The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.
I didn't know exactly what to expect from a debut romance author, but this story is intriguing. The romance between Sinda and Kiernan grows from a long-standing friendship. You can feel the connection, but there aren't any sexy scenes to distract from the plot. It is true love. There is a mysterious puzzle to figure out along with an interesting map containing old runes, wizards and magic, mistaken identities, a villain, an oracle, and a girl who never knew she had magic until one day it was released. I really liked this book. The twists and turns kept me reading, so it went fairly quickly. The characters were believable and lovable. I look forward to reading more from Eilis O'Neal.
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