Book review: The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy #3), by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I am done! I am done with the series and now I feel a huge void, because who knows when will I have the chance to stumble upon a good series again? Lord only knows. What I can tell you is that it was definitely worth it to postpone my thesis for this series (although, I am now definitely anxious because I have done nothing of much significance).

**mild spoiler alert**

Okay, something that was significantly different about this book compared with the previous two books is that it felt like the events were a bit stretched out and it was not as fast paced as the previous two. Nothing bad about that, especially if you like being kept at the edge of your seat and not knowing what is going to happen next (I, myself, am torn between whether or not I am enjoying the fact that I am a nervous wreck for not knowing what is to happen). We are still presented with how stubborn and reckless Sage is in the third book; you would think that you’ll get bored with it by now, but I see that if Sage is not as reckless as he was then this book will not be as fun as it is. But, you can see that slowly Sage is improving in terms of his recklessness as he became a tad bit mature in some aspects.

I am finally satisfied with how the author (finally) gave out more details about Carthya and its neighbouring countries. I’ve mentioned this in previous reviews also, and although I love this series so much, I’m just a bit bummed by the lack of information about the setting from the first book. Nevertheless, those questions were answered in the third book. Now, I still have a complaint though; whatever happened to Imogen? She used to be one of the interesting characters, especially in the first book. Now, she literally nothing more than a love interest for Sage and that’s pretty much it. Really, I can’t see her more than a love interest for the main character, which is such a shame because her character was portrayed as a strong an interesting character since she first appeared in the first book. I am really having a hard time now that the series has end and Imogen’s character is reduced this much.

I like the fact that although as a whole I can predict how the story would end, the small fragment of events leading to the ending of the book were not predicted at all (at least not by me). The thing with a character such as Sage (not to mention, the fact that all three books did not take more than 6 months in its time span), it was easy to predict his actions; too easy at times. There were parts in this book that were very climactic and epic, sadly the ending did not do it enough justice. I know, I know, this is a children’s book, surely a nice happy ending is what we’re aiming for; it’s just I would have wanted the ending to be as sappy and as meh  as the ending that I got.

I liked the fact that the other two orphans were given enough lime light this time around. It’s high time that Tobias and Roden were given credit for what they had done throughout the series. It was a nice feeling to see that Tobias found his niche as a regent and knowing that Roden managed to be a proper captain of the guards. What is also incredibly nice is the good news that Sage knew about Roden’s past and origin (I am very tempted to spoil this, but I’ll keep it to myself in the mean time). I liked the symbolic nature of the third book, how eventually all the three orphans are reunited once more back in Farthenwood by the end of the book, just like when they were first came together in Farthenwoon before all this had even started. It gives out a proper sense of epicness (is that even a real word? I’m just going to assume it is).




Still my favourite character as ever. I think we need more main character that are sarcastic, sassy, annoying, reckless and less of those brooding, sad, and all serious all the time. We get it, you felt like the whole existence of the universe is on your shoulder, but surely you can spare some time to be sarcastic and sassy, right? It lifts up the tension of always having to be on the edge all the time. Back to Sage, I like that he had the decency to see his flaw and admit that he is no more than an ordinary person with flaw as trivial as jealousy. But, here I will insist on complaining about how Sage is mature enough to know about love at the tender age of fourteen. I don’t think I will get over that.


Yes! Finally he got what he deserved. He has been nothing but such a good sport since he decided he was going to step down from the competition to become the long lost prince Jaron. He showed his loyalty more than once to Sage, so surely he deserves more than just a credit this time around, right? Well, he did got something at the end of the story, and I think it was sweet of the author to gave that story for Tobias.


Roden is definitely a wild card. From the moment I encounter him on the first book, I was already debating whether or not I would see more of him in the upcoming book. I wanted to see more of him, because I can sense that he would be an interesting character to balance out the goody two shoes that is Tobias and the hot headed Sage; boy, was I right about my production. Roden’s story line was definitely not less interesting than Tobias’, although I had wished that we were given enough time to dwell on Roden and not just have Roden’s storyline sprang out to us on the last few pages before the book end.


Oh dear Mott, I am glad you were not what I thought you were when I first saw you in the first book. It was astonishing to see the amount of loyalty that Mott portrays to Sage throughout the series, but then again, Sage needs someone such as Mott to help him navigate the betrayal that is to come when he claimed his thrones, so, thank you Mott.


I’ve mentioned how disappointed I was with how Imogen’s character turned out in the third book. I always see her as a wild card (much like Roden), and she was a wild card up until the second book. It was very sad that Imogen’s role was reduced to just being the love interest for Sage, she could have been made as magnificent as Amarinda; I mean Imogen was magnificent from the two previous books, why changer her role?


She’s also one of the nice surprise for me. I did not expect her to held an important role to the story, especially seeing how vain she was in the first book and how she seems to not want to be on Sage’s side in the second book. But, she proved everyone wrong in the third book, and I liked how her character turned out to be. If the author can make Amarinda like this, why would she butchered Imogen?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Shadow Throne

Series: The Ascendance Trilogy

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Goodreads link

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Children’s, Adventure, Young Adult




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