The Runaway King (Ascendance Trilogy Series #2)

The Runaway King (Ascendance Trilogy Series #2)

4.7 119
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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The highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster, THE FALSE PRINCE!

Filled with danger and excitement and deadly twists, comes acclaimed author Jennifer A. Nielsen's extraordinary second installment in the Ascendance trilogy!See more details below

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The highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster, THE FALSE PRINCE!

Filled with danger and excitement and deadly twists, comes acclaimed author Jennifer A. Nielsen's extraordinary second installment in the Ascendance trilogy!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


A NEW YORK TIMES Notable Children's Book
A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" Children's Book Selection
A Chicago Public Library "Children's Books for Year-Round Gift Giving" Selection
Winner of the Cybils Award for Middle-Grade Fantasy & Science Fiction

"Sage proves to be a compelling character whose sharp mind and shrewd self-possession will make readers eager to follow him into a sequel." --WALL STREET JOURNAL
"A swashbuckling origin story . . . chock-full of alluring details for adventure-loving boys." --LOS ANGELES TIMES
"An impressive, promising story." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
"Ruthless ambition, fierce action and plotting, complex characters, and lots of sword play keep pages flipping." --KIRKUS
"Should appeal to fans of . . . Suzanne Collins. . . . A sure-fire mix of adventure, mystery, and suspense." --THE HORN BOOK


"High adventure abounds with nail-biting drama." --KIRKUS
"Nielsen tells an exciting, breakneck tale. . . ." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A fast-paced and thrilling read with twists and turns that never let up." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"As jammed with action and violent swordplay as its predecessor." --BOOKLIST
"A great read." --THE HORN BOOK

VOYA - Dotsy Harland
The saga of Jaron, who is also known as Sage, continues in Nielsen's sequel to The False Prince (Scholastic, 2012/Voya February 2012). Jaron has ruled the medieval kingdom of Carthya for a very short time when he manages to foil an attempt on his life by his onetime friend, Roden, who has now teamed up with a ruthless group of pirates. Jaron realizes that an attack by the pirates is imminent and that the only way to save Carthya is for him to do away with them singlehandedly. Posing as a common thief, Jaron manages to infiltrate the band of pirates led by Devlin, the pirate king. After numerous twists of fate, he manages to defeat Devlin and his henchmen and return victoriously to Carthya as king. This second book in The Ascendance Trilogy has no shortage of deception and intrigue, and even offers a touch of romance. Jaron is an ethical, mischievous character with a wry sense of humor, and the story is told in first-person from his perspective. Unfortunately, the other characters in the novel are rather flat, and it is difficult to feel any real empathy for or interest in the majority of them. While much of the action is lively, the plot tends to be convoluted and hard to follow in places. In spite of its shortcomings, however, this novel has plenty of heart. Readers who relish adventure stories and fiction about kings, queens, and their kingdoms will most likely enjoy this trilogy. Reviewer: Dotsy Harland
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
The action begins with the very first line of the book—"I had arrived early for my own assassination"—and it does not stop until the end. When Jaron's parents and older brother are murdered, he is crowned King of Carthya. However, since he is underage, the regents believe it is in the best interest of the country to name a steward to rule until Jaron is old enough for the responsibility. With the King of Avenia and a band of pirates ready to attack Carthya's borders, Jaron decides to take on the pirates by becoming one of them. Unsure of whom he can trust, and not wanting to endanger his friends, Jaron sets out on his own. This is book two in the "Ascendance Trilogy." The author provides enough background from the first book to inform the reader, so this can be read independently. Readers will want to read the final volume, since book two ends with the beginning of war. Fierce battles, warm friendships, and swashbuckling action keep the story moving. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Jaron, aka Sage, from the The False Prince (Scholastic, 2012), has been king of Carthya for a month. On the night of his family's funeral, he is attacked by Roden, his former friend. The assassination attempt fails, but Roden warns him that pirates will destroy Carthya if he does not surrender in nine days. Knowing that the people closest to him are in the most danger, he sends Imogen away by pretending he no longer cares for her. Gregor, the captain of the guards, wants him to go into hiding and have a steward installed until he is of age, but Jaron has a plan. He will once again become Sage and go to the pirates alone. Through Fink, a local boy, Jaron joins a band of thieves whose leader, Erick, escorts him to the pirates. Once Jaron is branded as a pirate he must decide the best way to challenge Devlin, the pirate king, and stop the impending war against Carthya. Complicating matters is Imogen's presence as a serving girl, her attempts to save Jaron from himself, and the arrival of Gregor. The truth emerges after Roden returns from sea and paves the way for a resolution that satisfies everyone. Despite the intricate and often convoluted plot, this is a fast-paced and thrilling read with twists and turns that never let up. Students will likely devour it and eagerly anticipate the conclusion to the trilogy.—Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 5–8—This sequel (2013) to The False Prince (2012, both Scholastic) continues the saga of Jaron, the young heir to the throne of Carthya, who assumes his crown at a most unfortunate time. His kingdom is ripe for attack by the neighboring country of Avenia and the cutthroat Pirates, and his enemies want him off the throne and replaced by a regent. On the night after the funeral for his entire family, Jaron does the impossible. By sneaking out of the country and reclaiming his former identity as Sage, he pretends to be a young thief and, with the help of Fink, a street urchin, he infiltrates the ranks of the enemy Pirates and gains their trust. Through cunning, sarcasm, and superhuman feats of swordplay, Jaron hopes to defeat the Pirates and weaken the alliance between them and the enemy country of Avenia. Although the adventure is exciting, Jaron is almost too amazingly cunning and strong; he has a broken leg and other injuries but manages to defeat the best swordsman. Charlie McWade narrates this amazing tale adequately; he tends to emphasize vowels and differentiate among male voices very slightly, which can be confusing during tight dialogue. Although the plot seems forced at times, and Jaron is almost too good to be true, the adventure is exciting enough to keep listeners engaged, and ready for the third installment.—MaryAnn Karre, West Middle School, Binghamton, NY

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Ascendance Trilogy Series, #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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