Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen is the second book in the Ascendance Trilogy. I reviewed The False Prince last year, so if you have not read the series yet, you may want to start there. Please note that there will be some unavoidable spoilers for The False Prince in my review below:

Sage is now Jaron, King of Carthya, but his position is nowhere near secure. Even with the scheming Connor behind bars, Jaron is mistrusted by both his regents and his fiancee. Moreover, the pirates plunder and pillage the borderlands, and a greedy neighboring kingdom threatens war. If Jaron can overthrow the Pirate King and gain the allegiance of the pirates, he will prove himself to his regents and be prepared to withstand an invasion. He has a short time in which to work, but Jaron is always ready for a challenge. With the help of friends both new and old, he may just be able to hold on to the reins of his kingdom . . . for now.

As with the previous book, I liked this but did not love it. I had trouble suspending disbelief at some of Jaron's escapades among the pirates, and the storyline, while action-packed, lacked some of the twists and turns that made the first book in the series so captivating. I did enjoy watching Jaron's friendship with Imogene continue to develop, and I will be on the lookout for the conclusion of the trilogy -- partly because, readers beware, this second book in the trilogy carries with it the inevitable cliffhanger ending.

(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)

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