The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal

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Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia’s led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it’s revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she’s ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever. (from Goodreads)

This is the first of the 2011 Teens’ Top Ten books I have read this summer and it is a wonderful beginning.  Halfway through the book, I had to stop and email the author to tell her how much I was enjoying the book.

There is mystery and romance, magic and (a little bit of) swordplay.  The setting appears to be roughly Medieval European, although that is just a guess.

This is a debut novel and yes the author’s first name is spelled correctly, Eilis.

I think the book will be a standalone.  There is room for a sequel, but I don’t believe it needs one.

It is very odd to read a standalone novel anymore, particularly fantasy.  Although I don’t think there will be a sequel, I will certainly look for any other books by this author.  I truly enjoyed it.

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Filed under Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

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