1. Maggie actually DEFENDS CLAY!!!!!!!!!!! When her friends are treating him like crap and judging him unfairly,...moreI'm only going to make a few points.
1. Maggie actually DEFENDS CLAY!!!!!!!!!!! When her friends are treating him like crap and judging him unfairly, she actually defends him. I'm sorry, but this is the first time in my life I have ever encountered a heroine who stuck up for the guy she loved. It was because of this that I was able to truly believe her love for him, able to believe in their love for each other.
2. Clay has issues...that are not solved by love. Seriously. When he gets together with Maggie, he's not miraculously cured.
3. Their relationship works because Maggie is strong as hell and can totally handle someone as messed-up as Clay.
4. I'm so thrilled (there are no words) that a book has FINALLY addressed the fact that when a guy acts the way Clay does, it's not simply because he's an ass, but because he is sick and has a mental disorder (or in his case more than one!) People tend to brush off characters like Clay as "just a psycho." But for once, the author understands that, no, actually, there is more to it than that. I think a lot of people can learn something from this, and possibly become less ignorant about the seriousness of mental health. Contrary to what some people believe, individuals like Clay do not "decide" to be assholes. Mental illness is real. This book tells you that.
5. Clay is mature and self-aware enough to understand that he is not in a place where he can be in a relationship with someone. He knows only more destruction will come if he stays with Maggie, so makes the decision to try again to get help so that he can be in a healthy relationship with Maggie and stop hurting her.
6. Love Clay. Love Maggie. And I never love heroines. These aren't just characters. They are real people. And THIS is why I read books. I'd forgotten for a while, there. (less)
Roden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, n...moreRoden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, no, won't you please be my bestie and the captain of my guard instead? Roden: YESYESYES! A thousand times yes, MY LORD! *falls down on knees* I never really could have killed you!!!
Okay, I am so confused. I mean, did I miss something here? Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. Jaron/Sage is my man, and I adore him like no other. The new characters, especially Fink and Harlow, were awesome. Seriously, the characters in this book are a vast improvement from the last one, in which it was basically Sage vs. The World.
The one thing I don't really love is Imogen. She's all right, but to be honest she comes off as a bit bland and uninteresting compared to Jaron. I feel like someone else would suit him better. I don't think she can match up to him. Sure, she can get angry and "have words" with him, but it never really feels to me like they are on the same level, and NOT because she is a servant. I like the servant/king forbidden love stuff, but Imogen's personality is just too run-of-the-mill, so she really fades into the background.
I feel as if Jaron could really banter away with the right girl. Of course, this will not happen, but since I'm not in this for the romance I don't mind.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the glimpses we got of Jaron's softer side, of his inner child, the child wanting to be loved unconditionally, wanting his parents to be warmer to him. I think that really made me sympathize with him on a very deep level. His decisions come across as totally rash, uncalculated, and based more on emotion than logic (although he claims otherwise). I mean, do you really want the guy who just broke your leg and almost caused your demise to be in charge of your guard? Just because at one point in time you didn't hate each other?
My memory may be failing me, but I never felt as if Jaron and Roden were friends in the first book. I thought Roden grew to tolerate him at best, but Jaron seems to think they had a nice bromance going on. Is it just me? Maybe I need to do a re-read?(less)
I don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feeli...moreI don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feelings" garbage, but she turned out to be an awesome, caring, kind young woman who, with Ryan's help, really grew as a person. Their romance bloomed from friendship, which is the best way. Jenna's dad, though. Oh, man. If he was my dad I'd have run away from home when I was her age! And don't get me started on Ryan's mom.
She has two sides. I loved her at first, and then...But Cole was awesome. I love how he was Ry's mom's boyfriend, but also really cared about Ry as his own son. Meh. I'm gushing. Just read it. (less)
One of her "misses." Malic is ridiculous and unlikable and spends more time cuddling with the supposed enemy than with his love interest, who he treat...moreOne of her "misses." Malic is ridiculous and unlikable and spends more time cuddling with the supposed enemy than with his love interest, who he treats like crap until the last chapter. It barely feels like a romance, considering Dylan isn't even in the book that much. There is no plot. It's just a bunch of random things happening to Malic, as if I cared. I was relieved when it ended.
