The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy Book 3) Review

Book:  The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy Book 3)

Author:  Jennifer Nielsen

Publisher:  Scholastic Press

Genre:  Adventure series;  Fantasy; YA Fiction

Synopsis:

3 against 1.  The odds are far from Jaron’s favor as his neighbors from Avenia, Mendenwal and Gelyn band together to attack his kingdom Carthya.

As King, He would do anything to protect his people.  But as a man, he dares not sacrifice the lives of his men, least of all the ones he loves, including Imogen, who has been kidnapped by Avenians.

Jaron knows the Avenian king especially wants to humiliate and destroy him.  Much as he wants to go after Imogen himself, he has to trust his friend and protector Mott to do so.  Instead he goes to help Rogen, the captain of his army.  This after sending off his regent Tobias and his not-quite adopted brother Fink with Princess Amarinda, his betrothed.  Upon finding out the Avenian king’s plot to capture Mott, Jaron himself goes to try a dangerous rescue mission which fails miserably.

Weak and battered physically and emotionally, Jaron has to find within himself the strength and will to rise beyond all expectations and use his quick mind to outsmart all those who seek to destroy him and his beloved Carthya.

Review:

How do I begin talking about the end of one of my most loved trilogies?  With great difficulty and excitement.

Difficult because this is the last I will go with Jaron/Sage on his deadly adventures.  But with much excitement because The Shadow Throne is full of that and more.

The orphan who turned king is still reckless as he has always been but is now fearful of possible outcomes, especially for the people he cares most about.  Imogen, Mott, Roden, Harlowe, Tobias and Princess Amarinda, the loss of any of these would destroy whatever has healed in him since he lost of family.

Pushed to the wall by three kingdoms out to destroy him and take Carthya for themselves, Jaron pushes back the only way he knows how….with cunning, pre planning and much luck.  With one of these gone everything would fall apart. Much depends on his quick thinking and faithful friends and men who sacrifice themselves willingly for the life of their beloved King and Carthya.  Jaron has proven himself wise and capable to his own people, now he has to prove the same to everyone else.

I expected much from Jennifer Nielsen based on the two previous Ascendance books.  I knew she would save the best for last, that Jaron would be at his best and worst… And that everything would fall apart before being put back together….that Jaron himself would fall apart.  I expected it all…and Nielsen gave it all.  This book is perfection.

My heart broke when Jaron’s broke, tears came forth when **** died, I gasped when Roden uttered that powerful yet seemingly meaningless name, my heart swelled at the loyalty shown by Tobias and Mott’s bravery and sacrifice.  Then there’s Princess Amarinda, whom I hoped Jaron would fall in love with…

Powerful.  This book is emotionally powerful and riveting.  And at the end, there is much rejoicing, for who can put Jaron down?  Much will be sacrificed in The Shadow Throne. If you think you know who his enemy is…. The real enemy…..you just might change your mind at the end.

It is rare for a book to captivate me so fully, yet that is what this trilogy has done.  The Shadow Throne is beautifully written with a well crafted plot that would keep you up all night.  How Nielsen imagined Jaron’s story and told it perfectly is beyond me.  My children and I will be enjoying this for years to come.

You HAVE to read this. Once you pick it up, you won’t put it down.  Consider yourself warned.

“Tell me you’re not broken.  I know you must feel that way but you can rise from this.”- Tobias

“How do you know?  Do you bear the weight of an entire kingdom on your shoulders?  Has an enemy country focused all it’s resources on destroying you?”- Jaron

“No.”- Tobias

“And did they take someone you love?”- Jaron

“No, she’s……. Jaron, did you love Imogen?”-  Tobias

“I loved everyone who’s been taken from me.  So don’t tell me when I’m allowed to break.”- Jaron

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