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The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2)

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,696 Ratings  ·  2,420 Reviews
A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

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 feel
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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YA Novels of 2013
78th out of 1,520 books — 10,843 voters
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Middle Grade Novels of 2013
2nd out of 365 books — 730 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jennifer Nielsen
Oct 05, 2013 Jennifer Nielsen rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I admit it. I'm biased. This was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you have fun reading it!

Mostly I wanted to thank those of you who have read this book and been so enthusiastic about this series. Every one of you who has picked up the book has my gratitude.
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Apr 11, 2016 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Rachel Maniacup

I will make this as quick as possible since this was a quick read just like the first book so points for that. I enjoyed the writing that is engaging to read. I liked the new character Fink (and his uncanny talent in throwing spontaneous tantrums, lol) and ultimately the reason I enjoyed the story but the plot has become predictable, even a little far-fetched. I think the predictability of the plot could be blamed to the first person narrative. I could confidently say this time that the third pe
Mar 24, 2016 Riley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, ya-fantasy
I have so many feelings about this right now.
Jun 24, 2013 Mandy rated it really liked it
Just... Imogen and Jaron.

..Why this star-crossed lovers situation?! Why Jennifer Nielsen?!?!?!?!

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As if I haven't suffered enough from Percy and Annabeth at the end of The Mark of Athena. Sheesh.

Princess Amarinda is a nice young lady and all, I mean we simply cannot hate her. But come on... we all know Jaron and Imogen are MEANT to be together.

They are the couple right next to Percy and Annabeth. That's right, PERCABETH.

Now, I think Jennifer Nielsen did a wonderful job at recapturing Jaron's stu
Feb 26, 2016 Masooma rated it liked it
Right in front of you is a mouth-watering pudding which whispers promises of a guaranteed time in heaven with each bite but just as you've your first bite, you realize something is missing. You're sure tour taste buds made a mistake because looks can't be that deceiving, right? So you take another bite. This time toy realize something is definitely missing, maybe low sugar content. But you still eat because the same chef just yesterday made the best chocolate pie in the world and it's pudding af ...more
Experiment BL626
After the awesomeness that was book 1 — read my review for book here, I held high expectation for book 2. Woah did I regret doing that. Book 2 exercised my suspension of disbelief hard. Immediately, there were signs portending disappointment. Towards the ending, they bloomed like prickly weeds, and I was left with a rather bitter taste as if I literally ate a weed.

+ the protagonist
Jaron bugged me. He was rude to the people who didn’t deserve it. No, I did not care it was intended to distance and
Rachel Maniacup
I've never been so happy after reading a second book in a trilogy! This series changed everything I've dreaded when reading a 2nd book because it is often times the downer,do you agree?

And now,I am telling you that this is the perfect sequel to the first book,that I found myself instantly drawn into the story as it picks up where the first one ended. And again,I loved everything in this book as the story and the adventures of the MC resumed to amaze me. If you loved SAGE in The False Prince,you'
Madison ♡
Mar 21, 2013 Madison ♡ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: proreview
Curse you Jennifer A. Nielsen. Curse you for ripping out my heart and stepping on it and making me die a sad, bookless death. Ugh.
Like, seriously.
Okay, let's start with characters. Roden actually showed dimension! We didn't see much of Tobias, but I liked him when I read about him. Let's just say this: WHY DO ALL MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS BECOME EVIL OR DIE? Good thing my favorite character decided to be awesome in the end.
Now, in my review for The
Feb 09, 2016 Alafiya rated it liked it
P a t h e t i c.

Guys, I have a white flying unicorn. A flying unicorn that vomits ice-cream and is glittery. When it farts a genie appears that grants wishes.
Do you believe me? Prolly not. I don't believe me either. But nice thought, eh? Exactly like this book. All sorts of unrealistic things happened in this book but somehow I liked it enough to give it three stars.

In this second instalment King Jaron is attacked. Not with affectionate hugs or something like that (pun intended) but an attempt
Robin (Bridge Four)
The False prince was a fast and fun tale that had a nice twist at the end that made the book all the more enjoyable. While I liked the Runaway King it didn’t quite capture the same feel as the first book. Sage now Jaron is King of a land on the brink of war. But he isn’t quite the same boy, he is a little bit snarky with everyone around him to the point that it is almost annoying and slightly whiney. But I guess I might be a little hostile is someone tried to assassinate me in the very first cha ...more
bibliophile (Romance Addict)

4 Stars!!!

“Everyone gets scared at times. It's only the fools who won't admit it.”

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Series: This is the second book in the Ascendant series by Jennifer A. Nielsen. The first book is The False Prince.

Story: We follow Jaron as he took his rightful place and became the king to Carthya. However, his job isn't as easy as it seems since Avenia, the neighboring country, wants to start war. After an attempt to take his life, Jaron decides he should take matter in his hands, and sets out to find the Pira
Flashback to 2012: The False Prince was coming out, and I really, really wanted to read it. It had been a long time since I'd been so excited for the release of a non-sequel book. And when I finally read it, it was awesome. Not five-stars awesome, but pretty close.

And then this book happened. It's rare for a sequel to improve on its predecessor, but Jennifer Nielson pulled it off. I applaud her for that. At this rate, the finale of this series will be utterly fabulous.

This book is just so muc
Sarah *on hiatus*
Mar 15, 2016 Sarah *on hiatus* rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
The first book was a complete surprise while the second book although just as engaging to read as the first one has lost the element of newness. It still has that fast-paced plot and easy to read language but I don't think the plot has become more complex than that of the first book. If anything, it has become more predictable. I like the characters though, both the old ones and the new ones so there's that and it's interesting to see how a young boy tries to prove himself really worthy of the t ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Gavin rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This was of a similar quality to the first book in the series. It was a fast paced and fun read even if it does not have the most complex of plots. This is a book aimed at younger readers so the heroes a heroes and the villains are villains! Despite that the characters are a likeable and interesting bunch and the plot held my attention.

