by Jennifer A. Nielson
IT'S ALWAYS QUITE bittersweet to reach the end of a series, particular one that I have enjoyed thoroughly and has tucked me into bed quite soundly in the early hours of the morning. The Shadow Throne, by Jennifer Nielson, is the final installment in The Ascendance Trilogy. And, it does NOT disappoint!
Though born into royalty, life has been anything but easy for Jaron. From outwitting Connor Bevin’s treasonous game in The False Prince, to conquering the Avenia Pirates in The Runaway King, Jaron returns in The Shadow Throne as the Ascendance King of Carthya.
But…War is here.
And, it’s here with a vengeance! Three countries launch simultaneous attacks on Carthya with King Vargan of Avenia stopping at nothing until Jaron meets his demise, including the kidnapping of Imogen. Conflicted, Jaron must choose between his kingdom or his heart.
Everything that could go wrong…does. Imogen is imprisoned, the Princess Amarinda is missing, Roden and Tobias are flung far and wide across Carthya. In a desperate attempt to save his country and the people he loves, Jaron embarks on a daring, if reckless, attempt to change the course of the war. Despite the terrible disadvantages that Jaron constantly faces, there is always an undercurrent of something more than Jaron lets readers on. And as the outcome of the war changes its trajectory many-folds, readers will be left guessing until the very end who will be victorious.
By far, this Jaron has been quite enjoyable to read. The lost of those dear to him, the positive people he surrounds himself with, and the responsibilities that he shoulders as king, have groomed him into a remarkable young man full of compassion and some humility. Though, readers will still enjoy his lightening-quick wit. I found myself passing the time in my son’s martial arts class, giggling like an idiot, to Jaron’s remarks punctuated precisely at the right moment in the storyline to deliver the perfect punch line.
It is a difficult thing – to write an ending that appeals to everyone. The last few chapters felt rushed, with a highly unexpected twist that came out of nowhere with a particular foe. Regardless, Ms. Nielson writes with such fervor and excitement that she has a fan in me. Until your next book Ms. Nielson…