Review: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King The Runaway King
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

ISBN-13: 9-780545-284158
Publication: March 2013 from Scholastic Press
Series: book 2 in The Ascendance Trilogy
Source: publisher
Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it
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Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting with Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it.

As his adventures lead him into dangerous new territory, Jaron must learn to tell his friends from his enemies and decide who he can trust – if he can trust anyone at all. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?


Spoilers for The False Prince!

This series makes me all kinds of happy. The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen is the sequel to The False Prince and what a sequel it is! Picking up right where book one left off, Jaron is king of Carthya and not all is well. From assassination attempts to plots to put a steward on the throne until Jaron is of age, his reign has been pretty rocky so far. Realizing that the only way to avoid war between Carthya, the pirates hired to kill him four years previous and Avenia is to approach the conflict head on, Jaron leaves Carthya and ventures to the pirates where, of course, crazyness ensues.

I still absolutely love Jaron. He gets character award of the year, seriously. He cares so much for the people around him he would do most anything to keep them safe. Even when it hurts (emotionally and physically). I mean, he rushes off with hardly a plan to keep himself safe but he’s tricky and witty and wise beyond his years – it gets him through! He’s also fairly sneaky, which helps in making what little plan he does have work. It’s hard to tell who’s friend or foe in this series which keeps the reader on their toes. As do the number of fights, hijinks, plots and intrigues. There are a few moments that are kind of like “what, really? Well, ok, cool.” and you need to just go with it, but they are few and far between and just help add to the amazingness that is Jaron.

4.5 heart

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen is one of those sequels that just makes you more and more excited to continue reading a series. The first book introduced Jaron, the world he lives in and the problems facing his country – and did it wonderfully. This book successfully continues Jaron’s tale and digs deeper into the fight for Carthya and the politics between it and its neighbouring countries – and does it with all the adventure you could ever want. I can’t wait to see where book three will take Jaron, and us.

Hardcover copy provided by Scholastic Canada in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!


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