January 11, 2017
|Hey guys! My first book review, written for the amazing review site, One Book Two! This review blog is super awesome, often offering TWO reviewers for one book! I had the honor of writing a guest review for The False Prince!|
Super Rough Synopsis (short and sweet):
A young prince goes missing and the royal family is dead. Now, an ambitious nobel makes a grab for power by molding four orphans into the missing prince. The top disguised boy wins. The others die. But at the end of the day, even the living is about to commit treason.
The False Prince promised so much, being reminiscent of one of my favorite stories of all time (The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain). Political subterfuge, princes in disguise, treason… what was not to love?
Unfortunately, much of it.
The cast in The False Prince, by and large, were tropey, predictable, and unmemorable. The anticipation and mystery was stripped away by always knowing exactly what any character would do at any given time. I felt that the antagonist in The False Prince was the best written character—you could wholly understand why he was doing what he was doing and the justification of his actions. The strength of his character was greatly lost, however, when it became apparent that his motives were partially backed by the stereotypical desire for power.
Even with tropey characters, a well-executed plot could have absolutely saved the story! Alas, the overall execution of The False Prince was a great disappointment. The writing and pacing in the story were great—no complaints here! But the characters and story were predictable and forced. Three examples really stood out to me:
One of the female characters entered the story by just being “extra noticed” by the main character. There wasn’t really anything exceptional to draw this attention except that the author wanted her to be a primary character. You knew immediately by the writing that “oh, this is a main character.” It was like when you watch cartoons and only the important characters have cool hair.
Second example: When the antagonist had to choose his prince, the choice was down to two people. Objectively, there was a clear choice. One of them possessed, by and large, all of the traits that the antagonist desired, and the other absolutely did not. The final decision was made for wholly TERRIBLE reasons.
Third example: Lying narrative. Ouch. This is a biggie to me. Without spoiling anything, let me just say that the author left out an extremely important bit of information that the reader should have wholly been aware of—solely for the purpose of trying to surprise the reader.
Rating: 3/5: I’d go down to 2/5, but I generally expect these problems from YA literature.
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