Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Ascendance Trilogy series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. Thanks to NetGalley and Scholastic Press for giving me the chance to read this book. I absolutely loved The False Prince and thought The Runaway King was good as well. To be honest, I thought this book was the weakest in the series. It does wrap up things nicely though.
Carthya is facing war. When King Vargan of Avenia kidnaps Imogen, Jaron wants nothing more than to drop everything and rescue her…but he is sure it is a trap. With the support of his friends he must hold off the invasion of Avenia and other neighboring kingdoms as well. Will Jaron survive this epic battle to keep Carthya independent and free?
This was a decent conclusion to the series, but I didn’t feel like it was as good as the previous two books. The plot got very repetitive. Jaron walks into what he knows is a trap despite everyone’s warning, gets caught, and does something crazy to escape…this was pretty much the story over and over. There are a lot of escapes and twists and turns in the story that feel incredibly contrived, it had be rolling my eyes a bit.
For some reason I felt like the dialogue between characters was a bit awkward as well. There is a lot of grandstanding and a lot of the characters making speeches about love and honor. I just felt like the characters were talking at me, rather than talking to each other.
This book is pretty much battle after battle, not my favorite thing to read about. There are some daring adventures and escapades as well, but it is mostly Jaron and company running from battle to battle trying to fight off the invasion of Avenia.
All the above being said there are some great things about this book. Jaron has matured some. Although he still makes plenty of poor and rash decisions, he has learned to accept support from his friends. He has also learned how to lead people and drive them to want to do well for themselves and for Carthya. His maturity is very apparent in the way him and Amarinda have started to work together. These two have developed a solid friendship that strengthens the kingdom greatly.
It you do enjoy reading about battle after battle, this book has a lot of excellent battle scenes that are well done. The story is fast-paced and somewhat engaging. I just didn’t feel as drawn in to the story and had trouble relating to the characters this time around.
Overall an okay read. I loved The False Prince and thought The Runaway King was pretty good, but this book for me was the weakest of the three. It felt like something that had to be done in order to wrap up the first two books. For me this book was more of a struggle to get through than a joy. Some of the character development is well done, but most of the story just drags the reader from one battle to the next. I guess I would recommend reading this is you have read the previous two books since it does wrap up the series nicely. There are better middle grade fantasy series out there though.