Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)” as Want to Read:
The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Shadow Throne

(The Ascendance Series #3)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  23,884 ratings  ·  2,905 reviews
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
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Scholastic Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Shadow Throne, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kathy first one is definitely the best of the three, but they all give work together to make a series worth reading with a worthy ending.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,884 ratings  ·  2,905 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My reaction when I saw that cover:

I can't wait.

I will legit break down.

I need this book.

I need it now!


I lied. I can't wait this long.


I'm going to start crying.



Alright! We are at 23 days and counting. SO EXCITED!!!!!

OK YA'LL WE ARE AT 15 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

We are at 6 days. WE CAN DO THIS EVERYONE!!!
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first book in this trilogy is better as a stand-alone than with the other two. The second was good enough. This... I felt like I wasted my day reading it.

There were so many obvious twists, it was sort of pathetic. The main character felt sort of bland at this point. It also seemed like it was trying to be an actiony-adventure war story, but at the same time trying to apologize for making war look interesting, with what felt like throwaway lines about how horrific it all was. All in all, it j
Rachel Maniacup
My heart is aching while I'm writing my review on the final sequel of this series because it's hard to say goodbye to the books/novels you've been deeply attached with,especially with the best characters you'll surely miss..

In here,Sage's character had grown strong because of his anger to what had happen to his country,that he plunges himself into a dangerous,reckless(as usual)attempt to save his country,his friends and the people he loves as he face the WAR from three different countries/kingdo
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dear Universe,
I have just finished reading The Shadow Throne, so you may not want to talk to me for a while. And unless you want to hear me jabbering about the sheer awesomeness of Jaron, Mott, and Amarinda, I don't want to talk to you either. You see, this book delivers. Remember in the first book of the trilogy, when Jaron fooled us all with his unreliable narrator skills? Remember the second book, when we bashed our heads into the pages shouting, "What are you doing, you stupid boy? You'll ge
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

This is a really solid middle grade fantasy series. I listened to the audio and found myself wanting to stay in the car longer so I could listen to the end. Love Jarron and all the characters. I think Jennifer Nielsen ended this series really well.
Lindsey Rey
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
[3.5 Stars]
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-books
I enjoyed the first two books in The Ascendance Trilogy , but I did not enjoy this final instalment of the series quite as much.

Jaron is now King of Carthya, but he must learn how to lead quickly as Carthya is being invaded by three separate neighbouring countries. The most difficult of the invaders, Avenia, are lead by the vengeful and greedy King Vargan. To complicate matters even further King Vargan has kidnapped Imogen, the girl who Jaron loves. Jaron, with the help of his friends and allie
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should make a new shelf called 'books-that-kill-me-slowly-with-their-absence'
*narrows eyes*
MARCH 2014?

May I say this 1000% met my expectations of overwhelming amazingness!!!
*cries more*
But, AH-HA, is that a new series I hear in the distance???!??!?? THE PRAETOR WAR????
No one plays with
Not sure what all else I can say about this book. But like any good high fantasy finally, it ends making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love this series, perhaps because of Jaron, who is literally one of my favorite characters that any one has written. And I love his plots and schemes, I love that he always has a plan yet never has a plan. I love a lot of the other characters. Sometimes I wish there was more detail in some of the descriptions (like about Connor) and plots, but over all I ...more
Nov 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists

I loved the first book. I liked the second.

This one made me want to scream loudly and publicly and then spear it to the wall with my knitting needles.

Nielson's writing wasn't up to par. The entire book consisted of telling versus showing and I was just bored. Look at my read dates. It took me a month to read it because I was reading a copy at B&N and I didn't care enough to go back sooner. I also live an hour away from B&N, but if I was really desperate I could have wrangled it.

I was
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was ok

Ugh. My reaction to finishing a book should not be, "Oh, thank goodness that's over!"

This is possibly a three-star book on its own merits, but compared to the first two books in this trilogy, it was a real disappointment. As this aimed for a darker and more serious, mature story line to wrap up Sage's character development from trouble-making boy orphan to a capable, adult king, it lost most of the humor, charm, and cleverness that were such highlights of The False Prince and The Runaway King
bibliophile (Romance Addict)
****4.25 STARS!****

I'm quite shocked honestly.
I really enjoyed reading this novel.
It was kind of dark.
Had a lot of clever plans made by Jaron.
Made me giggle with excitement.
& definitely had my eyes sweaty.
I really like it.

