by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Amazon / Goodreads
Plot Summary: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!
Spoilers if you haven't read the first book!
Review:I don't think I will ever get tired of characters who, no matter how terrible the odds against them are, will always have a trick up their sleeve, or plans that no one saw coming. Jaron walks the fine line between doing reckless things on the spur of the moment and doing reckless things that are well thought out and planned from the beginning. He's always unexpected in that way, and reading about his adventures is just so entertaining!
There are great secondary characters in this story who contribute to truly touching friendships. Jaron surrounds himself with people who care about him, even as they are exasperated by his actions, and seeing that kind of loyalty in their group made me tear up more than once actually. The romance aspect with Imogen is really touching as well because their relationship is born of actions and not words and it is particularly emotional I think that they feel a certain way for each other but never say it.
I think it was nice to see Jaron on his own and relying on his wits again in this - as there was a danger now that he is king that he would be so mired and hindered by the politics and his need to prove himself to his country. The reader sees still more of his cleverness and resourcefulness as he comes up against some very daunting odds. It's incredibly satisfying really to read every moment when he comes through on his claims despite how outrageous they may seem. I just love characters who deliver on their promises, and Jaron always does.
This is such a fun book and a fantastic series so far, if you haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, I highly recommend you do and save it for when you need a diverting story where everything is possible as long as you have the will and the spirit to accomplish it.