Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)
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!

*summary from Amazon*

When I was reading THE FALSE PRINCE and then its sequel, THE RUNAWAY KING, I kept thinking, "Wow,  my son would really like these books." And I thoroughly enjoyed them, too.
Things my 5th grade kid would dig about these books:
1.They're fast moving
2. There's a lot of action and derring-do.
3. There are swords.
4. And knives.
5. And pirates.
6. And lots of fighting.
There's also not a whole lot of the things he doesn't like-- introspection and angst and dwelling on feelings.
We have stuff to DO, folks, and no time to sit around pondering our emotions in this series. Plus, Nielsen doesn't get carried away with romance, although there's a smidge of it for flavoring.
Kevin, relax. It's totally NOT a kissing book

The suggested age range is 10 and up, but I'm going to be honest: some of the political maneuvering in the beginning might be hard to follow for a younger reader. know.... for me. But that's ok, because there is swashbuckling to be done and brave escapes and whatnot!
Jaron shows some great character growth in this book. He matures, and there's a somewhat unexpected redemptive arc with another "bad guy" character that I really liked. Granted, I spent a lot of time echoing the adults in Jaron's life, ie: "This is a TERRIBLE plan and I am quite certain you will DIE!" but at the same time, I sympathized with Jaron. He kind of knew his chances weren't great, but he felt like he had no other options.
Sidebar: did anyone else notice lines from The Princess Bride here and there in the book??
 I can't find my notes (typical), but I for sure noticed "Drop your sword" and "Prepare to die"...
 Gold star stickers for anyone who also noticed them! :) I really hope Jennifer Neilsen did this on purpose as a nod to that movie. Because I adore The Princess Bride.
And I am easily distracted...
Back to the review!
THE RUNAWAY KING was a great addition to the series, and I look forward to seeing what's next for Jaron and his kingdom.
Content: I can't remember any profanity (there might be some milder curse words, though, so don't hold me to it), or sexual situations. There's a fair bit of violence though, given that Jaron spends a good deal of this book with pirates. And let's face it: Those guys have anger management issues.
*Review copy provided by NetGalley. Thank you!!*


1 comment:

  1. Nice review! I really enjoyed this book, MG or no. I do think the first book is a smidgen better. Like you, during this book I kept thinking, "Are you out of your mind?!" until a good two-thirds of the way through the book, but it was exciting and it was fun. (And, of course, totally the sort of book a boy would love, which is good because there aren't enough of those.)

    I am really looking forward to the third book!

    By the way, I reviewed The Runaway King here, if you're curious.


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