So, after asking myself said questions and comparing my answers to all the stupendous book series I have read, the result was... (drum roll, please)... THE ASCENDANCE TRILOGY!!! Honestly, I'm not too surprised. Author Jennifer A. Nielsen has done an epic job with this thrilling medieval fantasy!
Unless you want a really, really long blog post, I'll be using more than one to fangirl about The Ascendance Trilogy. The characters, the different events, the romance, so on and so forth. As for the rest of this post, I will be gushing about the first book in the trilogy, The False Prince.
Some people I know, after reading the next two books, looked back on The False Prince and remarked, "Well, that was boring compared to the others." Because I kind of understand (maybe a little) what they're talking about, I won't judge. The first book has no wars, for instance. But while it didn't have much fighting, there was still plenty of action, mixed with an abundance of hilarious or simply interesting conversations. Thus, boring is the exact WRONG word to use when describing The False Prince.
But this is starting to sound like a book review, and I want it to be a fangirl post. Two very different things, dear reader, two very different things. (I will do my best not to accidentally hint at the ending - I never like spoiling a book, whether I give a warning or not.) So anyway, before we talk about anything else, let's take a moment to admire the cover.
Even this is enough to make any sensible reader want to open it up right away.
I absolutely adore how the author started the whole adventure. I mean, anyone would get drawn in with a beginning like, "If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I'm not sure I ever had a choice. These were my thoughts as I raced away from the market, with a stolen roast tucked under my arm." Then when the butcher throws that cleaver at Sage as he's rounding the corner, suddenly it's like: I AM NEVER PUTTING THIS DOWN. NOT EVEN TO DO MY CHORES.
That's what well-crafted beginnings do to your mind.
Conner takes him, he meets the other orphan boys, Latimer dies (okay, so that was a tiny spoiler, but he dies within the first twenty pages or so, so it doesn't really matter), and they go to Farthenwood. Every word had me either laid-back and laughing or breathless and on the edge of my seat. While the book centers around Conner's estate for most of the way through, the lessons and conversations that went on had me mind-boggled by their brilliancy. Such originality in a novel I have never seen! And Sage? He was pure AWESOMENESS.
I won't go into too much about our to-die-for protagonist, because I have a post coming later that focuses solely on him, but in The False Prince, his defiant, rebellious behavior toward Conner and his assistants, Mott and Cregan, was just amazing. His sarcasm is perfection! Of course, there were bleak moments, too. When Sage was taken down to the dungeons and whipped for his attitude, that wasn't funny. It's crazy to say that maybe he should've cut the sarcasm that one time, but it's true. Oh, how I ached for Sage during that time of pain and suffering!
But now let's skip ahead to the ending. Deep breath, self. Deep breath. Please spare me a moment to control my impending hyperventilation. I am about to let you in on my literal reaction to the end of The False Prince. Or rather, the part near the end that changed everything. Initially, I didn't understand. Then I began reading on, and the reality of it slowly seeped in. Shock like I had never experienced before gripped my chest, and I started repeating the one-line revelation over and over between gasps for breath. Pressing my palms to my cheeks, I danced and leaped around the room. Oh, the awe! Oh, the bewilderment! Oh, the perplexity!
If you have not read The False Prince, Get. It. Now. If you have, I would love to hear in the comments below what your reaction was to that awe-inspiring, bewildering, perplexing plot twist. No spoilers, please!