The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen | Book Review

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Ascendance Trilogy #2)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: eGalley (courtesy of Netgalley)
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publication Date: 1 March, 2013
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!

“Above all else, I think that you are a compulsive liar."
My laughter was tense, but sincere. "Hardly. In fact, I consider myself a compulsive truth teller. It's only that everyone else seems compelled to misunderstand me.” 
-Devlin & Sage, The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
I began The Runaway King with the fear that it wouldn't live up to The False Prince. Sage's character is just such an interesting one, and while I had really enjoyed reading about him in The False Prince, I was afraid the dreaded second book syndrome might make an appearance and ruin him for me.

No such thing happened. Sage's stubbornly nonchalant attitude is back, and as fresh as ever.

In The Runaway King, the stakes are even higher for Jaron as he goes back to being Sage to save his life. His kingdom is on the verge of war, the council won't listen to his ideas, and he knows he can hardly trust anyone. So he does what any king masquerading as an orphan boy named Sage would do: goes on a quest to solve all the problems on his own.

The adventures and dangers Sages talks his way into are fun and exciting, and he even manages to reveal a few more of his trademark secrets in a fashion that only he could. His half truths and secrets are my favorites to try and figure out, even if they were a little easy to figure out this time. :)

I think the weak point in the story is that the villains are pretty clear right from the beginning. Some are purposely revealed, but another isn't disguised very well, making the rest of the book one long wait for Sage to catch up. There was also a part during the story where events unfolded in a way that went against what we know of the characters involved. I can't explain any more of that without giving anything away.

Even with those things, it is still an exciting addition to the Ascendance Trilogy. I enjoyed going along with Sage as he struggled and made hard decisions. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Temp. Guide
Read this if:
...you like interesting MCs, have a good sense of humor, and have a nose for danger.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the arrows to reveal the text.
>>Some violence (your average pirate and assassination attempt stuff).<<

For those who have read the book:
>> What did you think about the ending? What do you think will happen next?

Me: I really liked that Jaron doesn't end up with the girl he wants; not because I'm cold-hearted, but because I love how mature they all were about it. They each chose country over themselves, and I really respect that. Even though the last page shows that this will probably change when he goes to rescue Imogen, I still think it was very well done. 

Your thoughts? <<

My Review of The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)

Purchase The Runaway King:
Jennifer Nielsen:
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  1. I so excited to read this! AH!

  2. I'm really excited to read this! I hadn't realized it was coming out so soon. I couldn't resist your spoiler warning, so I took a peak and found that I'm okay with that? Well, we'll see when I finally get to read it.

    1. Sorry, I couldn't resist talking about it. I'm glad you're okay with it though! I'd love to see if you feel the same way after reading it. :)

  3. So glad it doesn't have second book syndrome. I'm eager to get to this one!

  4. I haven't read the first book but I love a book with a great MC. :)


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