Jennifer A. Nielsen is no stranger to epic plots and lovable anti-heroes.
For instance, her “Underworld Chronicles” series features such a formula. The first book in the series, “Elliot and the Goblin War”, charmed readers and reviewers alike as it told the adventures if Elliot Penster, a boy who finds himself in the middle of a war between Goblins and Brownies. Kirkus called “Elliot and the Goblin War” a “quickly addictive page-turner”, and it spawned two equally liked sequels, “Elliot and the Pixie Plot” and :Elliot and the Last Underworld War”.
With “The False Prince”, published by Scholastic, Nielsen is taking that tried and tested formula and setting it in a much darker and deceptive world — a definite departure from the world the “Underworld Chronicles” introduced to readers. Will going dark work in Nielsen’s favor? Or would it have been better off if she had stuck to her roots?