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The False Prince

(Ascendance #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  87,845 ratings  ·  10,422 reviews
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 as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet hi ...more
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Scholastic, Inc.
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Yay_books The Queen's Thief series (first book is The Thief) and The Blackthorn Key come to mind. They both have similar protagonists (snarky and clever) and ha…moreThe Queen's Thief series (first book is The Thief) and The Blackthorn Key come to mind. They both have similar protagonists (snarky and clever) and have older settings-idk if that makes sense, like in the 1600s or something.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  87,845 ratings  ·  10,422 reviews

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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
Feb 18, 2012 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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I don't know what the hell is wrong with me!

I'm having more 3 star reviews and a couple of 2 star reviews lately more than I ever have before. I usually know how to pick them but I'm off or something. AND 3 STARS ISNT BAD! IT JUST MEANS I LIKED IT WELL ENOUGH! I think I know what's going on and I hope to fix it soon.

I'm happy for all of my friends who loved the book to death because there is nothing like a wonderful book 😊

Happy Reading!

Mel ❤️
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!
Drcong O '
Now I remember why I gave this book 5 stars and it had me hooked just like the first time. I love this series so much.

Listen, this book is so good it got my brother, who HATES to read, to freaking read.

I was going into my room and my brother was sitting on the bed reading this book and I was screaming for ten minutes straight. And my mom was standing there with her jaw dropped.

Listen, this book is really good.

It got someone who hates to read into reading.

It made me want to reread this book.
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy

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
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Since there are quite a number of similarities of both plot and characters, I can't help but compare The False Prince to The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. But unlike Gen (who is one of my all-time fave book characters), Sage- the male protagonist in this book- is sadly lacking in depth and not nearly as much fun.

Or it could simply be that I'm not the target reader- obviously, as the protagonists and sups were mostly young teenagers who behaved in a manner that made suspension of disbelief near o
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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Carthya is a kingdom on the brink of war. The royal family is dead. The youngest son, Jaron, is missing, presumed dead. A group of regents all have their eye on the vacant throne, and if one of them seizes power, it's likely that the entire kingdom will be plunged into ruin. But one nobleman named Conner has a plan. He's rounded up a group of four orphan boys - Latamer, Roden, Tobias, and Sage - that all have the look of Jaron. His plan
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars. Fourteen year old Sage is involuntarily hauled out of a rough orphanage by Bevin Conner nobleman in their kingdom of Carthya, as part of Conner's secret and treasonous plan (though ostensibly and debatably he has the ultimate good of the kingdom at heart): train a group of four (very soon three) orphans with the skills they would have as young nobleman, and pick the best one to impersonate the king's younger son Jaron, who was lost at sea four years earlier, at the age of ten. Once hi ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Lily - Books by Starlight
⋇⋆✦⋆⋇One of my 2021 favorites⋇⋆✦⋆⋇

I'm superrrr happy with this book! It's one of those where you think all the small details don't matter, but they do! I thought Sage was such an idiot half the time, but okay, maybe I was wrong. Just maybe. (🤣 I'm just kidding.)

About the plot twists. I had already considered nearly all of them, but there was one that I hadn't thought about. It should've been obvious, but I didn't think the person I'm talking about was bad enough to do it. Not saying who and not
Muse-ic ♬
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
HOLLA! JUST AS AMAZING THE SECOND TIME AROUND. Except possibly even better because now I know what details to look for. The experience was so much more vivid. Anyone who's read this knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about.
If you haven't read this, then prepare yourself for a recommendation comin' atchu!
The following is my old review. Spoilers are 100% marked. It's a fangirly review. Read it!
Congratulations book! You just earned yourself a
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2016-faves


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 s
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
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.

Simona B
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english, 2000
"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
Elizabeth Dragina
I'm still shrieking if anyone wanted to know.

also plz somebody explain to me how this came out in 2012 and the fifth book was just published? 😭
jv poore
The King of Carthya has many enemies. Some dislike his way of ruling, while others simply want the chance to push their own agendas. Many in his court detest him for sending away his youngest son, Prince Jaron. No one would argue with the fact that the 10-year old was strong-willed, mischievous, opinionated and completely improper; but he was adored for his spirit. Immediately upon being sent away, it was said that pirates attacked his ship, Prince Jaron had been killed. While all of the evidenc ...more
Apr 04, 2013 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! ...more
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 i
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I forgot how amazing this book was.
I might write a full review at some point since I never did that originally but idk. We’ll see.

This was a reread, but at the same time I almost remembered nothing from the first time I read it. Which means one of two things: it wasn’t that great or I read it when I was like 12. In this case, it’s definitely the second because this book... was great.

A few likes:
Jennifer Nielsen’s writing really never ceases to amaze me. It’s written in just a beautifully s
Rachel Maniacup
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
Sarah Grace Grzy
Jennifer A. Nielson is the queen of her genre. The first book in the Ascendence Trilogy, The False Prince, is a perfect balance of plot twists, action, heart, wit, and emotion. I think I can honestly say this is the most complex book I have ever read.

Written in the first person POV of a fifteen-year-old orphan boy named Sage, Nielson masterfully reveals details to the reader one by one throughout the book, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, the story takes another twist - then a
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Bruh. This was so good. Wow. Best beginning to a fantasy series I've read in a LONG time. ...more
Feb 05, 2016 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
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
Brian Yahn
Apr 07, 2015 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. ...more
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
4/5 stars!

Picked this up on a whim as my library had the audiobook available and I really liked the cover. This was surprisingly good and I liked the story overall, although being fairly predictable (the main downside) and most of the characters were fun to read about making it an interesting story :)
Ethan the Bibliophile

Let's break this down, shall we?


The kid is running away after stealing a roast
Fat lady doesn't like him
He's in a wagon now
Ooo him and two three others are on a quest-
One kid dies
These boys find out that they're +.*iMpOrTaNt*.+
Conner is rich and the boys are staying in his stupid rich house
The boys are all prince wannabes, but only one can win.
Sage can't ride a horse. Youch.
Nobody really likes Sage... oh well.
Sword missing?
The mute girl can talk... oo la la
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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

Other books in the series

Ascendance (5 books)
  • The Runaway King (Ascendance, #2)
  • The Shadow Throne (Ascendance, #3)
  • The Captive Kingdom (Ascendance, #4)
  • The Shattered Castle (Ascendance, #5)

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