Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)” as Want to Read:
The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  44,889 Ratings  ·  6,153 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Scholastic
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The False Prince, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Rebecca Weston
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ingrid Morris Well... in that it is set in a medieval type world and has some castle intrigue, but, no magic. No dragons. GofT has so many POV's and story lines.…moreWell... in that it is set in a medieval type world and has some castle intrigue, but, no magic. No dragons. GofT has so many POV's and story lines. This really is told from one.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Small Review
The False Prince is *THAT* book! I stayed up way too late in order to finish it...and I'm seriously considering throwing all notion of a sleep schedule out the window and rereading the whole book right now.

Originally posted at Small Review

I call dibs on Sage
(seriously ladies—don't underestimate me 'cause I'm small. I'll fight dirty.)

I knew this was going to be a Special Shelf book as soon as I "heard" Sage's voice narrating. Really, the story could have been downright awful (it isn't) and I st
Apr 15, 2012 Catie rated it it was ok
This book makes me want to put on my blandest Mr. Darcy voice and declare it “tolerable…but not handsome enough to tempt me.” This book is fine. I think many of you will notice its exercise-brightened eyes and charming irreverence and fall for it. But for me, it was just okay.

If you’ve read any amount of young adult fantasy, you probably know where this book is heading just from reading the synopsis – or hell, even the title! I had a lot of hope that this book would go in an unexpected directio
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Mar 14, 2016 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it really liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Pang

The following two paragraphs were going to be my review before I reached the turning point of the story:

In fairness to the book, I made this fatal mistake of reading another fantasy series after Harry Potter and poor book suffered from my biases. So to make it clear, had I read the book at a different time, I would have probably loved it but forgive me if for the entire reading all I could think about was how badly I miss Harry Potter.

I do appreciate the short chapters and that overall, it was a
Jan 04, 2016 Riley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
This was such a fun quick read! I couldn't put it down, I just had to keep reading. I loved the main character and the way he not only kept secrets from other characters but from us as readers. And the dialogue in this book was phenomenal.
I can't wait to pick up the next one and plan to do it very soon!
Feb 11, 2016 Masooma rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Masooma by: Muse-ic
Sick Latamer, hot-headed Sage, erudite Tobias and strong Roden have one thing in common- a physical similarity to the 4-year lost and probably dead Prince Jaron of the Kingdom of Carthya. With the poisoned death of the royal family, the kingdom is at the brink of an upheaval and the so-called patriot nobleman Conner sees this as a perfect opportunity to bring forward the lost Prince. Thus, it all comes down to the frail shoulders of 15 year old orphans who are literally in a do or die situation. ...more
Experiment BL626
CAUTION: Long Review, Slight Spoilers

Feeble Latamer. Boastful Roden. Bookish Tobias. Defiant Sage. Four boys. One throne. Who will become America's Next Top Model Carthya's Next Reigning King? In ANTM the reality TV show, the contestants choose to participate and if they lose then they are sent home. In The False Prince, the contestants are coerced to participate and if they lose then they are sentenced to death. At the end, there will be only one one winner, one survivor.

The False Prince is tol
Mar 15, 2016 Nina rated it really liked it


I went into this book with absolutely no expectations (thank you, inexistent hype) and came out gasping and fangirling and hyperventilating, which is the absolute best way to experience a book.

The three pillars of The False Prince
In my opinion, the main character, Sage, is this book's strongest asset. He thieves and rebels. He's intelligent and feisty but kind-hearted. And he's a bomb of reckless plans, snappy retorts and defiance ready to detonate. In sh
Simona Bartolotta
Jul 16, 2016 Simona Bartolotta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english
"If we can weed out your bad manners and defiant nature, I suspect you could convince the nobles that you are him."
"If you weed those out, then there's nothing left of me."

In the interests of the future readers: I'm nearing the end of The Runaway King now, the second book in the trilogy, and as far as I can tell so far, The False Prince works perfectly, probably even better, as a standalone. Therefore, if you'd like to give this world a chance but you're not sure you want to go through all three
Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer Nielsen is in my opinion exactly what juvenile fiction/middle grade fantasy is supposed to be.

Nimble-fingered orphans who proactively take measures to fill their bellies? Check.

Evil masterminds plotting to overthrow a kingdom? Also, check.

A Big Secret that isn't easily identifiable b/c super sneaky use of ambiguity? CHECK.

And all of that is in addition to the highly entertaining snark that does not stop. <------SNARK, I love it.

Meet Sage.

Rachel Maniacup
Feb 18, 2016 Rachel Maniacup rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Rachel by: Muse-ic
I don't know how exactly to describe what I felt about this book but I'm certain that this one has captured my attention and my heart from the moment I turned the first page,'til the last! It was like,I had been magnetized by this book and couldn't let it out of my grip.(can't stay away from it,I even had to hold my bladder!Lol!)

