Books Kids Fiction The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2)

The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/33/06/ef/_the-runaway-king-jennifer-a-nielsen-1352489240.jpg
 
4.3 (3)
 
0.0 (0)
1592   0
Genre(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
March 01, 2013
ISBN
0545284155
Buy This Book
      
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!

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 3 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.3  (3)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)

I loved loved LOVED The False Prince. It was one of my top books the year it was released. So there were some pretty high expectations for The Runaway King. I was not disappointed. I recently had a favorite student of mine as for a book recommendation. I handed her The False Prince and told her that "You will love Sage and want to strangle him all at the same time - that is what makes him such a wonderful character". This remains true in The Runaway King. I am 100% behind Sage, and because of this, I often cringe, shout or throw an all out temper tantrum to rival my toddler whenever he makes a decision that I feel will put him in more danger. Sage never takes the easy way out. He is always willing to throw himself off a cliff (often quite literally) in order to do what is right for others. Now, that is not to say that he is completely selfless. The boy is one of the most arrogant characters I have ever read and he will often make grandiose statements that only seem to garner him more trouble. But, this is what makes him all the more likeable and enjoyable to read about. Sage is kind, clever, witty and stubborn. He captivates the reader and is easily one of my favorite characters in any series.

I was a little worried about where this book was going when Imogen left the storyline. I always loved the connection between her and Sage and was disappointed to see her disappear so early. But have faith ladies and gentlemen, she re-emerges! The tension between these two characters adds an extra element to the storyline without delving into the romance sphere. I enjoyed the fact that both of them are faced with a very difficult decision and that there is no easy way out.

In this novel, we also saw the expansion of some old characters and the addition of some interesting new ones. Jennifer Nielsen just doesn't do bland, one dimensional characters and each person that we meet, adds a little something special to the plot. Oftentimes, the characters that we might have overlooked or dismissed at first - turn out to be the most important in the end.

This author continues to astound with her ability to seamlessly weave details together to create a plot that is rich and full of surprises. Having many years of reading experience under my belt, it is often all to easy for me to notice the foreshadowing of what is to come. Things that seem obvious to me (I am discovering) my students have often overlooked - leading to them being surprised at the plot twist and me having figured it out from the 5th page. This is the one series where I can depend on my being just as surprised as my students. In both books, I have been taken aback by the way pieces that appeared to come from several different puzzles finally dropped into place to create one complete, and beautifully detailed, picture.

Yet again I need to commend Jennifer Nielsen for creating a series that contains enough danger and suspense to keep readers of all ages interested, but without approaching the issues of violence that would be inappropriate for a younger reader. Teachers and parents take note: THIS IS A BOOK THAT APPEALS TO BOTH GIRLS AND BOYS! Let's get those (sometimes reluctant) boys reading!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

A series that contains enough danger and suspense to keep readers of all ages interested.

I loved loved LOVED The False Prince. It was one of my top books the year it was released. So there were some pretty high expectations for The Runaway King. I was not disappointed. I recently had a favorite student of mine as for a book recommendation. I handed her The False Prince and told her that "You will love Sage and want to strangle him all at the same time - that is what makes him such a wonderful character". This remains true in The Runaway King. I am 100% behind Sage, and because of this, I often cringe, shout or throw an all out temper tantrum to rival my toddler whenever he makes a decision that I feel will put him in more danger. Sage never takes the easy way out. He is always willing to throw himself off a cliff (often quite literally) in order to do what is right for others. Now, that is not to say that he is completely selfless. The boy is one of the most arrogant characters I have ever read and he will often make grandiose statements that only seem to garner him more trouble. But, this is what makes him all the more likeable and enjoyable to read about. Sage is kind, clever, witty and stubborn. He captivates the reader and is easily one of my favorite characters in any series.

I was a little worried about where this book was going when Imogen left the storyline. I always loved the connection between her and Sage and was disappointed to see her disappear so early. But have faith ladies and gentlemen, she re-emerges! The tension between these two characters adds an extra element to the storyline without delving into the romance sphere. I enjoyed the fact that both of them are faced with a very difficult decision and that there is no easy way out.

In this novel, we also saw the expansion of some old characters and the addition of some interesting new ones. Jennifer Nielsen just doesn't do bland, one dimensional characters and each person that we meet, adds a little something special to the plot. Oftentimes, the characters that we might have overlooked or dismissed at first - turn out to be the most important in the end.

This author continues to astound with her ability to seamlessly weave details together to create a plot that is rich and full of surprises. Having many years of reading experience under my belt, it is often all to easy for me to notice the foreshadowing of what is to come. Things that seem obvious to me (I am discovering) my students have often overlooked - leading to them being surprised at the plot twist and me having figured it out from the 5th page. This is the one series where I can depend on my being just as surprised as my students. In both books, I have been taken aback by the way pieces that appeared to come from several different puzzles finally dropped into place to create one complete, and beautifully detailed, picture.

Yet again I need to commend Jennifer Nielsen for creating a series that contains enough danger and suspense to keep readers of all ages interested, but without approaching the issues of violence that would be inappropriate for a younger reader. Teachers and parents take note: THIS IS A BOOK THAT APPEALS TO BOTH GIRLS AND BOYS! Let's get those (sometimes reluctant) boys reading!

Was this review helpful to you? 
The Runaway King picks up almost immediately after The False Prince ends, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because it plunges you straight into the action (and there is quite a bit of action in this one!); bad because if you're like me and haven't read TFP in nearly a year, it can be a little confusing to hit the ground running without time to catch your bearings. I might have had to go brush up on the last couple chapters of TFP before continuing on. But that's okay. You know why? Because the last couple chapters of TFP are awesome.

All the big players from TFP are back in some capacity, as friends and conspirators and spies and villains. Jaron is still the same dangerously cocky youth pulled from the streets, but with a big exception: he is now the king. And the fate of his kingdom rests on his shoulders.

As in TFP, Jaron's narration is the main driver of the story. If he was a girl, I'd say he's sassy. Actually, who cares. He's sassy. He is a swaggering, secretive, sassy boy with a savior complex and trust issues. He comes brimming with strengths and shortcomings, and a lot of the time, he is his own worst enemy. His convoluted plan probably does not need to be nearly as convoluted as it is, but since he's determined not to show his hand to anyone -- even those that could help him -- he sets himself up for difficulty. It can be frustrating, especially as other characters are telling him this is a fault and he's refusing to listen -- but at the same time, it's incredibly true to the character. Everything he does makes sense to him, and that's the most I can ask from any character in any story.

The supporting characters came and went throughout the story. Probably one of the most important was Imogen, his friend from TFP. Her moments are some of my favorites, as she is smart and strong, yet isn't afraid to use her perceived weakness as a female to her advantage. Her friendship with Jaron isn't fair and isn't balanced, and really, he doesn't deserve her. Yet she's there anyway, and he appreciates her for it, in his own way.

The action is plentiful, and there's never that long of a break between tussles and sword fights. Jennifer Nielsen's depiction of the action is vivid and allowed me to play the fights out in my head like a movie, which isn't easy. I did find a couple of the scenes toward the end a bit far-fetched, but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief a bit. The things Jaron does are not impossible -- I don't think -- just improbable. I can deal with improbable.

There's only one character motivation head-scratcher moment, and it's toward the end. A character switches sides, and it seemed a little too easy. It wasn't nearly as large a twist as the first book in the series, but it was still unexpected, and I'm not sure it was foreshadowed sufficiently. It's a fine line to walk, revealing enough details to make the twist believable, without tipping your hand. I feel like this book was almost there, but not quite.

However, those minor complaints aside, I still very much enjoyed this story. It's the kind of book and series I imagine would get kids -- boys and girls alike -- excited about reading. It's clever and funny and has enough action and heart to interest a wide variety of readers, with a fabulously well-developed protagonist and intelligent plotting. Whenever the conclusion to The Ascendance Trilogy hits shelves, you can bet I'll be at the front of the line.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Smart, fast, enjoyable sequel

The Runaway King picks up almost immediately after The False Prince ends, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because it plunges you straight into the action (and there is quite a bit of action in this one!); bad because if you're like me and haven't read TFP in nearly a year, it can be a little confusing to hit the ground running without time to catch your bearings. I might have had to go brush up on the last couple chapters of TFP before continuing on. But that's okay. You know why? Because the last couple chapters of TFP are awesome.

All the big players from TFP are back in some capacity, as friends and conspirators and spies and villains. Jaron is still the same dangerously cocky youth pulled from the streets, but with a big exception: he is now the king. And the fate of his kingdom rests on his shoulders.

