Monday, April 29, 2013

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Last year Katie read the first book in this series and raved about it. Sure enough, it was one of our favorites of the year and it's starting to show up on some of the Middle School TAB students' top tens of the year! Now she's back with book two! 

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The False Prince  (read her review here) was far and away one of my favorite books from 2012. Perhaps you read it as well and thought, “That was a darn near perfect adventure. If only there had been more pirates...” If so, then this sequel is for you.

[And if you haven’t read it then you may want to skip the next bit and come back to it after you have because some spoilers are inevitable, I’m afraid.]

Jaron, once known as the orphan boy Sage, has assumed the throne as the rightful king of Carthya. Unsurprisingly, though, there are those who wish to see him fail, those working to subvert him, and those who would like to bring Carthya to the brink of war. Jaron feels boxed in and without any options except perhaps to runaway. In fact, the more he thinks about it, the more certain he becomes that the only way to protect his kingdom and keep his throne is to desert it and throw his lot in with the pirates. Naturally.

And so soon, we have a real king once again in disguise, a pirate king who has no kindness or mercy in him, and only the quick thinking of Jaron and the support (often unasked for) of his friends standing between Carthya and all out war. But Jaron will need more than the support of his friends if he hopes to succeed--he will also need to win over his enemies. And one in particular seems intent on exacting very painful revenge.

As with the first book in The Ascendance Trilogy, less is more when recapping the adventures of King Jaron. The plot twists in addition to Jaron’s clever plans and sharp tongue are best enjoyed unspoiled by reviews. Suffice it to say then that this book is every bit as engaging and thrilling as the first and will leave you wondering what Jaron (and Jennifer Nielsen) has in store for us in the final act of his story.

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