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YA Novelties

We're just four ordinary teenagers, Angie, Jenny, Rosie, and ~M, that have have nothing better to do than read.

Review: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King - Jennifer A. Nielsen
Thank you very much Scholastic and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review The Runaway King!

One of the greatest problems that comes with anticipating for books, aka. ‘Books to Die For,’ is when those books are major disappointments, not to mention the waiting. For The Runaway King, I was fortunately surprised to discover that Jennifer A. Nielsen has continued her spellbinding middle grade series with more at stake than ever before. With so many risks, there is always a chance of the story falling off the cliff, but instead we are left teetering on the cliff, always breathlessly at awe of the finesse of this cleverly written adventure.

This time around, Jaron being the king of Carthya is responsible for the problems that his father had timidly pushed off during his reign. War, a frivolous Council of Regents, and assassination attempts are just the beginning to a tumultuous reign for Jaron. To save his kingdom and his life, Jaron will have to sacrifice more than ever before to ensure his country and his own tomorrow.

Let me start off saying that Jaron has grown on me. He’s still the same cheeky brat from The False Prince, but we see some growth and maturity from his old days. His impetuous, sarcastic nature is always amusing and humorous to read about, and so are his enemies’ reactions to his insults and obstinate nature. However, it really makes a person wonder whether or not Jaron is really 14 years old. Can you imagine a 14 year old planning and intruding as deviously and irrationally as him? There are some traces of immaturity when he risks his life and his friend’s lives on some plans that have probably been in his mind since day 1. Somehow they still manage to work despite all of the crap that has happened. It is somewhat intimidating to have to read without having a heart attack when Jaron’s there to magnify the trouble a hundred fold. For such a young guy, Jaron really has so much going for him that it really makes you wonder how can a teenager like exist.

Besides Jaron, there doesn’t seem to be much emphasis put on the other characters. Sure, they are present, but there is not any development of their personalities. We see characters characterize as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but only a minor few have been shown to be middle ground like Jaron. However, that is only the surface that one penetrates. As we delve further into their actions and motives, we see that each character is their own enigma that threaten to outshine Jaron at many points of the story. I do wish that there was a greater focus on these supporting characters, but Jaron alone is enough to carry the book with all of the nefarious schemes he has in mind.

After barely surviving the adventure of The False Prince, The Runaway King was one of the reads that I was most looking forward to this year. Thankfully and somewhat annoyingly, The Runaway King comes with more dares, risks, and adventure, making this book the ultimate middle grade adventure. If you have not yet read The False Prince, I’m begging you to read this as soon as possible because you need to pick this one up now!