“Nobody gives you respect in this life. You must take it, you must earn it, and then you must hold it sacred, because no matter how hard respect is to attain, it can be lost in an instant.”

 photo fanart____by_nekharmony-d66cxm5.jpg

This is the third installment of The Ascendant Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen.
After the first book, the series rapidly went downhill, IMO. I absolutely adored the first book. It was a five-star, gold medal, 1st place brilliant perfection. Second book was a bit of a disappointment, but nonetheless enjoyable.

Then The Shadow Throne happened. And I am so, terribly disappointed in how subpar this is when compared to the brilliance of The False Prince.

Firstly, let's talk about Imogen for a second. Actually, a bit longer than a second, because I have a lot to say about her. I do
jv poore
Oh how I’ve missed these colorful characters! Jaron’s wit sharpens with anger and whenever he and Roden are in the same country, Jaron fairly idles at anger. Admittedly though, his previous journeys seem to have smoothed out some of his rough edges and forced a bit of maturity. From the first leg of adventure when Jaron, Tobias and Roden were yanked from the orphanage in The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, Book I) , to Jaron’s capture by pirates in The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
A very satisfying ending to the trilogy, I wish a bit more time was spent at the end of the book instead of a kind of abrupt summation, it felt right. I found this book to be a bit predictable to a certain extent, and I did notice some repetitions in regards to situations the characters find themselves in. However given what this trilogy is, I enjoyed it very much. I really enjoyed the characters, the plot isn't super deep, but I think the ability for the author to make the reader connect with t ...more
Erica ♋️✨
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book broke my freaking heart and put it back together again. I can not wait for the fourth book in this series ❤️😭
Muse-ic ♬
Favorites!!! Because it was awesome and it's the final installment in one of my favorite trilogies of all time that you guys should TOTALLY read!
Buuuuuut I had to remove a star for this one.

As much as I loved this book, I had to deduct a star because too many things were too perfect, convenient, and well-timed for our characters.
Jaron is a smart guy. Really! And he plans things so far in advance. But literally the combination of events that took place were about as normal as all the
Oh Jaron. You never cease to amaze me.

Favorite Quotes:
"Nobody gives you respect in this life. You must take it, you must earn it, and then you must hold it sacred, because no matter how hard respect is to attain, it can be lost in an instant." I nodded my head toward the garrison. "Go get it, Roden. People won't follow a leader who doesn't know where he's going. Show them that you do." Pg. 43

"It's your storm, and the future of us all depends on you now. So who are you? Sage, an orphan boy who ca
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good conclusion to the trilogy. The second is still my favorite, but I enjoyed seeing where all of the characters would end up.
Robin (Bridge Four)
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
The Shadow Throne ends our journey with Jaron and company. It answers the questions will Carthya be saved and who will sit on the throne once and for all. But even though Jaron is as snarky as ever this final books had a little something missing for me. There was a large chunk in the center during the war that I lost interest in and I often wondered how many times Jaron could go rushing into some enemy camp just to be caught and tortured.
“Avenia thinks they're battling a king. I doubt t
I thought this was a really good finish to the series.

I listened to this on audio with my kids, and the narration was excellent. Yes, maybe the story does tie up everything a little too neatly, but hey, it's middle grade fantasy, and it does that genre very well. My kids actually clapped as we listened to some of the final scenes, so that right there is worth something.

The series as a whole is very enjoyable, and I loved being able to experience it with my kids.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Check out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways, & more!

It's such a bittersweet feeling when you have to say goodbye to one of your favorite series. I only became a fan of The Ascendance Trilogy recently, but I know this is one of those series that will stay with me for years to come. Jennifer A. Nielsen has written one of the best fantasy I've read in years and I really hate to say goodbye to beloved characters like Jaron and Imogen. Though it saddens me thinking that this trilogy is over, I a
Lonna | FLYLēF
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

FLYLeF Book Reviews

Original Post: The Shadow Throne at FLYLeF (

IT'S ALWAYS QUITE bittersweet to reach the end of a series, particular one that I have enjoyed thoroughly and has tucked me into bed quite soundly in the early hours of the morning. The Shadow Throne , by Jennifer Nielson, is the final installment in The Ascendance Trilogy. And, it does NOT disappoint!

