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 Shadow Throne is the final entry in the The Ascendance Trilogy, following The False Prince and The Runaway King. It opens at the beginning of a war and ends when it's over, but the horror of the many battles fought is generally summarized rather than described in detail. One character is captured and hurt by his captors, and several main characters are severely wounded as a result of the war.
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What's the story?
The boy king Jaron is finally ready to take his rightful throne as ruler of Carthya, but his enemies have other ideas. With invasions coming at him from both borders of his country, Jaron must use all his cunning to defeat his enemies and rely on his friends to help him carry out his tricky plans.
Is it any good?
All the loose ends of the previous books are tied up nicely in THE SHADOW THRONE, but the plot seems forced and unrealistic. For example, during a time of war, King Jaron repeatedly wanders the countryside in enemy territory with no guard or accompaniment, despite the fact that every time he does this, he's captured and endangers himself, his friends, and his country. In addition, much of the action is summarized rather than shown, so it might be difficult for readers to feel involved in the suspense of the story.
However, The Shadow Throne does provide a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy in that it answers some of the burning questions raised in both The False Prince and The Runaway King: Will Jaron ever willingly accept the burden of ruling a country? Will he survive his own recklessness if he does? And will he ever resolve the problem of being betrothed to one girl while loving another? Readers who enjoyed the first two books will want to read this final entry.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about trilogies and how popular they are. Do you think it makes a story more or less powerful to be told over three books?
Which is usually your favorite entry in a trilogy: the first, second, or final book?
How is the way war is fought in The Shadow Throne different from the way wars are fought today? How much do you think the ability to communicate digitally affects the outcome of modern wars?
- Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publication date: February 25, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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