February 12, 2014

Book Review: THE SHADOW THRONE (The Ascendance Trilogy Book 3) by Jennifer Nielsen

Book:  The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy Book 3)
Author:  Jennifer Nielsen
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Genre:  Adventure series;  Fantasy; YA Fiction

“Tell me you’re not broken.  I know you must feel that way but you can rise from this.”- Tobias
“How do you know?  Do you bear the weight of an entire kingdom on your shoulders?  Has an enemy country focused all it's resources on destroying you?”- Jaron
“No.”- Tobias
“And did they take someone you love?”- Jaron
“No, she’s……. Jaron, did you love Imogen?”-  Tobias
“I loved everyone who’s been taken from me.  So don’t tell me when I'm allowed to break.”- Jaron

Synopsis Via Goodreads:

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?

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

My  Summary:

3 against 1.  The odds are far from Jaron’s favor as his neighbors from Avenia, Mendenwal and Gelyn band together to attack his kingdom Carthya.  As King, He will do anything to protect his people.  But as a man, he dares not sacrifice the lives of his men, least of all the ones he loves, including Imogen, who has been kidnapped by Avenians. 

Jaron knows the Avenian king especially wants to humiliate and destroy him.  Much as he wants to go after Imogen himself, he has to trust his friend and protector Mott to do so, and instead he goes to help Rogen, the captain of his army.  This after sending off his regent Tobias and his not-quite adopted brother Fink with Princess Amarinda, his betrothed.  Upon finding out the Avenian king’s plot to capture Mott, Jaron himself goes to try a dangerous rescue mission which fails miserably.

Weak and battered physically and emotionally, Jaron has to find within himself the strength and will to rise beyond all expectations and use his quick mind to outsmart all those who seek to destroy him and his beloved Carthya.

My Review:

How do I begin talking about the end of one of my most loved trilogiesWith great difficulty and excitement. 

Difficult because this is the last I will go with Jaron/Sage on his deadly adventures.  But with much excitement because The Shadow Throne is full of that and more.

The orphan who turned king is still reckless as he has always been but is now fearful of possible outcomes, especially for the people he cares most about.  Imogen, Mott, Roden, Harlowe, Tobias and Princess Amarinda, the loss of any of these would destroy whatever has healed in him since he lost of family.

Pushed to the wall by three kingdoms out to destroy him and take Carthya for themselves, Jaron pushes back the only way he knows how....with cunning, pre planning and much luck.  With one of these gone everything would fall apart. Much depends on his quick thinking and faithful friends and men who sacrifice themselves willingly for the life of their beloved King and Carthya.  Jaron has proven himself wise and capable to his own people, now he has to prove the same to everyone else.

Author Jennifer Nielsen
I expected much from Jennifer Nielsen based on the two previous Ascendance books.  I knew she would save the best for last, that Jaron would be at his best and worst... And that everything would fall apart before being put back together....that Jaron himself would fall apart.  I expected it all...and Nielsen gave it all.  This book is perfection 

My heart broke when Jaron's broke, tears came forth when **** died, I gasped when Roden uttered that powerful yet seemingly meaningless name, my heart swelled at the loyalty shown by Tobias and Mott's bravery and sacrifice.  Then there's Princess Amarinda, whom I hoped Jaron would fall in love with...

Powerful.  This book is emotionally powerful and riveting.  And at the end, there is much rejoicing, for who can put Jaron down?  Much will be sacrificed in The Shadow Throne. If you think you know who his enemy is.... The real enemy.....you just might change your mind at the end.  

It is rare for a book to captivate me so fully, yet that is what this trilogy has done.  The Shadow Throne is beautifully written with a well crafted plot that would keep you up all night.  How Nielsen imagined Jaron's story and told it perfectly is beyond me.  My children and I will be enjoying this for years to come.  

You HAVE to read this. Once you pick it up, you won't put it down.  Consider yourself warned.

Photos have been lifted from the author’s site at http://www.jennielsen.com/

Here’s my review of The False Prince and The Runaway King:

The Shadow Throne will soon be available at National Book Store branches nationwide


  1. Thank you Ms. Lyn Ching, if not for you I wouldn't be able to discover False Prince. It's now my favorite book. I always recommend it to my friends who is a bookworm like me. Thank you so much!!!! :) :)

    - gail :)

  2. Thanks too Gail. I am only too happy to recommend books that i read and love myself, and this happens to be one of my favorite trilogies. Enjoy the books! and Please do tell your friends about them as well as my blog. Thank you! :-)