Virtual Reality Fantasy Game

— feeling matrix
Heir Apparent - Vivian Vande Velde

I was going to die. I was never going to get past the first step of the game, and I was going to die. 

-Chapter 4


Between the barbarian hordes waiting at our northern border for the first sign of weakness, and the peasant uprisings in the east, now is not the time for an inexperienced sheepherder to play at being king.

-Chapter 8


Giannine is playing a virtual reality game called Heir Apparent, using a gift certificate from her father for her 14th birthday. But, a protest group attacked the facility and now Giannine is stuck in the game. Her only way out is to win the game, but her time is limited. If she doesn't defeat the game, the computer could fry her brain. She must use her intelligence and her sarcastic sense of humor to keep going, figure out the puzzles and be crowned king before time runs out.


I enjoyed this book. It is a fresh take on sci-fi. Giannine lives in the future, but she plays a virtual reality game that takes her to medieval times. Most of the time we are with Giannine in the game and it is exciting and frustrating to watch her try to get through the situations with no idea what the right choice is.


Giannine is a great strong female character. She is clever and persistent, but she still has flaws. She gets annoyed and frustrated by her lack of progress, but she never gives up. She has to deal with ghosts, a dragon, barbarians and a royal family who doesn't want her around.


Recommended to:

Grades 4-8. Readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure.