I love a well written fantasy book and The False Princess is exactly that. In this case it’s a classic kind of fairy tale re-told with fascinating characters and a well-planned plot.
We are in a fictional kingdom and throughout the book we learn more and more about the history of Thorvaldor. Magic is an integral part of daily life though not everyone has magic abilities. The book tells the story of 16 year old Nalia, the crown princess which gets to know that she is actually not the real princess. She is send off with a bit of money to her only living relative, an aunt. As a princess the girl, now called Sinda, has no useful abilities. She can’t cook or has learnt any useful handcraft.
At this point I was a bit upset about the story line. It was a wee to black and white. That the king and queen would send Sinda away, with hardly any money, though they treated her like their own for 16 years sounds overly cruel. On the other side I liked the awakening of Sinda’s magic. And that she changes from passive to active. She decides that she should go back to the capital she knows and is comfortable with. She actively procures new knowledge about her magic. I liked Sinda’s best friend Keirnan. Though Sinda is no longer noble he still wants to see her. He is looking for her and stays true to himself, even if this means taking a stand against his parents. Their friendship was a central part of the whole story. I also really liked Sinda’s magic teacher. She is the typical scatter-minded, eccentric but warm-hearted professor who teaches very unorthodoxly. From her on the plot pace becomes faster. Sinda and the new real princess meet and Sinda is discovering a long-harbored secret. She and Keirnan get involved in dangerous business. The suspense story was very interesting, enthralling and action-packed. Though there were a few fairy tale clichés the overall story was fascinating and the character development was well-done.