The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2)
By Jennifer A. Nielsen
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Hardcover, 352 pages
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!
Thank you very much Scholastic and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review The Runaway King!
This time around, Jaron being the king of Carthya is responsible for the problems that his father had timidly pushed off during his reign. War, a frivolous Council of Regents, and assassination attempts are just the beginning to a tumultuous reign for Jaron. To save his kingdom and his life, Jaron will have to sacrifice more than ever before to ensure his country and his own tomorrow.
Let me start off saying that Jaron has grown on me. He’s still the same cheeky brat from The False Prince, but we see some growth and maturity from his old days. His impetuous, sarcastic nature is always amusing and humorous to read about, and so are his enemies’ reactions to his insults and obstinate nature. However, it really makes a person wonder whether or not Jaron is really 14 years old. Can you imagine a 14 year old planning and intruding as deviously and irrationally as him? There are some traces of immaturity when he risks his life and his friend’s lives on some plans that have probably been in his mind since day 1. Somehow they still manage to work despite all of the crap that has happened. It is somewhat intimidating to have to read without having a heart attack when Jaron’s there to magnify the trouble a hundred fold. For such a young guy, Jaron really has so much going for him that it really makes you wonder how can a teenager like exist.
Besides Jaron, there doesn’t seem to be much emphasis put on the other characters. Sure, they are present, but there is not any development of their personalities. We see characters characterize as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but only a minor few have been shown to be middle ground like Jaron. However, that is only the surface that one penetrates. As we delve further into their actions and motives, we see that each character is their own enigma that threaten to outshine Jaron at many points of the story. I do wish that there was a greater focus on these supporting characters, but Jaron alone is enough to carry the book with all of the nefarious schemes he has in mind.
After barely surviving the adventure of The False Prince, The Runaway King was one of the reads that I was most looking forward to this year. Thankfully and somewhat annoyingly, The Runaway King comes with more dares, risks, and adventure, making this book the ultimate middle grade adventure. If you have not yet read The False Prince, I’m begging you to read this as soon as possible because you need to pick this one up now!