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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen

Title: The Runaway King
Author: Jennifer Nielsen
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: March 1, 2o13
Publishing House: Scholastic Press
ISBN: 9780545284158
Source of Copy: Purchased from National Bookstore


A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction.
A king gone missing.
Who will survive?

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be this only hope of saving it.

As his adventures lead him into dangerous new territory, Jaron must learn to tell his friends from his enemies and decide who he can trust - if he can trust anyone at all. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he sacrifice his own life in order to save his own life.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


(You can find the review for the first book in the Ascendance trilogy, The False Prince, by clicking here.)
"Is this true?" Devlin asked me. "You're Prince Jaron? 
"King Jaron, actually. News must travel slower amongst the illiterate." -p. 239
My favorite hero is back, and it's not exactly a secret that I've spent the days following the expected release prowling the social media outlets of my local bookstores, just to look for a copy of Jennifer Nielsen's The Runaway King, sequel to the very amazing, very spectacular The False Prince. I think I called up almost every branch in the metro and had reservations made, only to have one branch actually get back to me. (Tsk, tsk.) When the nice lady at the Customer Service area showed me the book, I had to keep myself from squealing. I had only been waiting for the second book ever since I finished the first one after all.

After Jaron's coronation, chaos has nonetheless continued to ensue. With a scheming king and his piratical allies only too willing to overthrow a young king, war is on the horizon and Jaron is forced to look after the only thing that can ensure Carthya's safety - his own well-being. In this thrilling sequel, fans of Jaron will no doubt have another grand time with The Runaway King, as Jaron runs towards the direction he should be fleeing from.
"Are you sure he said 'attack'?" he asked. "Perhaps he meant it in another context."
"Ah, one of the cheery definitions of the word, then?" I asked. "Such as an attack of affection, or an attack of goodwill toward Carthya?" - p.44 

I will not bother to rave more about Jaron/Sage, if only because I have done enough of that in my review for the first book. The only thing I could say about him was that I missed him terribly, and so all the sarcasm he could hurl at people could only sound sweet to my ears. I could very well imagine the tone he uses to disarm people, and the frustration he undoubtedly causes them as well. I don't think anyone can think on their feet as fast as he can, and I imagine it'd be impossible to beat him at chess because of all the moves he's already anticipated. (I think I'd give up from the start because it would drive me crazy.) There is also his character development to speak of, as he has matured from a young boy who was understandably on the look-out for himself, to a ruler who has also decided to finally take the kingdom under his wing. (Yes, under his wing, not the other way around. This is Sage/Jaron we're talking about here.) 

Time and time again, I found myself sitting up straighter when the scenes became very animated, so you can imagine the wonders this book is doing for my posture. There's none of that stereotypical "Arr"-ing, no stray eye patches, or talkative parrots from the pirates. Instead, these pirates are downright threatening and dangerous, and the realistic approach to them that will make you agree that they are indeed the hooligans they are expected to be.

Ms. Nielsen has also confirmed my theory regarding the symbolic names, so I was only too happy to look up the meaning of the names of the new characters in The Runaway King. There's Fink, who is, of course, exactly what his name connotes. There's *Erick, whose Norse name means 'eternal ruler', and then there's *Devlin whose Irish name could only mean 'fierce courage'. 

Whereas The False Prince was heavy with word interplay, The Runaway King is jammed with exciting action scenes. With the third book slated for release next year, 2014 has never seemed so far, far away indeed.



  1. I have the False Prince on my shelf, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Now I'm dying to read it after your review of the sequel. I love how the first one has a lot of word-play and the sequel takes more of an action stance. Great review!

  2. I've read the series and AHHH.. I love Jaron!! He can make me laugh at even the most intense situations haha! How I miss his sarcasm :) Can't wait for next year!

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

    1. Ahah, yes! He has the knack for making his witticisms at inopportune times. :) Thanks for dropping by~

  3. Wow. Nice review! I just started reading the False Prince and I love it! I can't wait to read the Runaway King. I'm so excited! :)

  4. This has been on my tbr list for quite a while.My family loved the false prince which I won from you ;). My kids already read it and begging me to start this one. We always have question and answer portion during meal time.Thanks for posting.

    1. Your comment pretty much made my day. I love that your family loves The False Prince so much! This is really the main reason we like giving books away. -cries happy tears-