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Review: The Runaway King, but really The False Prince

Cover © Scholastic Press

Cover © Scholastic Press

I feel like I sort of have a bad habit of reviewing sequels on our blog. Amulet, Zita, 3 Below (Floors), Alien on a RampageStealing Magic. The main reason for this is that I feel an obligation to write reviews of books that I am given advance access to, by NetGalley or other means. I seem to read a lot of series books and sequels on NetGalley. But also, I just want to introduce you to great books, and I hope you’ll go back and read the first books in the series, if you like what you hear in my review.

So here’s another one. I can’t believe the first book in this trilogy, The False Prince, hasn’t taken TMCE by storm. It is capital A-mAzing.

It is the story of a kingdom, the scene of a terrible tragedy. The king, queen, and their only heir have been murdered. They had another son, but he was lost at sea years before. The kingdom is in mourning, and a power grab is in progress.

Seeing a quick route to power, a cunning lord scours the country for boys that look similar to the long lost prince. His plan? Create an impostor who will take the throne, and then give all the power to the lord.

The rest is all lies, trickery, betrayal, bruises, and wit. The characters are very funny, always ready with a biting, nasty comeback.

And if you like the lies, trickery, betrayal, bruises, and wit of the first book, you’re in luck. The second book has all of those, plus a bit more blood, a bit more sneaking, and a few more lies.

Fantasy is a very broad genre. Anything with magic. Anything with stuff that can’t happen in real life. There is fantasy with talking animals, which might be pretty realistic, except for the fact that the animals talk. There is high fantasy, full of wizards and magic and mythical creatures. Science fiction is even a form of fantasy. There is “magic realism,” where a very realistic story has a bit of magic attached to it.

Cover © Scholastic Press

Cover © Scholastic Press

And then there are stories like The False Prince, which is a fantasy without any magic. Completely realistic. How is that, you say? Well, there are fantasies that involve knights, kings, queens, and kingdoms, but have strange absence of wizardry. They are very fantasy-like. But no magic. So what are they, then? Historical fiction? Not really, because the kingdom is fictional. Then what? Well, since they include many of the traditional features of fantasy, they are classified in that genre, even though they may be magic-free.

I’d recommend The False Prince and the rest of The Ascendance Trilogy to anyone. Fantasy fans will love it. And if you don’t really like fantasy, remember! There’s no magic in this story! It is pure adventure and injury.

False Prince book trailer!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh6wEmn0FP8]

Keep reading!

The Runaway King  [The Ascendance Trilogy #2]

By Jennifer A. Nielsen

352 pages

Genre: Fantasy (but no magic), mystery, injury

Source: NetGalley, and an ARC from ALA Midwinter

This book is scheduled for release on March 1, 2013.


2 Responses

  1. It’s so easy to miss sequels that I never mind seeing the reviews. Getting Air has been newly popular in my library, so it was fun to see your review.

  2. OK! I’ll let the sequels have free reign!

    Getting Air was great. Kind of like Hatchet-lite. A quick, fun read.

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