Celebrate EgmontUSA’s Very Merry eShort Week with a GIVEAWAY (and review!) of THE FALSE PRINCESS by Eilis O'Neal!

Today I'm celebrating EgmontUSA’s Very Merry eShort Week!
The publisher has just released FOUR enovellas based on four of their novels...
and all week, various blogs are offering the chance to WIN
one of the full novels!

A Backwards Story is very lucky; I'm giving away a book I LOVE!

One of the first books I ever reviewed on this blog was THE FALSE PRINCESS by Eilis O'Neal. She hasn't published another book yet, and I've been waiting ever so patiently. 

When I saw that not only had she written something new, but that something took place in the world of THE FALSE PRINCESS? I was ecstatic!!! 

It's called A ROYAL BIRTHDAY: A False Princess Short Story
and only $1.99 on nook, Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, etc!

I jumped at the opportunity to give away a copy of THE FALSE PRINCESS to get you excited for this novella!

(And does this mean more Eilis O'Neal novels are on the horizon??? 
I HOPE SO!!!!)

I've always felt that THE FALSE PRINCESS by Eilis O'Neal and WARPED by Maurissa Guibord, which both came out very close together, were two of the most underappreciated novels of 2011. They both debuted that January and drowned amid books that came out later in the year!

See below for my original review of THE FALSE PRINCESS by Eilis O'Neal!
(I've moved the cover recap into the current style and did a little reformatting, which makes the review look lighter...sorry!)

Check out my 2011 interview with author Eilis O'Neal!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

   THE DAY THEY came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds. We were sitting on a stone bench, the delicate roll of fabric lying between us. Instead of looking toward the gardens, however, we faced the gray wall that separated the northernmost edge of the palace grounds from the streets of Vivaskari.
(pg. 1, US hardcover first edition)
This review first appeared on A Backwards Story on January 28, 2011.

THE FALSE PRINCESS is so hard to talk about without divulging spoilers. The plot is so intricate and complex. There are times you think you have a grasp on the story and where it's headed, but O'Neal throws in a plot twist and you're no longer sure how the book will end. There's danger, mystery, and intrigue lurking on every page. While the novel gets off to a slow start, it isn't long before readers will find themselves immersed in Sinda's plight. While she starts off as a weak character, by the end, she's become a strong heroine who has come into herself. I love books with strong female role-models. It's one reason Tamora Pierce has always been one of my favorite YA authors. O'Neal's writing style reminds me of Shannon Hale. In fact, one of Hale's novels, THE GOOSE GIRL, is very much a tale similar to this one, except in reverse: It is the princess' lady-in-waiting who usurps the role of princess and fools everyone.

Princess Nalia had it all...until the day she discovered she wasn't really a princess, but a commoner named Sinda. She had spent the first sixteen years of her life as a decoy princess because there was a prophecy that the true heir to the throne might die before her sixteenth birthday. Feeling betrayed, Sinda heads for the country to live with the aunt she never knew she had, leaving behind the family and only home she'd ever known. Once in the countryside, however, Sinda discovers that she has the gift of magic. If she doesn't learn to control it, the dangerous power coursing through her veins could kill her. Knowing this, she returns to the palace city and begins to study magic. She reunites with Keirnan, the mischievous Earl of Rithia's son and her best friend. They soon uncover a dangerous plot that could destroy everything Sinda holds dear.

This book has something for everyone. It falls into both the historical fiction and fantasy categories. On top of that, it reads like a fairytale, despite the fact that it's an original work. There's plenty of romantic tension between Sinda and Keirnan to keep a reader's interest, not to mention an overlying mystery woven throughout the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed The False Princess and thought it was a strong debut novel. My copy will sit proudly next to my other "fairytale-inspired" novels, including those by Hale.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I really like this book's dust jacket. I love the shades of purple, from the deep, royal color making up the wallpaper/curtain/(whatever it is) in the background to the more-subtle hues used for the cover model's make-up. 

I also love the story being told on the cover: Consider the fact that you can't see the model's face, but you CAN see the face of the girl on her locket. In my mind, the locket contains a portrait of the "true" princess while Sinda has once again disappeared in her shadow. 

It's a cover you won't think twice about until you've read the book.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Eilis O'Neal
Release Date: Jan. 25, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Received: Purchased

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known. 

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl. 

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever. 

A dazzling first novel, THE FALSE PRINCESS is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: A ROYAL BIRTHDAY: A False Princess Short Story
Author: Eilis O'Neal
Release Date: Dec. 10, 2013
Publisher: EgmontUSA

This e-short prequel to THE FALSE PRINCESS will appeal to fans of Shannon Hale and Tamora Pierce, giving them a new author to love and a new fantasy world to enter, a world filled with wizardry, mystery, and just the right touch of romance. 

This prequel introduces the court of Thorvaldor, Nalia, its princess, who has reached the magical age of sixteen, and her best friend, Kiernan, the earl's son who loves her but feels he is too far below her in rank to dream of making a match with her. 

The novel on which this e-short is based has received glowing reviews, been named a YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults, and made numerous state master lists (Georgia, Rhode Island, Utah, and Maryland).


Happy Holidays from EgmontUSA and A Backwards Story!!

Contest runs until 12/19!
US/CA only, sorry!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm so glad I saw the post on Egmont's FB page about your giveaway today so I didn't completely miss it! I have been wanting to read THE FALSE PRINCESS since I first heard about it, almost 2 years ago now (wow, sounds crazy when I put it that way!). At that time, it had been a year since it was released, they must have been doing a new push for it when it came out in paperback or something. Anyway, I knew right away it was a must for me because (1) I love historical fiction, (2) I love fantasy, and (3) precisely because of the complicated nature of the plot you alluded to. I adore books that keep me guessing and really make me think, and I love being shocked and/or surprised when the truth finally comes to light (at least, so long as it's not a cheap trick, ya know?). So I am definitely eager to read this and would really love to win a copy - because after I read it I want to pass it to my niece, who just turned 12 :) Thanks for the great review, and for the giveaway! Fingers crossed....


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!