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.
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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