I think I heard Jennifer A. Nielsen speak in person back in 2012 at a League of Utah Writers gathering. I was impressed, so much so that I asked the author if she had any copies of her books that she could sell. I think the question surprised her, but she did have a couple of copies in her car. She got one out and autographed it for me.
That was very nice of her. I had not attended a lot of these meetings so I didn't know if asking her if she had a book to sell when she was a guest speaker was a faux pas or not. I bought it for my daughter. I gave her the book (Jennifer signed it for her...) and she loved it. I finally got around to reading it and I liked it very much as well.
In The False Prince Nielsen creates a world where a fictional kingdom is in jeopardy. The royal family has been killed and plans are made by evil men to gain control of the kingdom. Their plot involves a daring plan that hinges on deceit. Basically, a boy would be found that could pass as the heir to the crown, a prince who had died in a shipwreck. Several boys were chosen and trained as princes in order to fool the powers that be. It's a great premise.
I must admit that I found the first half or so of the book a little uncertain. I'm not saying I hated it, but I kept thinking about the logistics of the story--the likelihood that certain events would actually take place as Nielsen presented them. They weren't major plot problems, just little ones that would (momentarily...) take me out of the story, but Nielsen's style and prose brought me back into the story. It is very well written.
But for all the issues I had with the book's first half, the second half more than made up for it. I won't reveal any spoilers, but I saw the wisdom of some of the earlier choices made by the author and the ending totally worked for me. I'm glad there's more to read about this world. The False Prince is the first in The Ascendance Trilogy and I look forward to reading the other two. I'm glad I got to meet the author and hear her speak. It's always great to see a local author do well.
* Photo used without permission from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12432220-the-false-prince?ac=1