Too many deadly battles.
Can a king save his kingdom, when his own survival seems unlikely?
War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.
His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya's throne?
Rousing and affecting, Jaron's adventures have thrilled and moved readers in The False Prince and The Runaway King. Journey once again with the Ascendant King of Carthya, as New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen brings his story to a stunning conclusion with The Shadow Throne.
Released: February 25th 2014 Pages: 336
Publisher: Scholastic Press Source: ARC received through NetGalley
I have a little bit of love for this series. That is, if you define "a little bit" as enough to make me do this as I began reading:
The thing about this series is that it's just so much fun. It's genuinely funny in places. So many characters are awesome and lovable. At its heart, it's a story of adventure and coming-of-age, and it never loses sight of this in favor of overbearing romance or other angst like so many other YA novels. Part of this is probably due to the fact that it straddles that line between middle grade and young adult novels, and so can have the best of both worlds.
Even if it was an incredible amount of fun to read, The Shadow Throne is the darkest novel of the trilogy. The plot stretched the main character, Jaron, to his limits. I saw a new side of him. In this book, he has the weight of an entire kingdom on his shoulders, and it affects him. He constantly underestimates himself, but in reality, he's one of the strongest characters I've ever read about. Why are girls so in love with fictional guys like Four/Tobias, Will Herondale, or the ever-present Edward Cullen? I'd take Jaron over them any day.
Besides, Jaron knows how to sass anyone and everyone, and he's hilarious about it. Sarcasm is his defense mechanism, and his one-liners were some of my favorite things about the previous two books. The Shadow Throne didn't disappoint:
"'As you were told, we immediately sent word of your death far and wide, along with an offer to your prime regent for peaceful surrender.'
'I'm glad you're offering,' I said. 'He'll happily accept your surrender.'"
Jaron has a spot on my list of favorite fictional people. It's not just him that I love, though--so many characters in this series are just so fantastic. More than once, I found myself thinking, "How does Jennifer Nielsen make everyone so flat-out lovable?" Imogen and Jaron's relationship is adorable. Tobias showed some surprising (but welcome) depth, and Roden was just...Roden.
My only complaint is that the ending was predictable. I won't believe anyone is dead anymore unless I see a body. And, sure enough, I was right. Then again, I can't complain too much, since I loved the ending anyway.
I'm truly sad to see this series end. It was truly a pleasure to read. It's rare when an author can make me love a character this wholeheartedly, and get me to truly feel this character's pain. And then add a little humor to make me laugh. I loved trying to figure out how Jaron would escape the increasingly impossible situations he got himself into. I highly recommend this series, and I'm anxious to read Jennifer Nielsen's next book (which looks awesome, by the way).