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Author: Jennifer Nielsen | Website | TwitterRelease Date: March 1st, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press | Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy | Pages: 331 |

I start wrapping up my fantasy month this week, but I just had to squeeze one more great read in. Ok–so I might be knee deep in about three other fantasies still–but I’m branching out next month, really.
I am so excited about today’s read though because I fell so in love with this series just a few weeks ago that I had to keep reading it, AND the last book comes out in a only a few weeks, so I really don’t have to wait that long!

I borrowed a copy from my local library.
I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine. Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted every Monday at author Shannon Messenger’s blog


Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

-via book jacket

5 Reasons Why This Books is Marvelous!

  1. I really have a long middle grade queue of books, and I’ll admit, most of them are fantasy. But since this series swept me up a few weeks ago, I really just had to keep getting lost in this world. Neilsen created such a intricate world in thThe False Prince that I hoped it would be just as imaginative and real in this second book. Boy was it! As a reader believing in this make-believe world, it was important to me that details carry over and characters stay true. Though we are introduced to several new characters in this book, they are all so very realistic and true to this created world. My belief was cemented, and I had hard time putting this book down when I had too.
  2. In fact, at the end of book one, we’re introduced to a new character, Jaron. He play a significant part in The Runaway King–but my favorite, Sage, is back. As I said in my first review, there’s just something about Sage that strikes me.  He is much more hard headed and stubborn in this book, but there is also a deeply compassionate side that made me love him even more as a character. If you related to him/liked him as a character in the first book, prepare yourself to be even more amazed in this one. So as to not have any spoilers, there is a scene (ok, there are several scenes) that show not only Sage’s perseverance, but his tender heart. Nielsen truly has developed a wonderful character with Sage, and I can only wonder how he will grow in book 3.
  3. I’ll also admit I was super worried about second book syndrome–would this book be a placeholder? Would I get bored with the storyline? etc. But, as much as the story continues to arc in The Runaway King the story also stands alone. It’s just as, if not more!, adventurous this time around.
  4. Which–that adventure?–I totally know it’s because of the pirates! Oh yes, not only do we get to escape into this world of kings, kingdoms, and sword fights, but we’re introduced to an element of pirates. In fact, most of this story takes place in the pirates realm, and to see how they live and behave only adds another dept to the story arc. Honestly, I feel the pirate element is what sets this story apart as its own, but it also plays into the deeper conflict of the entire story. Also, one of my least favorite characters from the first book comes back into play, and in a much different way that I expected! Be excited.
  5. I’m usually not a huge fan of cliffhanger endings in series, but I think that’s because I’m usually up-to-speed with the book and have to wait forever for the next one. This time around, The Runaway King ends with this stab to the gut scene that really just makes me want to pick up book three right away. Unfortunately, I do have to wait–but only four weeks. I suppose I can handle it– but that ending! Be ready–you’ll probably want to have book 3 on hand.

must-readBook Talk: Have you made it to The Runaway King yet? What did you think of the story line? Adventurous? Predictable? Did it make you excited for the third and final book?