Dylan. Who the heck IS he, anyway? No, really. We know next to nothing about him, and he's as flat as paper. Come to think of it, Malic is pretty flat himself. He's a scary, muscle-man and that's about it. Dylan is a clingy, horny teenager. That's about it. (less)
This is the type of book that starts out okay, and gets a little better with each chapter. I was interested for a while, then I started to grow bored,...moreThis is the type of book that starts out okay, and gets a little better with each chapter. I was interested for a while, then I started to grow bored, because the only likable character is our narrator, Sage. Thank God for Sage. He saved what could otherwise have been a very mediocre book, and made it into a good one. Often, authors don't bother to make their MC interesting, but Sage is very interesting. He's a bit crazy, but entertaining.
At first, the other characters come off as utterly unlikable, but the more you read the more you learn about them, and although they don't become characters you really love, they at least become ones you can understand. And that's where this book falls short. Even with the characters growing on me, the only one I truly cared about was Sage. Take Imogen, the love interest. Honestly, I found her a bit lackluster in comparison to Sage. I'd rather have disliked her than felt the indifference I did toward her character. In the next book, I truly hope the author takes the time to flesh out her character more, and this is coming from a girl who does NOT enjoy reading about female characters--or, barring that, have her spend more time on any character other than Sage (not that I want less Sage!).
The False Prince reminds me of The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, although not nearly in the same league; that's not to say I didn't like it, but it isn't nearly as sophisticated. Sage has a tiny bit of Eugenedes in him, which is always a good thing.
Now, about the twist. I figured it out about 1/3 through. It's just so obvious. Even though I saw it coming, I was rooting for it to happen, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The end was certainly the best part. But, really, Sage's (view spoiler)[utter lack of background (hide spoiler)] made it painfully clear that (view spoiler)[ he was really the prince. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
In case you were wondering, the hero who needs punching is Zane. Come on, man, I love you but there's only so much I can take. It's been six years. Pu...moreIn case you were wondering, the hero who needs punching is Zane. Come on, man, I love you but there's only so much I can take. It's been six years. Put Becky behind you and move on. And while you're at it, when Ty says he needs your help, HELP HIM! Do NOT blow him off like that. Being drunk is not an excuse. And jump on the love train already, will ya? It's been three books. Where is the love the love the love?(less)
The hypocrisy in this book is absolutely immeasurable. Emma dates guys based on how hot she thinks they are, or how good their hair looks. She does no...moreThe hypocrisy in this book is absolutely immeasurable. Emma dates guys based on how hot she thinks they are, or how good their hair looks. She does not care a single ounce, nor even LIKE the guys she dates. She simply dates them so she can have a boyfriend and doesn't once consider their feelings. Does her bff Kellen condone her for this? No. Does Kellen even acknowledge this? No. And yet when Josh agrees to ONE date with Sydney, Kellen is all on his butt telling him he's a jerk for accepting when he doesn't even know if he likes her and that no girl deserves to be hurt like that.
In Kellen's world:
1. It's okay for girls to use guys. 2. It's not okay for guys to use girls. 3. You're already supposed to be in love w/ someone before your first real date. 4. A guy should wait around and date no one while the girl he likes dates the whole world without a thought to his feelings.
Emma goes off to frolic with Cody. Does Kellen get angry at her for this? No. She just worries about her. But Josh is not allowed to date people, even though Emma has already rejected him. What the heck?
Emma kisses Josh in order to change her future. She does this KNOWING that Josh has a crush on her, and does not care that she's playing with his feelings. Does she apologize for this? No. Guess what? JOSH apologizes to her for calling her on her bullsh*t, and it's made out like HE was the bad-guy in the situation. How this was co-written by a man I'll never know. I'm hoping he had no say in the lady's half of the story because otherwise he's down on his own gender, which is just sad.
Emma is just so freaking annoying. She shows no development. The book and authors seem to think her behavior is okay. I was praying for Josh to move on from her. But no. She actually decides to break up with her boyfriend because he got a hair-cut, and she thinks to herself that the only reason she dated him was because he had nice hair. She's shallow and utterly unlikable, but she gets away with it because of her gender.
But really, what does it matter? The characters are all so fake and flat, it's difficult to care. Josh is utterly static, even moreso than Emma. Emma ALMOST learns something, but Josh is just...nothing. Emma realizes that she has POSSIBLY made mistakes--but not of course toward Josh, whose feelings she never ONCE considers throughout this whole novel because she was too busy dwelling on herself and throwing self-pity parties like a pathetic little whiny loser with no life. Josh learns nothing, develops not at all, and is just there to aid Emma in her supposed learning quest that never actually occurs. (less)