Friday, February 5, 2016

The Ascendance Trilogy #3: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)This book is the third and final tale in the trilogy. Carthya is at war with three powerful countries surrounding its borders. Imogen, a very special girl in King Jaron's life, is captured by the Avenians, and they hope to use her to bring Carthya down. Jaron knows this is a trap, and his armies are greatly outnumbered. Mott is sent to rescue Imogen, while Jaron sets out to support his troops. However, Imogen is shot in the chest with an arrow while trying to escape, carried away by a death wagon, and Jaron is devastated. He is captured by the Avenians and tortured for information. He's starved, beaten, and tormented until his spirits are broken, and it looks like the efforts of the Carthyan armies will not be enough to save the country. A hangman's noose awaits King Jaron.

The author always manages to get Jaron into impossible situations; his defiant attitude always makes people angry and complicates his problems. In this book, Jaron is forced to deal with the emotion of love, and he is almost overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being king. Friends become enemies, but help arrives from unexpected characters. The climax of the trilogy didn't disappoint, as Jaron still had tricks up his sleeve, even as he faced death. Again, Jaron's character is the key to enjoying the book. Cocky and confident, his followers never lose faith, and the author provides him with tremendous leadership skills and a crafty mind. I enjoyed trying to figure out how the author would get him out of impossible problems. I mean, Jaron's armies were outnumbered ten to one, the enemy has a cannon, and Jaron is chained to a wall. And that's only the beginning!

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