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The False Princess - Eilis O'Neal After what seems like a drought, two books in a row that I've really enjoyed, and both refreshing at that.This was one of those books that I would have loved knowing even less about going in than I was given. When I sat down to read it I felt that the flap had given me too much information and although it didn't stop me from really enjoying this book it's the reason for not providing the full synopsis and will be a reason for a slightly more general review rather than touching on specifics as I like to.I love a good high fantasy novel. The thing about fantasy is that it's not as far-fetched a reality as paranormal or even potentially dystopian YA might be. There was a period of time where kingdoms and princesses, taverns and court politics were reality. The familiarity of it makes it easy to slip into and the world building and storytelling make it unique. Within the first couple pages Naila finds out that she's indeed Sinda, not a princess at all, and has to leave. To be honest, I was wondering for a page or so what else could happen now that Sinda wasn't a princess - but her story was only beginning at that point.After Naila became Sinda she was at a complete loss: she didn't know who or what Sinda was supposed to be. All she knew how to be was a slightly clumsy princess. (Note: I feel like lots of female characters are clumsy lately? Is it just me?) Her growth was the best part of the book. Once Sinda stopped trying to be Sinda-As-Princess-Naila she started to figure out how she could define herself by herself rather than using a set of pre-defined terms. One of the reasons I really enjoyed her is that as a reader I could clearly see her progress from the beginning to the end. At times I was frustrated with her but that's natural with anyone and I could see her learning from those moments to really step into her own and they in no way made me like her less.Sinda was able to cultivate meaningful relationships with others despite her misgivings with herself, and her continuing friendship with Keirnan was really honest and their evolution was well paced. When a relationship goes too fast it doesn't seem that believable to me but this was slow and realistic. And even though the characters were fabulous and their progress stole the show there's a big underlying mystery that kept me guessing until the last few chapters. The book ended in a perfect place - no crazy cliffhanger or frustrating 'what if'. This book is not a part of a series and stands well on its own.I feel as if it were hard to put my enjoyment of this book properly into words but I encourage you to read it. If you like fantasy, a good mystery and well-developed characters then I think this could be a book for you. If you have any questions I'd love to answer and clarify for you. If you've read The False Princess I'd love to read your review or know what you thought. A great debut and I'm curious to see where else O'Neal goes with her writing.