Review Detail

5.0 1
Middle Grade Fiction 983
A great continuation of old favorites
Overall rating
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*I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review*

Jaron has returned with more trouble, but this time the stakes are much, much higher… If you think the first three books were exciting, then The Captive Kingdom will blow your mind with even more actions and emotions.

After bringing peace to Carthya, Jaron and his friends are attacked by Prozarians and unfortunately held captive. What could Prozarians, a people that was believed to have gone extinct, possibly want with Jaron? Jaron is of course trying out crazy ideas to save his friends, but his captor, the Prozarian Captain Strick, seems to have just as many tricks up to her sleeve. Could Darius be alive, as Strick claims? Could Jaron save his friends? And could Roden finally, finally find a love interest?

For those who have read the trilogy and love Jaron, I’m happy to tell you that Jaron is exactly like we knew him from the trilogy. Even after so many years, the author did an excellent job getting back to Jaron’s voice. He is still naughty, mischievous, humorous, and ready for some trouble. (Speaking of humorous, I literally laughed out loud only two sentences into prologue!) The reading experience is like meeting a long lost friend. You will recognize him the first moment you see him, but you also get to see how he has grown into this person you always knew he would become. In The Captive Kingdom, we get to see more of Jaron’s past, know more of his thoughts and growth. As Jaron uncovered his past and secrets, he encountered self-doubt, friendship crisis, and inner struggles. It’s another great coming of age story that will excite you and move your hearts.

Aside from Jaron, characters we love and hate from the trilogy have also returned with their backstory. I love Jaron’s interaction with others and how he developed empathy for his friends. I especially love Jaron and Roden’s! There are also new friends and enemies with distinct personalities. There’s also lots, lots of secrets between them. You’ll have to follow closely though, because this time, everyone seems to have secrets of their own.

Also, The Captive Kingdom is full of twists and turns, ups and downs (mostly downs… after all, he’s Jaron), and brilliant plotting that will keep you on the edge of your seats. It’s a total page-turner. (I finished it in two days!) Something dramatic happens in nearly every chapter, making me want to shout, or cry, or scream. The story fits so perfectly and naturally with what happens in the trilogy, yet it’s still unexpected and surprising. You wouldn’t find the gap or awkwardness that usually happens in long-time follow-ups. I could totally believe only three months pass between book 3 and book 4.

The Captive Kingdom is strongly based on the previous books, so you will have to read them first to understand. If you read them a long time ago, I would encourage you to reread the trilogy, but it’s not necessary as long as you remember major events. If you haven’t yet, I strongly urge you to pick up the first book, The False Prince! It’s definitely worth your time!

The Captive Kingdom promises a roller-coaster ride about secrets and trust, family and royalty, friendship and love. Old readers will find themselves once again mesmerized by Jaron’s charm. For new readers, I recommend this series to people of all ages who wish to go on an epic adventure.

(And *scream* I can’t wait for book 5!!!! I believe it will be epic!!!)
Good Points
1. The characters stay true to their personalities in the first three books.
2. It's full of twist and turns that makes me pleasantly surprised!
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