom’s divided people, a nobleman named Connor devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him on the throne. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant and clever 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. His rivals will be devising their own plots as well, so Sage must trust no one and keep his thoughts hidden.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfolds, until finally, a truth is revealed that that 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.
What do I think about this book?
This is an adventurous, swashbuckling romp that will appeal to a lot of my 10+ readers, both boys and girls. I had heard a lot of great things about this story and I was not disappointed, in fact I couldn’t put it down and read it over two days while on holiday. Even though this book is published by the teen division of Scholastic, I don’t feel it only needs to be in the Middle/Senior section of our library. The sequels may contain a bit more of a love interest but thus far our hero’s intentions are all honourable.
My advice – read this before the sequel (The Runaway king) comes out in March and before the first part of the trilogy is made into a movie. Paramount has acquired the film rights, but not sure how long it is before we see this on the big screen!
Teach mentor texts: http://networkedblogs.com/J5bbz (added 10 March 2013)