As in TFP, Jaron's narration is the main driver of the story. If he was a girl, I'd say he's sassy. Actually, who cares. He's sassy. He is a swaggering, secretive, sassy boy with a savior complex and trust issues. He comes brimming with strengths and shortcomings, and a lot of the time, he is his own worst enemy. His convoluted plan probably does not need to be nearly as convoluted as it is, but since he's determined not to show his hand to anyone -- even those that could help him -- he sets himself up for difficulty. It can be frustrating, especially as other characters are telling him this is a fault and he's refusing to listen -- but at the same time, it's incredibly true to the character. Everything he does makes sense to him, and that's the most I can ask from any character in any story.

The supporting characters came and went throughout the story. Probably one of the most important was Imogen, his friend from TFP. Her moments are some of my favorites, as she is smart and strong, yet isn't afraid to use her perceived weakness as a female to her advantage. Her friendship with Jaron isn't fair and isn't balanced, and really, he doesn't deserve her. Yet she's there anyway, and he appreciates her for it, in his own way.

The action is plentiful, and there's never that long of a break between tussles and sword fights. Jennifer Nielsen's depiction of the action is vivid and allowed me to play the fights out in my head like a movie, which isn't easy. I did find a couple of the scenes toward the end a bit far-fetched, but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief a bit. The things Jaron does are not impossible -- I don't think -- just improbable. I can deal with improbable.

There's only one character motivation head-scratcher moment, and it's toward the end. A character switches sides, and it seemed a little too easy. It wasn't nearly as large a twist as the first book in the series, but it was still unexpected, and I'm not sure it was foreshadowed sufficiently. It's a fine line to walk, revealing enough details to make the twist believable, without tipping your hand. I feel like this book was almost there, but not quite.

However, those minor complaints aside, I still very much enjoyed this story. It's the kind of book and series I imagine would get kids -- boys and girls alike -- excited about reading. It's clever and funny and has enough action and heart to interest a wide variety of readers, with a fabulously well-developed protagonist and intelligent plotting. Whenever the conclusion to The Ascendance Trilogy hits shelves, you can bet I'll be at the front of the line.

Was this review helpful to you? 
We meet Jaron again at the funeral of his family...only he is so conflicted about this that he is taking a moment in a garden, and Roden shows up to assassinate him.In league with Devlin, the pirate king, Roden grievously injures Jaron, but takes off. When the regents meet, they are concerned about the growing threat of the pirates, but also don't feel that Jaron is ready to rule or that he has good opinions, so they want to send him to hide. Jaron feels that there are a lot of hidden threats both outside and inside the castle walls, so he pretends to hole up in the castle, but runs off. On his journey, he runs into the pirates and saves a young girl, Nila, after her mother has been killed. He returns he to Libeth, where he meets her very helpful grandfather, Rulan Harlowe, who offers him support and a place to rest. Feeling that the evil King Vargen is in league with Devlin, Jaron leaves, only to be turned over to the pirate Erick by a young boy, Fink. Jaron becomes a pirate and is taken to Tarblade, where he must adhere to the pirate code. He pretends once again to be Sage, a thief, and even Imogen (who he sent off from the castle for her own safety) doesn't give him away. Jeron promises the pirates that he will take them to a cave where the treasury of Carthya is, but before they set off, Gregor, a traitor who is on the board of regents, shows up and blows Jeron's cover. Roden shows up as well, and Jeron is in terrible danger. Will he be able to defeat the pirates and stay alive?

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Medieval Action and Adventure

We meet Jaron again at the funeral of his family...only he is so conflicted about this that he is taking a moment in a garden, and Roden shows up to assassinate him.In league with Devlin, the pirate king, Roden grievously injures Jaron, but takes off. When the regents meet, they are concerned about the growing threat of the pirates, but also don't feel that Jaron is ready to rule or that he has good opinions, so they want to send him to hide. Jaron feels that there are a lot of hidden threats both outside and inside the castle walls, so he pretends to hole up in the castle, but runs off. On his journey, he runs into the pirates and saves a young girl, Nila, after her mother has been killed. He returns he to Libeth, where he meets her very helpful grandfather, Rulan Harlowe, who offers him support and a place to rest. Feeling that the evil King Vargen is in league with Devlin, Jaron leaves, only to be turned over to the pirate Erick by a young boy, Fink. Jaron becomes a pirate and is taken to Tarblade, where he must adhere to the pirate code. He pretends once again to be Sage, a thief, and even Imogen (who he sent off from the castle for her own safety) doesn't give him away. Jeron promises the pirates that he will take them to a cave where the treasury of Carthya is, but before they set off, Gregor, a traitor who is on the board of regents, shows up and blows Jeron's cover. Roden shows up as well, and Jeron is in terrible danger. Will he be able to defeat the pirates and stay alive?