This is a story of a 14 year old orphan boy named SAGE,(the protagonist here,who is so clever,strong,and with a witty-sharp tongue)who was bought by a royal regent named
Nov 15, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Shut the front door that ending was fantastic.....I did not see any of that coming. The last 1/4 of that book was just simply unreal. I also was impressed how the author was able to stuff so much material into a relatively short novel. (Mind you it is part one of a trilogy) I simply cannot say enough about this book. I loved the characters, the plot was fantastic and the twists and turns at the end just blew my mind. Well done! One of the best books I've read in awhile!
Brian Yahn
Mar 25, 2016 Brian Yahn marked it as to-read
If the first chapter is any indicator, this book is great. Read the sample on a train ride, and let's just say, the description is great, it starts off with action and a touch of mystery, and I totally love the main character. Moving this way up on my to-read list.
Feb 08, 2016 Alafiya rated it really liked it
Shelves: love-these
4.5 stars




Yes guys, Alafiya is speechless.

I haven't got any witty, funny or sarcastic things to say. I haven't got any insults to throw. I don't even have good humour for praising this one. Because I AM FREAKING SPEECHLESS. And well, very serious. Serious about how awesome this book is. Serious about how it held me in it's grip from the first moment to the last word. Serious about how embarrassingly in love with fifteen year old Sage I am. I
Elizabeth Drake
Apr 12, 2012 Elizabeth Drake rated it it was amazing

This review can also be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover doesn't stand out as much as I would like. It is simple and clean and I do like the gold crown and lettering on a blue background.

The Gist: As an orphan running the streets of Carchar, Sage has learned to depend on his quick wits and quicker mouth to survive. When he finds himself one of four boys bought by a wealthy nobleman with a dastardly plan to gain control of the throne, Sage must use every trick at his
There is no way you can read The False Prince, and not have the inevitable comparisons to Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief crop up. Both are stories of young men, obscure nobodies charged with a greater purpose, subject to distrust and contempt and ridicule, involved in complicated matters far above their station. However, The Thief is, without doubt, the better man, so to speak. Unlike Gen, Sage, the protagonist of this story, is neither subtle, nor particularly clever. And neither is the story ...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Apr 14, 2016 Chelsea (chelseadolling reads) rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
4.5 stars. Bruh. This was so good. Wow. Best beginning to a fantasy series I've read in a LONG time.
Robin (Bridge Four)
Seems like I can't say no to a buddy read with my pals at Buddies Books and Baubles. What's another book tossed onto the pile?

Short review cuz I’m so behind on them….

Sage is a classic rapscallion, I don’t get to use that word enough, I mean when we meet him he is running through the city trying to keep a hold of a slippery roast he just stole. The kid has a quick tongue that always seems to get him into as much trouble as it gets him out of and he seems to have a little problem gift with sticky
Lindsey Rey
Mar 06, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lindsey by: Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
This book was such a treat to read and I am so glad I started 2015 with it! I really enjoyed the characters and I just had a lot of fun while reading it. Although this book is located in the YA section in Barnes & Noble, I definitely think it has a middle grade feel to it. I think some readers will have problems with the lack of world building and the novel being rather predictable, but I was enjoying myself so much while reading it that these things didn't matter to me. Great characters, gr ...more
Giulia (Jun)
"You don't believe it's possible?"
"Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's wise."
Witch arched eyebrows, Conner said, "And you claim to have this wisdom?"
"I claim to have nothing, sir."

Before diving into my review, I should probably mention that I don't really like middle grade fiction. It's one of those genres I hardly reach for, because I often find it boring and unrelatable, but since I like to read a variety of different genres, I still read it from time to time. Therefore, yes, this
Mar 03, 2016 Chantal rated it really liked it
This book was so much fun!

It would probably be my number one recommendation for fantasy lovers to get out of a reading slump. So fast-paced and easy to read and get into with one of the best protagonists ever. I loved every second of it.

Jan 30, 2016 Muse-ic rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The Entire Freaking Planet. Get on it!
Congratulations book! You just earned yourself a position on the honorary Favorites Shelf !

This is a SOLID 5 STAR READ! Usually when I give a book 5 stars, I'll think about it beforehand and wonder if the book really deserved 5 stars.
With The False Prince though, there was no doubt in my mind that this book deserved beyond 5 shining stars !

I would recommend this to everyone. EVERYONE!! I sent many of you this book as a recommendation. Trust me when I say that this book is the embodiment of the
Warning: This is a middle-grade reader
Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I'm mentioning the MGR thing, because I don't want someone to look at my four star review, and think this is a four star review for an adult book. Or even a young adult book.
See, I actually didn't realize I was picking up a middle grade reader, because it was classified as fantasy in my digital library. Still, no harm done, since I'm always on the lookout for something the kids might like.

