The basic plot is pretty straight forward:
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.
Like I said, pretty straight forward. It sounded like it would fit in with a few other books I had tried to read recently, especially the bit about long-lost princes and such. But I was desperate for a good read and I trust this friend immensely, so I dove into it and started reading. I wasn't disappointed.
First off, the main character, Sage. Sage is so freakin EPIC!!!! I loved him from the beginning. He actually had character! *jumps up and down* For me, liking him right off was a big step because lately main characters have either been bland, too perfect or all out bratty and obnoxious. Not that Sage isn't a brat - he is. But he is the best kind of brat, and I love him. He's very defiant and stubborn. He doesn't let himself get pushed around easily. He has a lot of fight in him and he isn't afraid to prove it. And he is brave. A bit reckless maybe, but brave all the same.
Then we had the two main side characters. Tobias and Roden. To be honest, I thought I'd like Roden more. Tobias seemed really hard to get along with and just.... No. No. Why wouldn't he shut up, dang it?? But by the end of the book I was TOTALLY a Tobias girl. First off he was like a Medieval nerd. Secondly, he had a lot of spunk too and he was fighting for his life the same as Sage. He was just trying to go about it differently. And third, he isn't such a bad kid once you get to know him. He's actually pretty brilliant. Roden on the other hand.....
I don't like Roden much.
There is a touch of romance in this book but it was so natural and sweet I didn't really care. Its more like they are very dear friends and, given time, they could be in love. Almost like, they might both be in love but they don't know it yet. I loved it. Imogene was cute and sweet. And she was a girl character I could actually LIKE. I really like how she and Sage were. Sage was so gentle and defensive of her. And she admired him. and it was just CUTE!!! But while there is a touch of romance, it isn't THE thing. which is nice. I like Romance better when its more in the back round and it sneaks up and you and makes you love it. I hate forced romance.
But Imogen and Sage just make me happy. And I wouldn't mind a bit more them. I ship It *grin*
But back to Tobias and Sage. I am going to try and keep this pretty spoiler free, but in case I slip up, just try to be careful: Remember my thing with friendship stories? You show me a friendship story and I fall to pieces. They are my favorite. Well, I've been really in the mood for a good friendship story. Not that I haven't found a few already - Merlin & Arthur, Sam & Dean, Elliot & Hardison.... But I wanted more!! I am always looking for more friendship stories. Now, in this book there isn't so much of that - at least not in a BIG way. But its very much hinted at, ESPECIALLY near the end. The last chapter has this one amazing moment where I threw up my hands and squealed "FRIENDSHIP STORY!!!" You can see epicness being planted for the future with that one line. And that is also the line that completely sold me on Tobias. Tobias and Sage keep having these conversations where Sage says that he is going to win the competition. He will become the long-lost prince. He will be the new King. And at one point Tobias says this one thing...... And there is a spoiler here, but oh well. I love this line. Skip it if you don't want to know anything.
I had a lot of Tobias and Sage feels. I was on a Tobias and Sage high. I jumped up and rushed to find fan art. Any fan art. (well except the creepy stuff)
But there was none! *Gasp* It seems I have found another brilliant book which has no fandom. Just a tiny little village. In the middle of nowhere. And because it is so tiny it is very hard to find so no one comes there.
And apparently none of us villagers know how to draw.
And those that do aren't as good as my sister, so she has to come to the village and draw for me.
I need fanart, sister of mine! MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
The friendship story aside, the book overall was brilliant. The antagonist AKA Conner, was definitely the kind of guy you could hate and feel fine about it. Cause he was not a nice man. And he did many terrible things. And I want him dead I think. Unless he miraculously changes. And then there are other characters whom you don't think you'll like and then you do. And the plot was solid and well paced. It reeled you in. It kept you enthralled. And it manipulates you into thinking you know everything then flipped the tables and suddenly you feel very dumb. There was one part especially that was a very whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? moment.
Then you flip the pages back to make sure you read those words right.......
And then you just sort of sit there. And you're like. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!! OMGOSH!!
At least that was what I did.
Then I felt really stupid.
I finished the book pretty quickly after that, and when I read the last page I wanted to run around in long dresses and capes. And sneak out windows. And discover secret passageways to clamber through. And learn how to sword fight.
And I rushed to put book two and three on hold cause I was on a Sage high and needed more.
They still haven't' come in.
Its been over two weeks.
I might actually do that now.
I NEED more Sage!!!!!!
So in conclusion, if any of you need something new, something amazing and are in the mood for fantasy, then this book is a great choice. I highly recommend it. Just check out the whole trilogy at once so that you wont have my problem and get eaten up with anxiety while waiting for book two and three to come in.
God Bless!! And Happy Eastertide to you all!!!
~Ben the Robot~