The False Princess

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The False Princess

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Just after her 16th birthday, the princess of Thorvaldor finds out she is no princess at all, but a peasant girl named Sinda Azaway, switched at birth with the real princess after a prophesy predicted the royal's death; Sinda has ceased to be useful to the king and queen now that the fated birthday of their real daughter has passed. Readers will feel for Sinda, who's immediately exiled from palace life, sent to live with an unknown aunt, and burdened with having lived a lie. Debut novelist O'Neal deftly draws a protagonist to root for as Sinda forges a new identity, comes into her own as a talented wizard, and discovers further royal intrigue. Sinda's sadness and anger feel righteous, never grating, and O'Neal quickly buoys Sinda's new life with her best friend from the palace, Kiernan, who proves his loyalty, and a wonderful teacher in the eccentric Philantha, who takes Sinda in as a wizard's apprentice. Fans of Shannon Hale will enjoy this compelling fantasy, which is filled with magic, political drama, and romance. Ages 10–up. (Jan.)
ALAN Review - Katie Riley
Nalia, the Princess of Thorvaldor, has just been told that she is not actually a princess at all, but a stand-in for the real princess to help ward off a bloody prophecy. Nalia— now renamed Sinda—has been stripped of her old identity and sent away to her aunt's house, where she discovers she has magical powers. Now bursting at the seams with dangerous and powerful magic, Sinda travels back to Thorvaldor, where she and her childhood friend, Kiernan, set out to discover answers about the true princess of Thorvaldor. With Sinda's magic and Kiernen's cunning, they seek to right the wrongs of a false prophecy, which would not only save the life of the rightful princess, but also the fate of all of Thorvaldor. Throughout this story, Sinda struggles between mourning her lost identity and discovering and embracing who she truly is—a powerful wizard. Reviewer: Katie Riley
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—One day after her 16th birthday, Nalia, the Princess of Thorvaldor, learns that she isn't "Nalia" after all. She is Sinda, a poor peasant who has been used as a decoy to save the true princess. Because of a prophecy that foresaw her death before her 16th birthday, the true Nalia was sent to a convent where she was kept safe. Now, she returns to Thorvaldor, and Sinda is sent to live with her aunt in Treb, where she struggles with her new identity and misses the king and queen, the only parents she ever knew, and Kiernan, her best friend. When a friend betrays her trust, she becomes overwhelmed and magic begins bursting out of her-magic that she didn't know she possessed and can't control. She goes back to Thorvaldor and becomes a scribe to the eccentric Philantha. One night, she watches someone put a spell on Nalia, or the girl who she thought was Nalia. It is the same spell that was repeatedly put on Sinda to hide her true identity during her first 16 years. Could there be another decoy? Who is deceiving the king and queen? The plot line is unpredictable, causing readers to be pulled along with each page turn to find out what will happen next. The thick character descriptions allow for teens to empathize and put themselves in the place of Sinda and the others. The characters are dealing with the angst of change and identity development, so readers can really relate to the issues that come up in this exciting story. Written from Sinda's perspective, this book takes readers on a wild ride of deception, mystery, and young love.—Kathryn Kennedy, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606843925
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 98,877
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 105 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 105 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved It!

    It's as simple as this: I LOVED (and I mean LOVED) The False Princess. It's one of those books that has it all- an intriguing plot that constantly leaves you guessing, a strong, relateable main character, swoon-worthy romance, and fantastic writing.

    The False Princess starts on the day when Nalia, princess of and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, finds out the most unsettling news of her life. For one, she isn't the princess of Thorvaldor, instead she's the false princess, put in place to keep the real princess safe for the first sixteen years of her life. Her real name is Sinda. And to top everything off, she's sent away from everything she knows (and her best friend) to live with an aunt she doesn't know. Her new life is filled with loneliness and longing for the life and and friends she's left behind, but she soon finds out a secret- one that puts her life and the whole kingdom's in danger. Soon enough, her and her friend Kiernan are off to fix everything. But can she truly fix everything before it's too late? Especially when an old acquaintance stands in her way? And what about her friend Kiernan? Does she like him as more than a friend? Only time will tell in this deeply engrossing tale that fans of Kristin Cashore and Gail Carson Levine will gobble right up.

    One of the favorite parts of The False Princess was the setting and the plot and how they worked together to make the book fabulous. The setting was the classic fairytale one. It had the queen, the king, and the usual commoners associated, and what I liked most about it was seeing how it played along with the plot. And with saying that, the plot of this was made of awesome. I loved the idea of a false princess and the deceit and lies that came with it. I adored seeing how Kiernan and Sinda worked together to piece every little secret together to save their world, as well as how during this time something more began to form between them.

    Moving on, as I'm sure you can already guess, I loved the characters! Sinda was someone who was strong and smart... someone who would go to the end of the world to save everything, no matter how she may feel about it at the time. And best of all, she felt real to me. Her emotions were ones I feel anyone in her place would experience... loneliness, anger, and sadness about how everything in her life turned out. And best of all, instead of letting those feeling consume her, she moved on and change everything. I also loved her relationship with the sweet and charming Kiernan because it truly was the perfect topping to this book.

