A fitting end to the Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer Rush

After I read The False Prince, I wrote a blog about whether or not one can trust a narrator who lies, and Jaron is certainly that. Throughout the third and final book, he deceives us readers with his tricks and his unrevealed plans and his secret alliances.

The Shadow Throne has everything the first two books had: action, adventure, and deception, but it is also far darker than the previous books. Jaron is pushed beyond his limits and almost breaks. It was refreshing to see that the clever boy king could endure loss and abandon hope, that he could fight his way back from rock bottom.

It was a satisfying end to the series even if I felt that too many of his plans were kept hidden. I was left thinking, if all of this has been in place all along, was there really any threat to Jaron and his kingdom? How did he make so many alliances and plans without revealing them to the readers until the last possible moment? Sure, it builds suspense, but it also builds suspicion from the reader. I felt a little too kept in the dark. I found myself not really believing any looming threats or danger because I knew some big Jaron twist would come along and reveal that a contingency plan had been in place all along which negated the level of the threat to begin with, and that became true and a bit disappointing the further I read.

There were a few other things that irked me but to discuss them is to drop major spoilers, so I will refrain for now and wait until after the book is published to expound.

Don’t get me wrong. I still liked the book. I like the cast of supporting characters. I liked the ending of the series. I guess I just had a harder time buying into The Shadow Throne than I did The False Prince and The Runaway King.


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