The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) by Jennifer A. Nelson
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!
This one, surprisingly, didn't suffer from Second Book Syndrome to me. I thought it was just as good as The False Prince and enjoyed every second that I was reading it.
I don't understand why Jaron was so rude to people that did not deserve it. I want to say it was all stress related and that he was trying to adjust and assert himself, but it was just unnecessary to me. In the first book he was so clever and witty but that doesn't show up in this one. He is more a child of happenstance in this one with the plot just magically working in his favour. Because he is reckless and he was definitely reckless in TFP but he is even more reckless now. I am not sure I am a fan of him as King.
And I like Roden but I don't understand the heavy favour of Jaron wanting Roden to be on his side. I think Jaron should have been doing everything in his power to ensure Roden never came near him again. I would have liked Roden to stay as his enemy and be the villain rather than join his side. But then I realize that this is Middle Grade writing and that definitely will not happen. But it would be sick if it did. I would enjoy the story 10000 times more if that were the case.
As much as I love pirates, I thought these ones needed a little work. They were built up to be so fearsome and gruesome but when we meet them they are not that scary? I would have liked them to be a bit more violent if I had my way. I just don't think they were well developed or written enough.
But I did love the plot. I loved the idea of Jaron sacrificing everything for the good of his people. And I loved the overarching plot of the story and can't wait to see where the conclusion takes us. I liked the romance and I liked how it was handled -- although I wasn't a fan of Amarinda being used to that extent.
Overall: 4/5 stars for this one!