Sunday, February 2, 2014

Shadow Throne: Terrific Ending to an Intriguing Trilogy

Premise: The official tagline says it all - Can a king save his kingdom, when his own survival seems unlikely?

Title & Author: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Realistic Fantasy
Series or Stand-alone: Book 3 in the Ascendance Trilogy (The False Prince)
Content appropriate for: Grades 5-8
Format: Digital ARC thanks to Scholastic via
Publication Date: February 25, 2014

Three adjectives that describe this book: adventurous, action-packed, dangerous

I was beyond excited to receive an Advanced Reader Copy from Scholastic. I absolutely loved the scrappy scheming of the first two books, The False Prince and The Runaway King. I was hoping for a lot more of that in this final book. Maybe even an epic amount of scheming. I suppose those expectations made The Shadow Throne a bit slow-going a first. Don't get me wrong - there is scrappy, sneaky, intrigue - just not at the beginning.

Consider yourself warned:
If you find yourself missing the old Jaron - because now that he's king he has been captured and had the scrappiness beaten out of him - have faith, you will see that Jaron again and your patience will be justly rewarded.

The Shadow Throne focuses on a war in Carthya. This war has been brewing throughout the series and now it is finally arriving at Carthya's borders. Shockingly outnumbered, King Jaron must find creative ways to fight his enemies. But before even the first battle, Jaron is captured by enemy soldiers and held for questioning behind enemy lines.

Though slow-going at first, The Shadow Throne really graduated these characters from scrappy, inexperienced orphans to carefully-plotting, duty-bound leaders. The action and battle scenes are wonderfully written, and Jaron's sneaky plots are perfectly executed.

Overall, The Shadow Throne is a perfect ending to this wonderful trilogy. I consider the series an excellent introduction to my favorite genre, castle-intrigue. Taken as a whole, The Ascendance Trilogy is the complete package with engaging writing, complete characters, and an edge-of-your-seat plot.
4 stars


  1. Jennifer Nielsen via TwitterFebruary 3, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    @msnorthrup Thanks so much, Amanda. I'm glad you enjoyed it!