Belinda’s Book Nook Review: The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal


Title: The False Princess
Author: Eilis O’ Neal
Copyright: September 11, 2012
Genre: fiction, fantasy
Format: audiobook Narrator: Mandy Williams

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.

My Thoughts on The False Princess:

When I work in my craft room, I enjoy listening to music, podcasts and audio books. I enjoy this because I can listen to something while I work. Over the last six months I have really enjoyed being able to keep up with my “reading” while still getting my crafting time .  The first place I go when I need an audiobook is Overdrive since it is free from the library. I read the description, listened to a preview of this book and checked out it’s ratings on Goodreads and it sounded just like the right book to listen to.

The False Princess  is a fantasy book filled with magic, romance and mystery. Mandy Williams did a great job with the narration. Which I believe can make or break the listening experience.

I enjoyed this debut novel by Eilis O’Neal right from the start because it brought you right into the mystery.  I liked the main character Nalia who was really Sinda.  She was a strong character with definite flaws.  Many typical of a 16 year old girl. Which I had to keep reminding myself.

Most of the women in this book were very strong characters. Sinda’s aunt despite the shock of a niece she thought had died appearing on her doorstep, did not let her poverty keep her from taking care of her niece.  Filanthra, who was portrayed as a bit of a loose canon and  an outsider, still managed her home with help from servants and found a place for her magic and potions to maintain her lifestyle. Melaina, although the antagonist was a very strong women that took command of the situation and planned a through deception. Which I think would have been very difficult in such a male dominated society. Perhaps magic was the great equalizer.

I enjoyed the light romance in the novel with Keirnan. He was a charming friend for Sinda and a little love in stories is always good.

The only thing I would say that I was frustrated with was the fact that Sinda was so strong and bright and yet they made her so naive when it came to love and romance. Over and over, her doubt presented itself and at times, I felt could be skipped. Perhaps that is how authors create drama but I felt it was a little overkill at times.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and the detail and the descriptions for the settings. I felt I could really see the settings and the narration was spot on. I haven’t read many books with magic so this was a little fun for me. I ended up listening to the last few hours of the book into the wee hours of the morning to find out how it all would turn out. I think the message finding out who you really are and learning to accept yourself for who you are was a strong message in this book. Particularly with Sinda.

I think if you are looking for a light read with good narration, you should give it a try.

I give this book 4 butterflies.


Happy reading!



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