In the final volume of the Ascendence Trilogy, Jennifer A. Nielsen concludes the eventful story of a young boy ascending to his place as the leader of his country. If you have not yet read The False Prince and The Runaway King, you should start with those (in that order) as this is a true trilogy in which the story continues from one book to the next. (And, you should stop reading here to avoid any spoilers.)
Jaron is again fighting for his people, this time because war has come to Carthya. But the stakes go even higher when he discovers that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen. Jaron must save her, even if he knows it is a trap for Vargan to capture him and claim lordship of his country. Jaron's knack of encountering everything that could possibly go wrong follows him on this journey to find out how much he can handle and how much he can lead.
His loyalty to his friends makes him willing to sacrifice himself for them, and puts him in the gravest of danger, but finding new allies within old friends helps and learning the true strength of loyalty, integrity and kindness goes a long way.
I was sorry to see the last page of The Shadow Throne (Lexile: 810; Interest Level: Grades 5-9) turn, and I found myself wishing for just a little more, even though the author neatly finished the story she was telling. Definitely a worthy ending to an intriguing series. (336 p.)
Jennifer A. Nielsen continues the story of The False Prince in The Runaway King (Lexile: 710; Interest Level: Grades 5-8), the second book in the Ascendence Trilogy. During the funeral of Jaron's parents, right after he has been named King, a former friend tries to assassinate Jaron in his own garden. This attempt lets Jaron know that there are still problems for his beloved Carthya, and it is up to him to sort them out and keep his people safe.
Jaron steals away from the castle, putting into place a series of events that could bring either safety or destruction to his people. Following a path that lets him see what is really happening in his kingdom, who his friends really are and a chance to find allies in unusual places, Jaron goes back to living by his wits on the street.
If you haven't read The False Prince, you should definitely start there before reading The Runaway King, and then follow it with The Shadow Throne, the final book in the trilogy (see upcoming review). I find this series fascinating because it is a prince as the main character and his choices show grace, intelligence and grit galore! (352 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.