Something for the weekend!
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Title: The Shadow Throne
Release date: 6th of March 2014
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #3
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Historical, Adventure, Action
Published by: Scholastic
Pages: 352 in Paperback format
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository
War has come to Jaron's kingdom.
When Jaron learns that Imogen has been kidnapped, he knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission.
With his friends flung far and wide across the land, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves.
But will Jaron still have his throne when the war is over?
This has been one of my top favorite series since book one and I’m quite picky with my favorites so not everything can reach such heights for me. I was quite exited for the conclusion for this amazing series, but to some degree I was let down. I mean, it’s a well-written book with lots of action, twists and revelations, yet some of the aspects that had me originally praise this series to the skies so much were kind of lost, lessened or took turns that I didn’t enjoy very much.
My main con: All the obstacles and dire situations Jaron found himself in seemed too easy and convenient, the odds weren’t always in his favor yet everything managed to fall in to place too smoothly. Yes, he was street smart and a great strategic thinker, plus reckless and not afraid to take risks – he was one hell of a combination – but still as a reader I knew that nothing overly bad will happen and, however unlikely, there will always be something that helps him out of any hassle he finds himself in. I found him being several steps ahead of others or being able to think up plans for escape or win too easily like it was nothing – and everything more or less worked out in the end. Maybe I’m babbling and talking nonsense, but I don’t know, there was something that bothered me regarding this topic, which is a paradox because this was something I absolutely loved about Jaron in the previous two books.
Another slight con: Jaron had genuinely grown into a noble, resilient and wise king in this book – it was a long journey for him. I appreciate the development from street rat to ruler, but I started to root for and adore him because he was this cunning underdog daredevil with sass and no manners, I just feel that he changed too much, well, in essence he was the same just more regal and aware of his responsibilities, but I wanted my basic and primitive street urchin back! As they say: it’s not you, it’s me. Also, how many beatings and torture can he take!? I was seriously afraid of him permanently and seriously being damaged by what he was forced to go through.
But, I don’t want to only highlight what didn’t work for me, because despite my whining and completely subjective opinion I really liked this book and I think it was an ideal conclusion to the series. All loose ties were wrapped up and I was really left satisfied when closing the book.
The pace of the story was fast, Jaron and the other main players were constantly on the move, here, there and everywhere. The book really flew by. I also liked some of the developments in relationships between the main characters, there were some interesting revelations and get-togethers, some resolved conflicts and final confrontations in the making since book one.
As I’ve already mentioned Jaron is the boss, despite him being too above everyone else intellectually in this book and physically getting too many beatings. He’s the perfect combination of smartass, smart, crazy and kind – a character you can’t help but root for and enjoy reading about. He’s still one of my favorite main characters in YA and I will think back fondly towards him and the series.
Although the least book is my least favorite, it was still a satisfying conclusion to the series. I also confidently recommend this series to everyone, you might be as surprised as I was on how good it actually is and you definitely won’t regret taking it up!