In this first book in a remarkable trilogy, an orphan is forced into a twisted game with deadly stakes.
Choose to lie...or choose to die.
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.
About the Author
Jennifer A. Nielsen is the acclaimed author of THE FALSE PRINCE, the first book in the Ascendance Trilogy. She has also written The Underworld Chronicles, a humorous middle-grade fantasy series. Jen lives in northern Utah with her husband, their three children, and a perpetually muddy dog.
Read an Excerpt
From The False Prince
"Would you ever be on my side, even if I chose you above the other boys?" Conner asked.
"I'm only on my side. Your trick will be convincing me that helping you helps me," I replied.
"What if I did? How far would you go to win?"
"The better question, sir, is how far you will go to win." I looked him steadily in the eyes as I spoke. "You killed Latamer. So we know you're willing to murder to win."
"I am." Conner backed up, speaking to all of us again. "And I'm willing to lie, to cheat, and to steal. I'm willing to commend my soul to the devils if necessary because I believe there is exoneration in my cause. I need one of you to conduct the greatest fraud ever perpetrated within the country of Carthya. This is a lifetime commitment. It will never be safe to back down from my plan and tell the truth. To do so would destroy not only you but the entire country. And you will do it to save Carthya."