The Ascendance Series
by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Author)
Sage, an orphaned thief, is one of four boys chosen to participate in a lethal contest. After being plucked from the streets by a nobleman named Connor, Sage learns that Connor plans to choose one of the orphans to impersonate a long-lost prince in the hopes of averting a civil war.
As the boys are remade to enhance their resemblance to the long-lost Prince Jaron, they must compete to assume their new identities as well as the throne. But deceit and treachery face Sage at every turn, and he will learn that a dangerous truth can be more destructive than all of the royal court's lies combined.