Only those closest to the crown know that the royal family has been murdered. There will be a civil war unless the lost prince is found to claim the thrown. Four years before, the young prince was on a boat attacked by pirates and the entire crew, including the prince were believed to be killed. Conner is a nobleman with perhaps less than noble intentions. He plans to find orphans that look enough like the late prince to train and pass off as the missing heir and then control new puppet king. Sage is one of the four orphans chosen. He is mischievous and is frequently punished and beaten for his actions. His unruly nature would not make for a good puppet king but he does possess the most similarities to the late prince. The boys not chosen will surely be killed.
This is extremely good! I received the galley back in January at ALA Midwinter and held off reading it because the cover gave the book a light-hearted, almost humorous look. Not so! This is one serious book with murder and plotting and revenge. Fantastic characters from Sage to the other chosen orphans to Connor and his servants. I am very glad this is a planned trilogy. Snappy dialogue coupled with a fast pace and twisty plot makes this a winner. Highly Recommend.