Author: Jennifer A Nielsen
Series: 3rd (The False Prince, The Runaway King)
Published: February 25th 2014 by Scholastic Press
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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?
I Give This ...
Anticipation could not have been higher when it came to this book. I'll be the first to sing my praises for this series, so this last book in the series had a lot to live up to. Jennifer Nielsen pulled it off with a bang.
I've come to expect a lot from Jaron. He's basically the complete package. He's smart, resourceful, courageous, and cares for his country. He's going to do anything in his power to prevent a complete takeover from another country. It also kills him to know that to do this there will be loss of life on both sides. It's a price he has the hardest time paying and I think that shows honor as well.
I admired that fact that the author was not afraid to take this story to the brink of despair. Characters die that you would think would make it to the very end. I honestly had no idea if Jaron would save the day because King Vargon always seems one step ahead. How is it that Jaron never really gives up hope? Even when it seems like there is no way out, Jaron is willing to trade his life to bargain for his people.
Our cast of characters fill out the rest of the story beautifully. They all have a role to play even if they don't know the ultimate plan that Jaron has. It makes those final moments that much more suspenseful. I even got one of those rare surprises and someone ultimately wasn't on the side I thought they were on.
I can not recommend this series enough! It's well rounded, has awesome characters, and rich world building. I think I need to seek out this author's previous books and I look forward to what she offers in the future!