    In all, Eilis O' Neal has a real winner within The False Princess, and I truly can't wait for its release date so that everyone can see how well-written and addicting this novel is. I can only hope Eilis will have the chance to revisit this world in future novels.

    Grade: A+

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013


    I truly fell in love with this book I would give it 10000000000000 stars if i could I know that if you are a person that likes romance and suspence this is the perfect book for you

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo

    Nalia is living the life of a princess, heir to the throne of Thorvaldor. Just after she turns sixteen, though, everything changes. She learns that she is not Nalia. Her name is Sinda, and she was a stand-in for the real princess. A prophecy stated that the princess was in danger, and therefore was sent away, a false princess to reside in her place. Sinda must now leave behind the only home she has ever known. She is sent to live with her only relative, a cranky aunt, in a small village. Soon, she notices changes in herself - she has magic. Magic that needs to be controlled, for it has been pushed down deeply inside of her. She returns to her home city of Vivaskari and becomes a wizard's scribe. Her employer also becomes her tutor. And upon her return, she uncovers a secret that could change Thorvaldor forever. THE FALSE PRINCESS was directed more towards the younger crowd, I think. It reminded me a lot of stories written by Shannon Hale, and the storyline had a great plot. It kept me wanting to read more. There were so many twists and turns, as well. I definitely would suggest this both to fans of Shannon Hale and just novels on princesses in general!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Decent read! worth a look see

    I'm so glad I read this book. It got me back into reading the Fantasy genre which was certainly lacking. What can I say, but that I really enjoyed reading this book. The fantasy isn't heavy handed, it's light, and the magic system is simple and easy to understand. The background history and information of the setting is mentioned throughout the book so the reader isn't left confused but with a general understand on the layout of the land.

    I was upset when Sinda learns of her origins and is sent away. What in the world was that about??? it's like they just casted her out like an overused toy. That got to me! and what's even worse is Sinda just walks along with it. I realize she's really powerless to do anything, but she could have at least put up a fight. The main issue I had with her as a character was her tendency to hesitate, at the wrong times. She was just wishy-washy at times and it got frustrating. Keep in mind, I did like her though, it was just this part of her character that just did not go well with me. Throughout the book she did develop into a stronger person and I enjoyed reading her relationship with Philantha. Philantha is an interesting teacher, although the way she teaches is different than what you might expect from other magic users. I certainly took a liking to her the moment she decided to take Sinda under her wing, Philantha wasn't afraid of what others thought of her. That was admirable, but in a sense I think that gave Sinda a bit of a backbone to grow.

    I fell in love with Kiernan. I absolutely loved him as a character. Some characters you just fall for. This is one of them. Not only was he such a great friend, but even after arguing horribly with Sinda, he still managed to forgive her. I fell for him when he came to find her. That just hit me and I thought to myself this guy has just become awesome in an instant. Kiernan and Sinda did make such great friends, of course naturally as the story progresses, you can feel the chemistry between the two of them grow and although obvious of the outcome, it's still nice to see the two of them together.

    The plot of the book was good although the mystery and intrigue did not happen until you read further into the story. It wasn't bad as you're literally set up with a good slap in the face in the first chapter. The pace of the book was steady although you do experience a bit of a lull when Sinda is with her Aunt. Yet it's a welcome lull to what's in store for the reader throughout the later half of the novel. The ending was also really good yet I can't help but wonder if there is going to be a sequel with this one. If there is, I would not hesitate to pick it up. I would love to read more about Sinda, and about Kiernan of course!

    This book was a decent read with a simple and easy to understand magic system, a nice well written fantasy world with characters that aren't overly complex but not the most simple either. Perfect for YA readers who want a decent story, with subtle fantasy that isn't over done.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    There's always one. You know that book that totally surprises you. I have to say this is probably the best young adult book I've read since Anna and the French Kiss. And I LOVED that one.

    Sinda jumps off the pages. I enjoyed the brief glimpse we get of her as a princess. I think she would have made a great one and a great Queen. Sadly, we know we aren't going to get that. I was upset with the way it was handled when the truth came out that she wasn't the real princess. How can a girl who's been pampered and educated her entire life be expected to become the exact opposite. And you have to giver her credit, because she really does try. But, then the magic comes rushing into her life and she knows that she might not survive if she doesn't learn how to control it.

    I liked that she moved back to the city. She felt so out of place out in the middle of nowhere. I like that she chooses a misfit magician to teach her about magic. And my favorite part is her rekindling her friendship with Keirnan. For a change, it's the boy next door that wins out. He's the perfect blend of friendship with the development of romance. He will literally do anything for Sinda and it shows through out the story.

