Last March, I read The False Prince and The Runaway King the first two books in Jennifer A. Nielsen's Ascendance Trilogy. It was love. Not just love, but LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I considered myself lucky that I had waited until the second book in the series had been released. I didn't have to wait! I could continue reading right away! When I received a review copy of The Shadow Throne a few weeks ago, I was oh-so-tempted to read it right away. But I didn't. I thought the book would be even more satisfying, even more wonderful if I took the time to reread the first two books. It was worth the wait.
I thought it was love the first time around. I really, really did. But. If it's possible, I think I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it even more the second time. The False Prince introduces the world and the characters so very well. And its a timeless fantasy story in many, many ways. Even knowing where the twists and turns were going, I still found myself very engaged with the story, still in love with its richness.
From my original review:
I thought this one would be good, but even I didn't expect it to be THAT GOOD. This book is WONDERFUL. Everything I wanted it to be! Readers first meet an orphan named Sage. When we meet him, he's on the run having just stolen meat from the butcher. He is "rescued" from the butcher by someone in the crowd, Connor. But is the rescue genuine? Connor goes with Sage to the orphanage and explains that he's just bought Sage. Sage soon meets other orphan boys his own age that Connor has bought from various orphanages in the land. He's taking them to his castle...
Sage is suspicious fearing that Connor and the men working for him are DANGEROUS. Yes, he could be beaten, he could be imprisoned, but he knows that he could also be KILLED if he displeases Connor. Does knowing this make Sage less defiant or outspoken? Not really.
Connor has a plan--an ambitious plan. The royal family has been killed, murdered, and no one knows the truth, yet. The second son was presumed dead at sea, but, what if one of the orphan boys could assume this second son's identity and become king? Connor wants the boys in competition with one another and in training to become the future king. In a few weeks time, he'll pick the "lucky" boy.
Sage wants to be the boy, for better or worse, perhaps knowing that to fail in this means certain death. But that doesn't mean he likes Connor or trusts him. He doesn't trust Connor...at all.
I loved spending time with Sage! I loved being introduced to this fantasy world!!! I loved the setting, the characterization, the writing!!! This is a magical, oh-so-satisfying read!
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews