Publisher's Note:  

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.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic

The Runaway King

by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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Overall Review:  

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen, meets and exceeds all expectations--and after the first book, The False Prince, they are high!  While many second installments in a trilogy are merely place-holders, The Runaway King holds its own as a swashbuckling tale in its own right.  The characters (familiar and new) are vivid, the dialogue is witty and intelligent, the action is so brisk the reader can hardly keep up.  Nielsen writes in a no-nonsense fashion that is unusual and refreshing in its lack of detail.  The subtleties of language and character interaction more than make up for extraneous descriptive details.  Granted, the reader is left wishing for more, especially in the romantic aspect of the story; this could be seen as either a positive or negative trait.  The nonstop action, subtle wordplay, budding love triangle and cliff-hanger ending leave the reader anxious for the next book, yet closing the cover with a satisfied smile. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:   An assassination attempt, threats, various swordfights, punches, kicks, hits, slashes, injuries without detail; mock swordfight; a character dies from undescribed attack; a burglary and threats with a knife; a character is forced underwater; a duel; a character is stabbed and killed; a character's leg is smashed and broken; a duel on broken leg, brief description of setting the leg.

Sex/Nudity:  Two characters hold hands briefly.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, Pirates, Duels.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character is given sleeping powder.

Reviewed By Kristen
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