Though born into royalty, life has been anything but easy for Jaron. From outwitting Connor Bevin’s treasonous game in The False
Sarah Grace Grzy
Um. Wow. I have no words.

(Possibly RTC - if I ever find my words.)
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(2.5 stars) Decent book, good series. All in all a typical book/series. It was like a kiddy version of Game of Thrones but only from Jaron's perspective instead of multi-dimensional character perspectives.

Lots happened in this final installment of the Ascendance Trilogy. It was too rushed and jumpy. I prefer a book that takes it slow and is more descriptive. It felt more like 'he went there, then came here, and they did this, and then this happened' - instead of describing all the elements and d
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have one student who's already waiting to get their hands on this book, which is why I finished it so fast. Of all the books in this series, this one is probably the most realistic.I will admit to flipping to the end pretty early, to discover that the series ended pretty much exactly as I predicted it would, but the journey from the beginning to that predicted ending was far more satisfying than it has been in past books. There aren't any flagrant moments of deus ex rescue, although there are ...more
m a r y l i z
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Ascendance Trilogy has easily moved into the position of one of my favorite series to date. BECAUSE SASS. AND JARON. AND ALLLL THE CHARACTERS EVER. <333

It took me a long time to get into this one. There were lots of battles, which are #notmything, but the characters completely won me over yet again. And the ending was just MINDBLOWINGLY EPIC. (The last 20 pages, though. O.O) I'm a very impressed little bookdragon here. (Even if I *did* guess
Colleen Houck
A satisfying conclusion to the series. There were a lot of times I was concerned for the boy king's life and wondered how he was going to get himself out of the situations he put himself in, but that kept me reading. All the characters came together in the end and it was cool to see how their lives all worked out. Love Jaron's sarcasm.
Lauren Stoolfire
War has reached Carthya and Jaron has learned that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in order to bring Jaron's kingdom to it's knees. Jaron knows that he has to make the dangerous rescue attempt in order to save everything he loves - Imogen and his country. As war descends around him, everything that can go wrong does. In the end, these questions remain: Who will survive and who will reign once the war finally ends?

The Shadow Throne is a fantastic conclusion to The Ascendance Trilogy. I
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have only one word for this book. Heartbreaking. That's it. I even don't know what to say, because it was so beautiful there's no words to describe it.
I'm in love with this final book. It can be one of the best fantasy novels I've read.
This book is about real people. Not those who can see supernatural powers or have fairy ears or godly parents. It's war was about loses and sadness and breakdowns.
This book felt REAL. I lived with its characters. Fought by their side. Cried with them during th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Palace of Stone (Princess Academy, #2)
  • Supernova (Renegades, #3)
  • The Chosen Prince
  • A World Without Heroes (Beyonders, #1)
  • Archenemies (Renegades, #2)
  • The False Princess
  • Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1)
  • The Forgotten Sisters (Princess Academy, #3)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods ( The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #3)
  • Seeds of Rebellion (Beyonders, #2)
  • The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1)
  • The Unwanteds (Unwanteds, #1)
  • Battle of the Ampere (Michael Vey, #3)
  • Master of the Phantom Isle (Dragonwatch, #3)
  • Rise of the Elgen (Michael Vey, #2)
  • Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy, #3)
  • Hunt for Jade Dragon (Michael Vey, #4)
  • Transformed: The Perils of the Frog Prince (Tyme #3)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

The Ascendance Series (4 books)
  • The False Prince (The Ascendance Series, #1)
  • The Runaway King (The Ascendance Series, #2)
  • The Captive Kingdom (The Ascendance Series, #4)

Related Articles

Magic and myth, getting real and standing up for what’s right, love and longing, growing up and falling in love. Get ready for some of the best...
147 likes · 69 comments
“Nobody gives you respect in this life. You must take it, you must earn it, and then you must hold it sacred, because no matter how hard respect is to attain, it can be lost in an instant.” 130 likes
“Villains and plots and enemies are simple things to me. But friendships are complicated, and love is harder still. It has wounded me deeper than a sword ever could.” 90 likes
More quotes…