Food to eat while reading: Dyer’s Bread
Read my interview with author Eilis O'Neal.
The premise of The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal immediately drew me in. What if Aurora’s royal parents had switched the princess at birth to protect her from the evil sorceress? How would the false princess feel when she found out that not only was she common, but she had been placed purposely in harm’s way?
The pain and disbelief that Sinda, the false princess of O’Neal’s story, feels is tangible and poignant. I hurt with her as she left the palace and struggled to find a life with her aunt, a mere commoner.
As the plot progressed, I found myself admiring O’Neal for her story-telling ability. Having a great premise was not enough for this author; she heightened the story with alarming twists that I never expected.
Romance in the novel is sweet and doesn’t detract from the adventure and mystery of the plot. Kiernan is fiercely loyal and loves Sinda, “if you were the princess or a fishmonger’s daughter or a traveling gypsy” (p. 64).
The magic in the book is understated and not overbearing. It made the story feel natural, like it could happen to anyone. The one drawback to the subtle magic system is the lack of imaginative world-building. If there is magic in a book, I want to see what cool new things can happen in that magical world.
The verdict: You will be entertained, surprised, delighted and then when you think you have The False Princess figured out, you will be astounded at the magic O’Neal weaves.
Genre: YA, fantasy
Publisher: EgmontUSA, January 25th 2011, Hardcover, 336 pages
Where I got the book: EgmontUSA*
*My review reflects my own thoughts and I received only a copy of the book for my review.