|The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal|
* Their are some mild spoilers in the review and well the title of the book itself is a major spoiler
This book gets 3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes because it started off rather slowly. As the book goes along though I found myself liking the main character a lot more than I did at the beginning of the book.
You think the book is going to just be a light treasure hunt type of book but the main character soon receives quite the surprise. Nalia is not really Nalia at all, her real name is Sinda. She was raised in the palace as a false princess because of an ominous prophecy about the real princess being murdered.
The story starts to pick up steam when she's stuck living with her aunt in the very tiny town of Treb. She finds out that she may know a lot about being a princess but when it comes to her aunt's job of dyeing, she's no good. At first Sinda's not very likable because she just kind of gives up when she's stuck in Treb.
There are two love interests in the book but it's pretty easy to see who she'll end up with. There is some tension thrown in but once it resolves the reader will most likely have no doubts though Sinda herself is slow to come to this realization.
I really loved the story when magic was brought into the picture. It's seems that Sinda's life is even more complicated because the magic she possesses happens at unexpected time. She finds a teacher in Philantha who many consider to be rather odd.
Sinda slowly becomes more comfortable with who she is but then in another twist finds that there are many more mysteries to solve. Intrigue abounds and only Sinda may be able to stop someone intent on taking over her country.
The mystery and who the bad guy really is will leave the reader wondering how the ending will be happily ever after. Overall a pretty great adventure that takes some interesting twists and turns.