Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: The Runaway King

Title: Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 352
Audience: 10 and up
Genre: Adventure
Review Copy: ARC via NetGalley
Release Date: March 1, 2013

Summary from Publisher: 
A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

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 within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. 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?

The stunning second installment of the Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!

My Review:
I adored the first book in this series, The False Prince. I have recommended it to many students and teachers because I know that the book grabs the reader and takes them on a wild ride that they hope will never end. I couldn't wait for the sequel, but was also concerned since sometimes the second book in a series seems to just be marking time.

In The Runaway King, Nielsen did not disappoint. Jaron has managed to be king for about a month without incident, but then everything goes horribly wrong. An assassin shows up during the funeral observance for his family, pirates are on their way to attack, and political intrigue permeates the castle. Of course, Jaron chooses a most unorthodox way of dealing with the threats to his kingdom. Kings are usually protected and stay back out of the conflict, but he runs toward the trouble. He doesn't know if anything he is doing can possibly save anyone, but he knows he has to try.

Nielsen skillfully packed action consistently throughout the book. Just when you think Jaron has a moment of peace, everything falls to pieces. Jaron's voice continues to be humorous and charming in the midst of the many dangerous and sometimes slightly ridiculous situations in which he finds himself. In spite of all the excitement, Nielsen also manages to introduce many interesting and unique characters. 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone fond of a good tale of adventure. With assassins, royalty, pirates, thieves, sword fights, and plenty of humorous lines, how could you go wrong?


Literary Rambles has a giveaway going on through March 30, 2013 for a digital copy of the book. Click here if you are interested.

Scholastic has a Teacher's Discussion Guide for both books here.

Also, there doesn't seem to be a book trailer for The Runaway King yet, but here is the one from The False Prince.

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