The story picks up where things ended in The False Prince with Jaron now being crowned King. Unfortunately for Jaron this is just the start of his problems as ne
Jan 10, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
3.5-4 stars. It was a slow read for awhile, the first half of the book seemed to drag on a bit. However it's a quick read and the last 100 pages or so definitely make up for the previous 200. I really think this is another example of second book syndrome, it just didn't come close to being as good as the false prince, and kind of left me feeling like I wanted more. (which is a good thing in a trilogy I guess?) I mean it's still a really good book and I'm super excited for the third, so it succee ...more
Feb 10, 2016 Connor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
That was incredible! Truly. The beginning was a little slow, but once it got going, I was so hooked. This book has such a mixed bag for what my friends on goodreads end up rating it, but I thought it was amazing. I loved the additional characters. I loved the old characters. I loved the plot and the direction the story is going. I just loved it.
Jan 03, 2016 Daphne rated it it was amazing
My reaction when I was accepted by Netgalley:

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The first novel in the Ascendance Trilogy, The False Prince, literally changed my life forever. Every time I was caught in a sticky situation, I immediately asked myself, "What would Sage do?" In fact, I was surprised that I even had the ability to talk coherently or function like a normal human being after I finished it. Jennifer Nielsen is that good! So when I saw that the sequel already had a epic name and donned a simple yet intriguing cover, I w
Jun 12, 2015 TL rated it it was ok
Buddyread with the lovely Melissa starting on the 14th :)

Tried but this one, for me anyway.... failed to live up to the charm of the first book. It started off okay but I got frustrated with some of the writing and decisions Jaron made. It did start to get more interesting once Jaron's plan came into being but by then I just couldn't anymore.

Aah well, on to the next
Nicay ✘ ❝thenerdysideofaqueen™❞

After Jaron, the new King took his throne in Carthya, it didn’t end well as I think. Everyone except the one he knows didn’t agree with his control over the country. Many of them gave their opinions that he was reckless in terms of decision making and he was too young to be a King. And the regents decided that he must replace by a steward or a representative in the throne until he is ready to take it. The regents especially the captain didn’t believe there would be an attack in Carthya by the
Dec 01, 2014 Conor rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 05, 2013 Grace rated it it was ok
It wasn't a good sign when I hit a scene a few pages into the book and actually put it down to sigh in disappointment. After really loving the False Prince, how could I be so disenchanted with the Runaway King?

In the first book, Sage is interesting because he has some sort of secret agenda that crops up in weird actions and inexplicable skill sets. It's great, and I was hooked. But here? Here he is just rude and stupid. He does dumb things supposedly with a master plan in mind, and I think it's

I don't want to say much about this installment for fear of spoilers.

This was a very good follow-up to The False Prince. The fast pace and clever exchanges were continued, with the addition of some slightly more mature outlook on Sage's part, and a bit of relationship entanglement. The plot stood on its own as a middle book in this trilogy, and I'm really looking to reading the final book and seeing how it all works out in the end.
Lindsey Rey
Jan 11, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
[4.5 Stars]
Wowza! Well done, book! Another five shining stars!
So remember in my pre-review when I said that I loved this book so much, however, it wasn't quite favorites shelf?

Yeah.....I changed my mind.

It's going in

This is going to be a fairly short review.
The main thing you need to know is that the book was awesome!!
So awesome :D

Jaron goes to the pirates disguised as his alias, "Sage", partially because stupid Roden tried to assassinate him, and partially because he wants revenge on the pirate king who a
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
BBB buddy read

Things didn't get interesting until about halfway through or so, but the pirate storyline was good and now the third book is a must-read. Again, I would probably like these a lot better if I was a bit younger and didn't think certain tropes were extremely predictable. I am interested to see how this love-triangle-ish thing works out, because I'm positive we haven't seen the last of Imogen.
Oct 26, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
If The False Prince existed when I was in middle school, it probably would have changed my attitude towards reading. When I read, it was because I had to. Both books and fun never entered my equation unless the thought was something like, "Wow, this book is sure keeping me from having fun." Luckily, my patience has grown some and now I can appreciate different types of stories. What I would have done for a False Prince.

Sage was the character I needed. In the hands of Jennifer Nielsen, he fulfil
Khanh (the Grinch)
Such a disappointment. It was deadly dull and lacking in much intrigue, and a huge letdown after the first book. Book one was wonderful, I was completely absorbed in the plotting and the competition, and the strays were interesting characters themselves. The scheming and plots that made the first book great were lacking here, I felt, and this was a chore to finish. Jaron and Roden bugged me so much. I hated their relationship. I also felt that Jaron made some decisions that were completely lacki ...more
Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
I am truly impressed by this series so far! The trilogy is definitely darker and more complex than the typical middle grade fantasy. Can't wait to read the last book!
Cee (The Mistress Case)
The second book has romance? Oh man, please don't let it get on my nerves.

And please don't let The Runaway King suffer from second book syndrome. I'll sell my soul if I have to.
Jun 27, 2012 Melody marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I for real need to read this book. I have no doubts it'll do the first justice and even surpass The False Prince.
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Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has f ...more
More about Jennifer A. Nielsen...

Other Books in the Series

The Ascendance Trilogy (3 books)
  • The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)
  • The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)

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“Everyone gets scared at times. It's only the fools who won't admit it.” 148 likes
“You wouldn't want to be king of my country," I said.
"Why is that?"
"Well, you're rather fat. I doubt you'd fit onto my throne.”
More quotes…