Good Points
As in The False Prince, this is a good adventure book with tons of political intrigue and enough sword fights to keep fans of The Ranger's Apprentice happy. It's not really fantasy-- there's no magic. I liked the relationship with Imogen and thought it had a good twist. Harlowe was just wonderful, and I hope to see more of him in the next book. Plenty of villains, and some that weren't completely evil, which is always interesting.
Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • Bonus Scene: The Vast and Brutal Sea by Zoraida Córdova + Giveaway (US Only)

    The Vast and Brutal Sea by Zoraida Córdova Release Date: June 2, 2015   About the Book This epic clash of sand and sea will pit brother against brother-and there can only be one winner In two days, the race for the Sea Court throne will be over-but all the ...

  • Author Top 5 with Catherine Linka

      Today we welcome Catherine Linka to YABC! Zinka's soon to be released sequel to A Girl Called Fearless, A Girl Undone, is sure to appeal to fans of Divergent and An Ember in the Ashes. The next installment in The Girl Called Fearless series will make its debut June 23rd and w ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows + Giveaway (US Only)

    Welcome to another fabulous cover reveal, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE MIRROR KING by Jodi Meadows, releasing April 5, 2016 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Jodi:   ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen. Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody's in everybody else ...

  • Books Aren't Dangerous Campaign

      Do you remember that book that changed your life as a reader, or maybe just your life in general? You do? That’s great!        Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, have started a campaign called BOOKS AREN’T DANG ...

  • TOMORROWLAND - Drive Through Movie Review

    **********NO SPOILERS************ The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, give their thoughts on the new Disney film TOMORROWLAND.    QUESTION: If you could go to an alternate universe what would you want to see there? ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hi, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu, releasing September 1, 2015 from Running Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Maria:   YABC Readers!  I’m so excited to share the pape ...

  • May 2015 YABC Book Haul

    Hey YABCers! Once again, our office has been innundated with books, books, and  more BOOKS! We've run out of shelf space which can only mean one thing .... it's time for the May Book Haul! Enjoy the video and let us know in the comments which books you can't wait to add to your TBR. &nbs ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Insidious by Dawn Metcalf + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hello, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for INSIDIOUS by Dawn Metcalf, releasing August 25, 2015 from Harlequin TEEN. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Dawn:   You know when you finish a story, you never really finish because there' ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York ...

  • The Librarian's Corner

      This month's theme for the Librarian's corner is all about picture books you can share with teens! Picture books aren't just for kids and babies anymore. In fact, teens love storytime too!    For May, I am featuring some of my favorite picture books to share ...

  • The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival

        The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival--TBF 2015 Contributed by Kayla King, Blog Manager and Staff Reviewer   Here at Young Adult Books Central, we LOVE YA! Fortunately for us, The Greater Rochester Book Festival held at Nazareth Collge devotes itself to s ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Family can be a real killer. DAMAGE DONE is a gripping YA debut about a girl trying to escape the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Erica Silverman was abducted at the age of four. She was snatched outside of her kindergarten and never seen again....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
During a diving competition Linda discovers that she has a rare heart condition and is told that her only hope...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Deception So Dark is the complete second novel in the Run to You series, a riveting romantic thriller about a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Deception So Deadly is the complete first novel in the two-book Run to You series, a riveting romantic thriller about...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
1424455187deadlydesigncover.jpg
Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
What do you do with your last day on earth? There are 27 hours and fifteen minutes left until an...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can't go...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A luminous YA love story that evokes Judy Blume's Forever for a new generation. Sarah—Bean to her friends and family—is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
"This is LIFE, people! You've got air coming through your nose! You've got a heartbeat! That means it's time to...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
61K250js3oL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Category: Kids Nonfiction
Discover how Benjamin Franklin’s scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer’s mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. After years of being the subject of ridicule,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The revolution is here. Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a long line of risk-takers and is an avid thrill-seeker in her own right, until she...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Catherine Linka, the sequel and explosive conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless. Having survived a violent confrontation with the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)