Goodreads Rating: 4.22
A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!
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 his only hope of saving it. 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 have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?
The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!
Overall, not a bad middle book. It took a bit of remembering on my part from the last book (since it had been a while) but it really doesn't act like your typical middle book, where it's sole purpose is to connect the first and third book. It continues on from the first book flawlessly and leaves you with one heck of a cliffhanger to prepare you for the third.
The book starts off very quickly, which is both a pro and a con for me. So much happens in a small amount of time, I didn't have a lot of time to digest what had actually happened and the importance of it (and I'm talking like the first 30 pages). Once I got my bearings, it continued on very much like the first book. The tension and anticipation continues to pick up, drawing you into the story and holding you there.
The characters are much like you remembered them from the first; I personally still love Jaron/Sage :) You meet a few new characters along the way, which are interesting side characters, but the main focus is Roden and Jaron/Sage, where I love the bitter rivalry that's still there. There were some inconsistencies and I felt that some parts were rushed at the end with Roden and Sage, which kept this from getting 4-5 stars.
The ending was awesome, and like I said, it leaves you with one heck of a cliffhanger, which gears you right up for the next book. I loved how everything came to a fairly resolved, satisfying ending (for the most part.... again.... cliffhanger). I definitely wished I had picked up the third book, so make sure you have it handy when you get close to finishing this one.
The Court's Decision: