Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Review: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Title: The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy #3)
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Source: Library Copy
Content Alert: Violence

In the first book of Jennifer Nielsen's The Ascendance Triology, Jaron rose from orphan boy to king of Carthya. In the second book, he fell in love. In The Shadow Throne, the final installment of the trilogy, both his kingdom and his love are under attack. Jaron, who always has tricks up his sleeve, works to foil his rivals and deals with some unexpected hurdles along the way as this series drives to a satisfying conclusion.

I find myself looking at The Shadow Throne from two perspectives. I'm the mom of ten- and fourteen-year-old boys, both of whom are reluctant readers of fiction. If they're going to keep reading a book, there needs to be lots of action and fighting. They're not really interested in the development Jaron's character over the three stories, and they're only marginally interested in love. If Nielsen is writing to that audience (and I think she is), then she nails it-- this book is nonstop fighting and action, with epic battles. But, I'm more interested in how a character changes over time, and with so much happening in every page of this novel, there's not a lot of room for character development. So is the book written for preteens or for their mother? If for them, it's definitely a winner. If it's for me, the reaction is a bit more mixed.

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