Monday, February 24, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: The Shadow Throne (ARC)

The Shadow Throne (Ascendance, 3) by Jennifer A. Nielsen, February 25, 2014. 336 pages. Published by Scholastic. Source: publisher.
One war.Too many deadly battles.Can a king save his kingdom, when his own survival seems unlikely?
War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.

His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya's throne?
First Sentence:
In my life, I'd had my share of fights, sometimes with fists, sometimes with knives, occasionally with a sword. 

While I don't usually wait days to start on a review, the final book in Jennifer Nielsen's Ascendance trilogy required days of thoughts just to wrap my brain around the end to a series I thoroughly enjoyed discovering just this year. It is more than her fabulous writing and ability to tell an engaging story that makes it hard to sum up one's thoughts, it is the whole package when it comes to the series. Seriously, I hope that y'all will take the time to read one of my (new) favorite series/authors because you will be pleasantly surprised by what you find within the binding.

The Shadow Throne at times broke my heart, like when a couple of the characters lives were in peril (again); thrilled me with the intensely dramatic scenes as Jaron fought against all who were determined to tear his country apart; and finally, left me extremely satisfied with the way Ms. Nielsen closed out this amazing series.
    While there are a ton of things that happened in the final installment, many of which I'd love to talk endlessly about with you, I'm going to leave it to you to discover all the twists and turns hidden within this great book/series.

One of the reasons I enjoyed reading about Jaron so much is that you never really knew what he had up his sleeve. I really enjoyed never knowing just what he was thinking or planning in that crazy head of his. In the end, you always felt like he was three steps ahead, even when things were at there worst. From start to finish, Jaron is one character who will keep you, and even me, glued to the pages as you follow his journey from lost prince to king.
  Seriously though, Jennifer Nielsen did a wonderful crafting Jaron, and her writing is so good in this series that it'll probably be my top recommendation this year.

Always sad to read and then review the final book in a series you love. One of the reasons I really enjoyed reading The Shadow Throne is because the ending was more than I could ask for. I just feel that the author, Jennifer Nielsen, did an amazing job closing out the series on a strong note.
   I can honestly say that the ending of the Ascendance trilogy was one of the most satisfying and strongest series enders I've read. Questions were answered, yet, the endgame was no piece of cake. I'm not going to tell y'all what happened, just know that there will be things that will tear at your heart and make you grin.

So, while I am saddened to be saying goodbye to Jaron with the close of the final chapter in The Ascendance trilogy, I am looking forward to seeing what Jennifer Nielsen is cooking up in her next writing venture.

When you read The Shadow Throne I highly recommend sitting aside the time to read it from start to finish. Why, because once you start in on it you are not going to want to put it down till you've read every single page. Trust me.

Final Verdict: The Shadow Throne- An epic conclusion to one of the best fantasy series I have had the pleasure to read. Jennifer Nielsen's writing is sharp and poignant and her characters will pull you right into their lives. A truly great series for readers of all ages.

The Shadow Throne earns 5 out of 5 griffins

This book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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