Readers like to classify books into genres (probably because their teachers make them read from each genre) and often ask what genre I think a certain book is. Not usually a mystery reader, I would have to say the book I finished last night was and engaging mystery...and an adventure and a bit of a fairy tale.
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen begins as Sage, an orphanage resident, steals a roast and is rescued by a regent of the king who pays for the stolen item and the boy. Several other boys are also removed from orphanages, and all learn of Conner's plot to falsify the presence of an heir to the throne in their kingdom.A competition of sorts begins as the boys learn the history of Carthya, become better swordsmen and horsemen, and acquire literacy and social skills. Hovering over their instruction is the news that the king, queen, and crown prince have been murdered, unbeknowst to the kingdom's people. While Sage knows he can be the prince, obstacles and doubt block his selection. In the end, the announcement in the castle changes the plans entirely.
Suspenseful and surprising, this mystery/adventure/tale is sure to engage readers...and keep them reading as it is the first in a trilogy.