Book Review: “The Shadow Throne”

“The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy #3)” by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Other Ascendance Trilogy books

Source: Netgalley in exchange from an honest review [Thank you!]

Summary from Goodreads:

One war.
Too many deadly battles.
Can a king save his kingdom, when his own survival seems unlikely?

War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.

His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya’s throne?

This book is scheduled to be released February 25, 2014.


Wow, this story was action packed. I do love action but it was almost too action heavy in this book. One of the reasons I liked the other books so much was there was a good balance of action with the politics/drama. To me it felt like there wasn’t enough explanation for why the countries were fighting each other. I really wish the author did some quick recapping of who everyone was because I had a hard time remembering what had happened in previous books. It wasn’t too bad once I got into the groove of the book but I know I had a hard time getting going because I had forgotten what happened in the last book.

I’m still undecided on Jaron’s character growth. He’s definitely one of my favorite royal figures in literature because he’s willing to do anything for his country and people. He’s not risking his life selfishly. He doesn’t particularly even want the crown. He just wants his people, his country, and his friends safe. That’s the kind of king I want. I think his recklessness is toned down a bit which is good. [That really annoyed me in the previous book.] I just wish he would become a bit more levelheaded. Luck and tricks aren’t what you should be relying on to save you. It does make for a good show but it’s not something to always count on.

The characters got a bit sappy but in the end I didn’t mind because they ended up happy which is what I really wanted. We knew Amarinda wasn’t in love with Jaron but was still planning on marrying him because it was what the countries required so it’s not a terrible surprise that she falls for one of Jaron’s friends. We also knew that Jaron wasn’t in love with Amarinda but loves Imogen. It wasn’t a big surprise for them to end up together. There were some other pleasant surprises for the other characters in the end.

The bottom line? It was a good end to a good series. I definitely recommend the Ascendance Trilogy for those looking for a good adventure and a good story.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Shadow Throne”

  1. I have to be honest, I mostly scanned this to see if you liked it because I haven’t read the second one yet and didn’t want to spoil myself TOO much. But I really enjoyed the first and plan to read the second one ASAP. Sounds like this third one is at least good enough to make reading the series worthwhile!

    • It’s definitely on par with rest of the series. Try to read 2 and 3 pretty close together if you can. It will help the story make sense (which was my biggest problem with the book).

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