Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)

Nielson, J. (2014). The shadow throne. NY: Scholastic.

Middle Grade / Young Adult Fantasy
336 pages
3 out of 5 Stars

And the trilogy is tied-up in a nice, neat bow! I liked this final book of THE ASCENDANCE TRILOGY for just that reason: questions were answered, predictions were confirmed, connections made, loose ends tied.

Our main character, Jaron, is maturing and as happens with maturity and the responsibilities he has, he is not quite as amusing as he was in prior stories. None of the characters are as amusing, but that's a logical consequence of war and the problems war brings.

Though war is a central theme, it is not an overly violent book -- truly, less violent than its predecessors. Most war scenes are summarized or vaguely described, so that the readers know the battlefield is littered with the dead and dying, but not a whole lot more than that.

There are plenty of positive messages, which was a plus, but the story got a bit repetitive and formulaic with Jaron's decisions and their consequences. Those formulas also pushed the boundaries of being believable when they worked time and time again.  I needed a big fat failure at some point!

Happily, there was one surprise in the ending, and the need to know how everything would turn-out drove me, not unpleasantly, forward; however, each of the first books I read in one day and this one stretched to a week, so that says something. Recommend for ages 10-14 who have read the first two books.

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