    I appreciated that the story wasn't just about a princess scorned, or magic, or even just about love. There's a 16 year old mystery buried within this story. Sinda must figure it out for the good of the entire kingdom. That education is put to good use and she unravels all the clues. Turns out she's not the only false princess, and the villian will stop at nothing to keep the real one off the throne. It's also a story about vengeance years in the making.

    It was a fantastic book that I almost gave a 5 too. Why not... well it dragged just a little bit in the middle. But, the book is well worth your time!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Great read for young adults!

    I would like to know if there will be a sequel. Interesting storyline.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Tangled webs, tangled spells

    he False Princess is certainly a welcome addition to those of us who loved Ella Enchanted and stories reminiscent of fairy tales. Sinda narrates with an ease that I had no trouble with following, despite her talent of tripping over her feet and causing the fountain water to boil. After finishing Troubled Waters with a more-than-resilient heroine, it is interesting to note that while Sinda could hardly make a sustainable stew or run a household smoothly, she still was made of stubborn stuff - and once she found her new niche in the world, she probably would do well enough. After living a pampered life as a false princess, who could expect anything more without giving her a little more time? The False Princess was an unexpected delight with tangles that I found myself happily caught up in! Just when I thought things were settling down for Sinda, the story twisted once more and sent me racing for the next page. The ending left me breathless in a good way, though sad that it had to end at all. I certainly hope Ms. O'Neal has more in store for us in Thorvaldor!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The False Princess

    A kingdom, a princess, maybe two or three, magic, adventure and romance are some of the elements represented in: The False Princess. The story begins the day Nalia AKA Sinda discovers her life has been a lie; the kingdom she thinks to belong to is a mirage and she has only been a puppet to protect the real princess from a terrible prophecy. Without that much emotion from whom she believes are her parents, she's sent out of the castle to live with the only relative she was not aware of and live the life she was NEVER prepared for even if it means leaving Kiernan behind. I was trapped inside this story and captivating would be a word to describe it. I liked the world where the story is narrated, making me want more. It's so rich and impressive that prequels and spinoffs would not be bad idea at all. I'm impressed that in O'Neal's world, it speaks for itself. There's no need for the characters to tell Thorvaldor's stories. In character developing terms, O'Neal enjoys of certain "magic"; the characters, even those whom you'll only get glimpses from will make you fall in love and want to know more from them. Our narrator Sinda is simply exquisite; she's funny, strong and has a free spirit. This girl's on top of my favorite characters. When she receives the news of not being who she thought during her entire life and that the circumstances she's about to live are not the ones she's used to; she won't lay down and cry, on the contrary, her courage and determination pushes her forward. It's refreshing to see this type of heroine in YA Literature. The story's even more interesting with every chapter and Sinda's journey as an ex princess, common girl to wizard is interesting. The romance is adorable and I loved it. The False Princess, the story of a "princess" who doesn't own a crown but possesses the courage and determination to save a kingdom.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Awesome book

    This is s great and excellent book but i think its to expensive for the nook its a rip off for that borrow it from the library. So dont by it for the nook.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2012

    Loved it! Just my kinda book.

    Loved it! Just my kinda book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm beginning to think Egmont can do no wrong when it comes to f

    I'm beginning to think Egmont can do no wrong when it comes to fantasy - or in general, actually. I've only ever disliked one book that's come out of this publishing house. But they've got the best taste in fantasy. If Brightly Woven wasn't proof enough of that, then The False Princess is.

    I really enjoyed The False Princess. Sinda's a fantastic character - I loved her determination and spunk and personality. Kiernan made me laugh, mainly because he reminds me of some of my guy friends. (Granted, most of my guy friends don't have titles, but still.)

    Some of the best characters were the minor characters. They weren't the best because I liked them, but because they were realistic. Sinda's aunt and Tyr, the boy she meets when she goes to live with them, were fun to read about because of their feelings about her. The magician that takes her in was fantastic; she was probably my favorite character in the entire story. She was quirky and funny and overall excellently well crafted. (She was also the only character that made me laugh out loud while reading.)

    I loved the magic in the story. The fact that she had to train it, like a muscle, to get stronger makes me happy - I LOVE when magic is written like that. The plot line was also faaaantabulous. There were enough twists to keep you guessing but not so unexpected that it seemed unreal.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    Click me plz

    1 of my favs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014


    An exciting novel that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013


    The False Princess was an extremly good book. It was adventurous and suspenseful. There were also plot twists that were exciting to read. I wish there were more books by this author!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013


    This book was amazing! I absolutley devoured it, it kept me on the edge the entire time and i, in all honesty did not put it down at all. It was too good to stop! Loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    An exellent story!

    I highly recommend this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014


    Best book in the world so hard to put down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Loved it

    A wonderful and well-written story. I couldn't put it down! I hope to see more from this author. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013


    I read this book while is was on vacation. It was pretty good. I mean i wasnt about to stop swimming to go and read but it kept me entertained when the resort did not. It was overall pretty good. I would still have read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013


    This was a great twist on the story of the Prince and the Pauper... but with princesses. Definitely worth a few hours of your time. I couldn't put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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