I gotta say, I was pretty
Jul 07, 2012 Keertana rated it it was ok
Rating: 2.5 Stars

In all honesty, The False Prince contains nothing within it to warranty such a low rating – its writing is easy to read, its pace is swift, and the plot is a page-turner. In fact, to many readers, The False Prince will no doubt be a breath of fresh air – something new, unique, and original in the genre of fantasy. However, to me (and I’m sure numerous other older readers), The False Prince is nothing but a disappointing rip-off of Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief
Sarah *on hiatus*
Mar 06, 2016 Sarah *on hiatus* rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy, the-best
This was a fantastic, brilliant read. High fantasy with mystery and an awesome plot twist. This was so unexpected, a very entertaining story although probably intended for younger audiences; I still very much enjoyed it. The element of surprise was topnotch and the fluid, easy kind of writing was very pleasing to read. I knew there was so much more to Sage who is also the narrator of the story than he is letting on and his mysterious character is what kept the suspense on and what made the story ...more
Nov 17, 2015 Nafiza rated it really liked it
All right! It is almost midnight and this is when I write my finest reviews (oh stop laughing) so I shall write the galumptious (how can galumptious not be a word? I feel affronted) (well, it is a word now) (hmph) review that The False Prince deserves because let me tell you this, the book is pretty freaking fantastic. Okay, before I go forth with this review, let me tell you that it is Finals time and I am rather batty (battier?) during these times so the following review maybe be interspersed ...more
Aug 07, 2015 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-books
This proved to be a fast paced and fun YA fantasy read. Though I do think that this was aimed at readers on the younger spectrum of the YA age demographic. That said, this was a book that could easily be enjoyed by readers of all ages! The plot was not overly complicated and the world building was minimal, but the story was fact paced and engaging and the characters were very likable. The story had plenty of action, intrigue, mystery, humor, and a hint of romance, plus a few twists and turns to ...more
Addictive man, just ADDICTIVE!

I still have no time to write a proper review abt my love for this book and the whole series but I would be in brief.

If you want to read.. or like to read...

- Poor hero with miserable life
- Quick-wit, clever, trickster hero
- Complex and Larger than life hero
- Fiercely stubborn and arrogant hero
His speeches are so arrogant! He is also a fighter!
I can't tell you how much I love him. It's just so, so much.

I can't tell the plot much, it will be spoiler...

- It's about a
Cait • A Page With A View
May 25, 2016 Cait • A Page With A View rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended-ya
Well that turned into an unexpectedly awesome story. Definitely the best start to a fantasy series that I've read in SO long! I love how Sage's first person narration kept secrets from everyone, including the reader.

The main character was hilariously witty & reminded me a bit of Artemis Fowl. So if you liked those books or the Ranger's Apprentice, this series seems similar!

My blog | Tumblr | Instagram

This was a very fun read. I really enjoyed most of the twists and turns in this action-driven story. I didn't quite swallow the biggest twist, which knocks this down to 3-1/2 stars instead of 4-1/2, but overall I admired the cleverness and never-a-dull-moment fast pace. I'm looking forward to Book Two.

I'm four or five reviews behind, and hoping for a spare few minutes to get caught up! So an expanded review may or may not follow.
May 21, 2015 Adrianna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own
This book...I loved this book. I can't even find words right now, so my speechlessness will have to suffice for my "review".
I really, really need book 2 now. As in now.

Okay, I've gotten some sleep and am ready to write something describing this masterpiece. -ahem- (please excuse any misspelling of names. I listened to the audiobook)

The royal family of Carthya has been murdered, this includes King Eckbert, Queen Erin and the crowned prince Darius. The throne is now up for grabs and so a n
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
the false prince 3 25 Jul 06, 2016 10:56AM  
The YA Dystopian ...: The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen 1 15 Jul 03, 2016 04:50PM  
Bookaholics: January (Series) The False Prince Trilogy 39 38 May 05, 2016 06:49PM  
  • Icefall
  • Eye of the Storm
  • The Book of Wonders
  • Splendors and Glooms
  • Malcolm at Midnight
  • The Seven Tales of Trinket
  • Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)
  • Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower, #1)
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes, #1)
  • The Peculiar (The Peculiar, #1)
  • Winterling (Winterling, #1)
  • Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg, #1)
  • The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)
  • The Adventures of Beanboy
  • Crow
  • Fourmile
  • Palace of Stone (Princess Academy, #2)
Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has f ...more
More about Jennifer A. Nielsen...

Other Books in the Series

The Ascendance Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)
  • The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)

Share This Book

“A person can be educated and still be stupid, and a wise man can have no education at all.” 358 likes
“Master Graves was incensed and said, as punishment for my disruption, I would have to write my letters an extra ten times that day.
"Ten times the better I'll know them, then." I said. "How strange that you should punish me by ensuring I come out more educated than Roden, who has tried to obey you.”
More quotes…