I teach middle school, and I use summers to catch up on what's hot in adolescent fiction. I spent a lot of time this summer with books in the "Hunger ..Show More »Games" vein, but this one was a welcome change of pace. This is my favorite kind of book--driven by fascinating characters with complex motives. It also has a well-crafted plot and intriguing politics that left me hungry for the sequel. It reminds me in all the best ways of Megan Whalen Turner's "Thief" series, but is not derivative of that. It involves a "Prince and Pauper" scheme to usurp the throne of a completely believable fictional kingdom, but layers of secrets and plot twists keep the story consistently engaging. The main character has a compelling mixture of strengths and weaknesses, and the more the reader knows, the more he/she can identify with him.
The reading was fabulous--perfect for the characters. I listened on a long drive and was completely lost in the book.
The False Prince will be among my top recommendations to my students, but it was certainly no chore to read it. I hope there's another Nielsen/McWade treasure out by next summer!
This volume starts slowly, but picks up speed as the tale progresses. The ending leads right into the final volume of the trilogy, and I can't wait to..Show More » listen. Jaron needs to secure his kingdom before his body gives out! The reader is okay, but could be more expressive.
First hear me out... I too have been a giant fan of this trilogy. Thought the False Prince was a really really good book, loved The Runaway King, and ..Show More »couldn't wait for The Shadow Throne. ..Couldn't wait as in I checked audible several times a week waiting for it to show up, even contacted customer service to see why it wasn't listed even though the release date for hardcover was approaching. I was almost going to buy the audio book off Amazon and pay a lot of money because I couldn't wait. Then finally it showed up.
So in saying all of that, there's nothing left to say but..... I didn't think this one was good at all. I don't know if the performance was just too over the top this time, or the fact that it felt like one never ending bad scenario after another, in a never ending battle, fought all over the land with few characters together at a time. Whatever it was, I was over it half way in. I of course finished it, but yeah... major buzz kill on this one.
I wonder if I would think differently have reading it instead. If so, it just screams how much a performance can make or break even the best book, but I guess I'll never know. I just could not stand literally every sentence being said in tones that made me feel I was watching a bad SNL skit where they play drums and horns every when someone says something dooming (dun dun dun!!!!!!!!!!) The narrator was just pushing it to hard and I tired listening to him.
Also, though there were some good twists in this story that I didn't expect, the majority were really obvious and generic, and very unlike the first 2 books which delivered one great game changer after another.
Im really sorry to be writing a review that isn't 5's across the board for this one, and I really hope this doesn't influence anyone - because it totally may have just been me. I went on goodreads and looked at the reviews and most people gave 4 & 5 stars, which makes me again think it was the tone of the performance.
To sum up the trilogy - great plot, great characters, good twists, descriptive writing, and aside from said dislikes, the narrator does a fantastic job doing so many different characters through out all 3 books. Im interested to see what others will say on audible.