The false prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen is not for readers who like predictable stories with stereotypical characters. Action, a plot laced with surprising twists and turns, and magnificent, engaging characters await the reader who picks up this book that they will then not be able to put down. Civil war threatens Carthya after the entire royal family has been murdered. Connor, a nobleman, devises a cunning plan to gain power and save his country from ruin. Four orphans who resemble the king's youngest son, long thought to be dead, are stolen and forced to compete for the role of impersonating Jaron. One is murdered by Connor almost immediately to instill terror and unconditional obedience. But Sage, the narrator of this tale, is stubborn, rebellious, and impetuous. He continually challenges and infuriates Connor, while at the same time becoming the leading candidate in this deadly race. Sage is deceptive, ingenious and soon crafts a plan of his own. Be prepared to stay up well past your bedtime in order to find out what happens next in this superb blend of suspense, mystery, action, and valor. Let us hope book two in this triology is not long in coming.