Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Summer Challenge: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Middle Grade)

I have very mixed feelings about this book. The beginning felt like the exact same as how most of The Runaway King went, with Jaron locked up in jail with “no means of escape.” But the buildup to the ending and the final few pages were a better conclusion than I could have ever pictured!


Series: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 3

Genres: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure

Rating: 4 stars


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.

Book Review:

I have very mixed feelings about this book. The beginning felt like the exact same as how most of The Runaway King went, with Jaron locked up in jail with “no means of escape.” But the buildup to the ending and the final few pages were a better conclusion than I could have ever pictured! Unfortunately, because of the amazingly unpredictable (for the most part) and complex nature of this book, there is very little I can remark upon without spoiling the entire thing for all its readers.

I know that in my last review of The Runaway King, I mentioned being dissatisfied with the fact that Jaron/Sage doesn’t make enough mistakes, always having a trick up his sleeve. Rest assured, this book has much less of that, and Jaron gets in plenty of pickles — only getting himself out when entirely necessary!

Kate wants to add that she loved Jaron’s final plan, but found that a lot of other pieces of the story were very predictable and sometimes seemed too easy, for example (small spoiler) the ease with which Jaron snuck into enemy camp and blew up their deadly cannon.

Without giving too much away, I just want to say that I adored the ending to this book — it was the perfect fairy tale ending to a wonderful middle grade series that certainly had its low points but its high points and its ending made up for it all.

Another fantastic (and more glowing) review I recommend is from The Hopeful Heroine blog, which you can read here.

Genre Review: Middle Grade

Although many deaths do occur, (spoiler) they are only in minor characters. The fact that this is true is something that in my mind made this book more on the middle grade side than the young adult side, though there were many times that I doubted this to be true (phew– it was quite hard to not just break down and give it all away there!).


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This entry was posted on August 6, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Author: Kate, Middle Grade, Review, Young Adult and tagged , .
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