A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Runaway King is the second in The Ascendance Trilogy and, like its predecessor, The False Prince, is an exciting action-filled adventure story. Jaron faces almost constant danger in the form of thieves, pirates, and nobles all intent on ensuring that he does not get a chance to claim his throne. As such, there are plenty of sword fights and near-death experiences, including a scene where someone clubs Jaron's leg, intentionally breaking it. Jaron always has a cocky remark to mask his fear, and he has friends who care for him and do their best to protect them.
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What's the story?
After the harrowing events of The False Prince, Jaron is now the title character of THE RUNAWAY KING and the ruler of Carthya. However, the regents who have been ruling in his stead aren't exactly welcoming him to the throne. Nor do they believe him when Jaron insists Carthya is about to be invaded by another country and the pirates who kidnapped him as a child. Against his best friends' advice, Jaron runs off to join the pirates, believing the only way to stop the invasion is from the inside. Rather than infiltrating them, however, he ends up their prisoner and, once again, Jaron must use his sharp wits, along with a little swordplay, to save himself, his friends, and his country.
Is it any good?
Readers who enjoyed the action of The False Prince will find more of the same here. Jaron runs headlong from one adventure into the next, barely saving himself from danger before an even worse situation befalls him. He is loyal to his friends to a fault, and with a witty tongue to banter with the various captors who nearly kill him, he can be an appealing hero. However, his arrogance can be grating, and the reasoning behind his reckless schemes is often unclear, so he seems to constantly put himself into needless danger. Still, the pacing of this page-turner will probably carry readers along and allow them to overlook these complaints.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Jaron often makes a decision to do something and then, after it is too late, realizes he made the wrong decision. Has this ever happened to you? What did you do to solve the problem?
The fast pace of The Runaway King makes it easy to picture as a movie. Who would you pick to play Jaron? Who would you cast as his friends? Does this book remind you of any movies you've seen?
For part of The Runaway King, Jaron must pretend to be someone else. Do you think a king could get away with a scheme like that in today's world, with such easy access to the Internet and social media?
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