Book Review: The Shadow Throne

Book Review: The Shadow ThroneThe Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #3
Published by Scholastic Inc. on February 25th 2014
Pages: 336
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One war.
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?

The Shadow Throne is a book I was highly anticipating, being the final book of Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy. Jaron is back and although injured in the previous books, he is forced to go to war as the neighboring countries start attacking Carthya. Imogen, Jaron’s beloved, has been captured by Vargan and he must save her, but he cannot leave while war is being prepared, so he sends Mott in his place. Unfortunately, it was a trap and so Jaron must set out on his own to recover both Imogen and Mott.

My first impressions after reading The Shadow Throne was first the ups and downs that really make me love the series. The witty banter of Jaron always helps, but I felt like I was missing Sage a bit as Jaron could not hide his identity anymore. My husband read the book soon after as well and told me about the same, that he always much preferred Sage’s recklessness and carefree attitude. He thought the book was bogged down because Jaron had to step up to his role as king and honestly he was not very good at playing that role.

I almost reread this one and may still since I read it as an ARC version to see if anything changed to make it a little more cohesive. I think if you loved both the two previous books, The Shadow Throne will move you just as much. I felt like the second book slipped a little bit and although it is fun to see how Jaron will get out of sticky situations, it starts to get a little too unrealistic.

I felt the same way about The Shadow Throne, things work out a little too cleanly at times. For all that is said though, I could not put this last book down. I wanted to know what would happen next, so despite the flaws, I really whipped through this book and still love the pacing of the series, throwing you from one adventure to another. I think this series will appeal to fans of The Ranger’s Apprentice and won’t be as long of a commitment as it is only a trilogy instead of a dozen or so books.

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