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The Runaway King: Book 2 of the Ascendance Trilogy Hardcover – March 1, 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

The Runaway King: Book 2 of the Ascendance Trilogy + The Shadow Throne: Book 3 of The Ascendance Trilogy + The False Prince: Book 1 of the Ascendance Trilogy
Price for all three: $30.65

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Ascendance Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (March 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780545284158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545284158
  • ASIN: 0545284155
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–This sequel (2013) to The False Prince (2012, both Scholastic) continues the saga of Jaron, the young heir to the throne of Carthya, who assumes his crown at a most unfortunate time. His kingdom is ripe for attack by the neighboring country of Avenia and the cutthroat Pirates, and his enemies want him off the throne and replaced by a regent. On the night after the funeral for his entire family, Jaron does the impossible. By sneaking out of the country and reclaiming his former identity as Sage, he pretends to be a young thief and, with the help of Fink, a street urchin, he infiltrates the ranks of the enemy Pirates and gains their trust. Through cunning, sarcasm, and superhuman feats of swordplay, Jaron hopes to defeat the Pirates and weaken the alliance between them and the enemy country of Avenia. Although the adventure is exciting, Jaron is almost too amazingly cunning and strong; he has a broken leg and other injuries but manages to defeat the best swordsman. Charlie McWade narrates this amazing tale adequately; he tends to emphasize vowels and differentiate among male voices very slightly, which can be confusing during tight dialogue. Although the plot seems forced at times, and Jaron is almost too good to be true, the adventure is exciting enough to keep listeners engaged, and ready for the third installment.–MaryAnn Karre, West Middle School, Binghamton, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Jaron, aka Sage, is new to his throne and surrounded by intrigue in this follow-up to The False Prince (2012). As jammed with action and violent swordplay as its predecessor, the plot takes the headstrong Jaron into a pirate stronghold where dangers increase steeply as the young king, in disguise, wrestles with saving his kingdom. Needless to say, he is always, almost fatally true to his character—stubborn and determined to do things on his own. The ending introduces a cliff-hanger of a new threat and will leave fans clutching their skulls. It’s never an easy thing to wait out the writing of a multiple-volume series. Grades 5-8. --Karen Cruze

More About the Author

Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a perpetually muddy dog. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. At one time or another she has been a high school debate coach, theater director, daycare worker, and worked at an assembly of odd jobs so insignificant they didn't even deserve job titles.

Customer Reviews

Great writing, fun characters, good story.
J. Berky
I love everything that happens in this book, from page one to the very end.
Janita @ Book, Interrupted
I recommend this book to everyone and anyone who is willing to read it.
lady sif of asgard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Hosford on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Waiting for me within my mailbox today was Jennifer Nielsen's Runaway King, the anxiously awaited second installment in her Ascendents Trilogy. After very carefully opening my Amazon package (read: frustratingly tugging at the tape until finally finding scissors to open the infernal thing), I quickly delved into the book, becoming immersed within the world that Nielsen has carefully crafted. Reminiscent of Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief Series, the character Jaron, like Turner's Gen, captivates the reader. His confidence, his sarcasm, his quick retorts, and his carefully hidden doubts and vulnerabilities, all create a vivid and beloved main character. Nielson weaves us through his thoughts throughout his journey while still hiding most of Jaron's intent, showing again and again how strategic his mind is--a mind that thinks like a king. As the novel progresses, we get an even better insight to Jaron's kingly qualities, which are qualities that inspire his people and bring hope for his country.

Within the first few pages of Runaway King, Nielsen creates a tense atmosphere. We can feel the weight that has fallen on Jaron's shoulders and the loneliness with which he aches. He is still struggling with coming to terms with his father's dealings with him for the past four years while mourning the loss of his family and the fact that he will never be able to reconcile with them. He also hugely feels the differences between himself and his brother, finding himself lacking. On top of his personal struggles, Jaron also has to watch his back in a court the doubts his abilities as King and openly scorns him. Jaron has few he can truly trust, and he desperately needs friends to help him fight for his right to be king and for his country.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Princess Deb on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I had feelings for The False Prince that I'd never had before with a book. It holds a special place in my heart. After finishing it, I knew I could die happy. It ended on the perfect note, with just enough left open for the reader to imagine what could happen next. But then I found out about a sequel, and I was not happy. There was no way there could be a follow-up to such perfection that wouldn't fall flat.

I should not have doubted.

The Runaway King was even better than The False Prince. Sage is back and better than ever. He's stubborn and cocky and daring. He's got big, king-sized shoes to fill and a bunch of old guys telling him what to do. Luckily he's not one to blindly obey, and takes matters into his own hands, resulting in an unforgettable adventure!

Sage has such a distinct voice. Often, the voices in so many of the great books I've read tend to blend together in my mind after a while. But not Sage's. His personality shines through and makes for a memorable experience.

One thing I was excited about going into things was the prospect of the budding romance between Sage and Imogen finally blossoming. While things didn't go quite the way I'd hoped, we still got to see Imogen, who's a lot stronger than she initially appears. Their interactions were some of my absolute favorite parts.

The Runaway King has a darker, more mature tone than its predecessor, and that definitely contributed to my overall enjoyment. The country is on the brink of war, the stakes are even higher, and there are Pirate Assassins! This is one I will not soon forget, and will be endlessly recommending to readers of all shapes and sizes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jake Duncan on May 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really after all of that build up in the first book he goes missing again. I was underwhelmed by the premise but since the first book was good decided to give the author the benefit of the doubt. It wasn't bad but lacked a little something the first book had. Jaron is a little underwhelming compared to the first book and most of the other characters don't fare better. The only character improved upon is Imogen. The love aspect feels forced but at least it isn't expanded upon much so it might be redeemable. It seems to lack an emotional appeal the first one had for me. Reading about Jaron's mom in the false prince was heart wrenching and nothing in the runaway king could come close to matching that. If you like the series give it a read purely for the (most likely) final book that comes out next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By azalea246 on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's almost frightening how well Amazon knows me by now. I picked up The False Prince, the first book in this series, after an email recommendation from Amazon and I was so glad that I did. The Runaway King picks up shortly after the first ends, with Jaron reclaiming the throne to Carthya. Of course, nothing can go the way it should for our poor king and he is soon forced to make decisions that ultimately end up with him getting punched, cut and basically just beaten up in all sorts of ways. The plotting in this series is really just phenomenal. Everything is so well thought out that every encounter, friendship and foe happens for a reason. Even when I'm screaming to myself that there is no way that this can possibly work out, it does and it does so beautifully.

The characters are the heart of this series and are back in full force. Sage/Jaron is his usual reckless, brash self but he grows so much throughout the book that the last chapter actually had me cheering. The supporting characters bring so much to the story, especially Mott, Harlowe, Fink, Tobias, and yes, even Roden. Imogen is the only character who didn't quite win me over. In this book, she was almost irritating and maybe it was the tiny hints of a brewing love triangle that made me inwardly groan.

So why only 4 stars? The Runaway King does not suffer from second book syndrome in any way. It is a high speed, enjoyable and well written journey but it is missing the surprise and shock that in part made the first book so fantastic. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but it just seemed to be lacking that final element that would push me into reading it into the wee hours of the night to finish. While I was reading, I would think to myself, "this book is great!", but when my bed time came around, I was able to stick my bookmark in and go to sleep without giving it a second thought.
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