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 ·  65,102 ratings  ·  8,472 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.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Scholastic UK (first published April 1st 2012)
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
Kaytlin While reading The False Prince I kept thinking of the Rangers Apprentice series, which I recommend :) haven't read them in a while though, so maybe…moreWhile reading The False Prince I kept thinking of the Rangers Apprentice series, which I recommend :) haven't read them in a while though, so maybe they aren't that similar but I thought they were good anyways(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  65,102 ratings  ·  8,472 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ by: Steven
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 ❤
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
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Pang
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult

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
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.
Nenia ⭐ Literary Garbage Can ⭐ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

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 is
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)


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
Muse-ic ♬
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Entire Freaking Planet. Get on it!
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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
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 Bartolotta
Jun 19, 2015 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
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 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Rachel Maniacup
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brian Yahn
Apr 07, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
4.5 stars. Bruh. This was so good. Wow. Best beginning to a fantasy series I've read in a LONG time.
Joshee Kun (조수아)
I don't want power or wealth, Conner. I want to stay alive. —Sage

Surprise, surprise! It's been a while since I've read a middle grade book. Heck, it is a truth universally acknowledged that YA books have dominated my TBR for the past decade. With that in mind, I am very pleased to critique this unique, wonderful, and gripping novel.

The False Prince is the story of a 14-year-old orphan named Sage, who lives in Carthya, a kingdom on the brink of civil war. Unlike most of the kids his age, Sage has
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 :)
Elizabeth Drake

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
Sarah Grace Grzy
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 14+ for mild violence
Recommended to Sarah Grace by: Mary
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
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4.5 stars!

“A person can be educated and still be stupid, and a wise man can have no education at all.”

What an excellent fantasy middle grade novel! The False Prince is about Sage, who is rounded up from an orphanage with three other boys who all become enmeshed in a treasonous plot. The boys are not given much choice in the matter, they are to become impersonators of a prince, or they will be killed. Sage must use his wits to come out on top, all the while avoiding danger.

“The saddest th
Lindsey Rey
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
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.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Picking the prince 2 8 Mar 20, 2019 11:08AM  
Ascendance Trilog...: Introduce Yourself! 5 17 Mar 07, 2019 07:11PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • The Adventures of Beanboy (Beanboy #1)
  • Icefall
  • Other Worlds
  • Small Medium at Large
  • Eye of the Storm
  • Rogue's Home (Knight and Rogue, #2)
  • Malcolm at Midnight
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes, #1)
  • The Spindlers
  • Boys of Blur
  • A Tangle of Knots (A Tangle of Knots, #1)
  • The False Princess
  • Splendors and Glooms
  • Peaceweaver
  • The Mark of the Dragonfly (World of Solace, #1)
  • The Unfortunate Son
  • Keeping the Castle (Keeping the Castle, #1)
See similar books…
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

The Ascendance Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)
  • The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)
“A person can be educated and still be stupid, and a wise man can have no education at all.” 453 likes
“The saddest thing is there won’t be anyone to miss us when we’re gone. No family, no friends, no one waiting at home.”
“It’s better that way,” I said. “It’ll be easier for me, knowing my death doesn’t add to anyone’s pain.”
“If you can’t give anyone pain, then you can’t give them joy either.”
More quotes…