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Today I’m SO excited to share THE RUNAWAY KING by Jennifer Nielsen with you! It’s the second book in The Ascendance Trilogy and was released on March 1, 2013. Any of you who followed me last spring know that I’m in love with THE FALSE PRINCE. You can see my interview with Jennifer Nielsen HERE.

I’m thrilled for all the good news Jennifer has had lately. First, I nominated THE FALSE PRINCE for the Cybils and it won! I’m so happy I helped with that. Then, THE FALSE PRINCE made the New York Times Bestseller list in February. And it’s being developed into a movie. Fingers crossed on that.

So, here’s a blurb about THE RUNAWAY KING from Goodreads:

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 feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!

This is a fabulous sequel! Immediately Jaron faces a neighboring kingdom who wants to take over Carthya, his regents who want to usurp his power by appointing a steward, and the pirates who want him dead. And his old friend Roden is his enemy and wants to kill him. He’s only got a few weeks to solve the problem or he’ll lose everything, including his life.

Jennifer did an amazing job plot-wise. Jaron/Sage decides on a crazy scheme to defeat the pirates, which he feels is the key to saving his kingdom. And in doing so, we get to see the lying, loyal, sarcastic, good-hearted Sage that I came to love in THE FALSE PRINCE. And we see his king-like qualities and loyalty to his kingdom as he goes off on an amazing journey to find the pirates.

Sage/Jaron faces problems at every turn and the plot never lags. We see some of our favorite characters Imogen, Mott, and Tobias. I’m glad Imogen plays a bigger role and she really shines as a character in this book. And we meet Fink, a younger kid, and Eric, two thieves Sage meets on his journey to the pirates. It’s amazing watching all of Sage’s plans, the hurdles he faces, and what happens at the end. Wow, wow, wow! It was all such incredible plotting.

I so could not put this book down. One night I woke up at 3:00 am and literally stayed up all night reading. I stopped at the last 50 pages because I wasn’t quite ready to say I finished the book yet. I wanted to savor it a little longer.

I’m going to do a e-book giveaway of THE RUNAWAY KING. I planned to give away my ARC, but someone at the post office stole the ARC that Scholastic sent to me. So I had to read an e-version of it instead. Because postage costs are going up, especially for International deliveries (like about $5.00 more), The Book Depository prices have also gone up about $5.00. So I’m going to start offering more e-books of giveaways when I need to buy the books for giveaways. It’s about $8.00 cheaper and makes it easier to keep the giveaways International. I hope you all understand.

One lucky winner will win an e-book of THE RUNAWAY KING. If you haven’t read THE FALSE PRINCE yet, I’m glad to give you an e-book of that instead if you want. Don’t have an e-reader? It’s not a problem. I used to read Kindle books on my computer all the time until my aunt gave me her old Nook. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on March 30th. I’ll announce the winner on April 1st.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. International entries are welcome.

Here's what's coming up:

Next Monday I'm interviewing debut author Mindee Arnett and giving away an ARC of her urban fantasy THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR. I loved the magical world Mindee created that was also grounded in our world. And there's a mystery to be solved, something I always love.

Next Tuesday Maria Dismondy is sharing a Tuesday tip on how to launch a successful book launch and giving away a copy of THE POTATO CHIP CHAMP, her new picture book.

And next Saturday I'm participating in the Kick Butt Characters Book Giveaway Hop. I have lots of great choices for you.

The following Monday, I’m super excited to have Jenny Lundquist back to share her new middle grade book, PLASTIC POLLY, with an ARC giveaway. It’s a contemporary story about a girl who’s in the popular crowd who wants to find who she’s really is. Jenny so nailed middle grade life and it made me realize how much I love contemporary stories. Like Jennifer Nielsen, Jenny’s become one of my favorite authors.

Then, Thursday that week, I’m interviewing Jessica Shirvington and giving away a copy of EMBLAZE, the third book in her paranormal series. I’m super excited because I learned what an amazing career she’s had as an author in a relatively short period of time while preparing for her interview. It’s really inspiring to hear her story.

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


  1. I'm really looking forward to The Runaway King!

  2. I've heard such good things about these books and they're already on my to-read list.

  3. Your review is fascinating and the blurb gives me adventures chills and goosebumgs. Very intriguing.

  4. On my TBR list. Love your review woman! That's what is so hard about writing. For me anyway! Making sure the plot NEVER does lag. I can't wait for Monday! :-)

  5. I definitely have this one on my wishlist! :)

  6. I think it's a great idea to give away ebooks, Natalie. Plus then the winner won't have to wait long to read it.

    That's terrible that your arc went missing.

  7. Love your review and so sorry to hear about your ARC. I've actually started reading more ebooks then usual from the library. (Please don't enter me tho, I have both books already). I plan to listen to the audiobook for False Prince soon.

  8. I've heard great things about The False Prince, so that's awesome book two is good too. And I'm with you on ebook giveaways. They're so much cheaper and easier to send. Personally, I do love the convenience of reading ebooks too. :)

  9. Hmm, I'll have to add this series to my list. I haven't read a good fantasy in a while.

  10. I have it, but so many books must come before it. Better hurry so I can crack this thing wide open! :)

  11. I have neither book and would love a copy for sure. I have a kobo recently. Still not sure exactly how it works, but getting there I guess. Just can't afford to actually purchase anything, ha.
    Thanks again for all the giveaway offers you guys give. Wish I were on twitter, FB, etc to get more entries!

    I won a book called "The Splendids" a couple months ago and Natalie was so kind to send it to me with a little post it note to say she hoped I enjoy it. Thank you so much....the day I received it I felt very very very lucky and it was part of my "gratitude" for the day. Thanks again.
    And I hope to get opportunity to read this book (False Prince and Runaway King). Have heard many good things.

    Jill A

  12. I haven't read the FALSE PRINCE yet. Dang it. My TBR pile is getting inundated with such good reads. I guess that's a good thing :)

  13. I've done the three a.m. thing before--HA! Love the sounds of those names!

  14. That sounds like an exciting series!

  15. Thank you for this giveaway! I actually own both The False Prince and The Runaway King, but I'm entering to win so I can send one of my friends this book for her Kindle. I actually heard about The False Prince from the Cybil Award list, so thank you so much for recommending it!
    I also shared about this giveaway on the Facebook page for my blog (facebook.com/thriftychristy) and on Twitter (@thriftycb).

  16. Loved THE FALSE PRINCE. Know I will love THE RUNAWAY KING. Happy to have a chance to win the e-book. So glad I put a note on my calendar to visit this blog again and comment. Good luck to everyone!

  17. I've been waiting for this! I loved The False Prince! Great giveaway!

  18. I've heard such great things about The False Prince. I really have to pick it up. Natalie, I loved that you didn't finish the last 50 pages right away because you weren't ready to be done with the book yet. That's a sign of a good book - I love it when that happens. ;)

  19. I am yet to read The False Prince. Then I will read The Runaway King. Thanks for this giveaway.

  20. Sounds awesome! I haven't heard anything about The False Prince before, though, so I'm off to check it reviews on goodreads!

  21. Great review! I actually picked up the False Prince after reading about it on this blog, and I loved it! I'm glad to hear that the Runaway King is just as good! But I was really sorry to read that someone at the post office stole your ARC.

  22. I just received The Runaway King myself last week and both my teenage son and I are so excited to read it. I really enjoyed The False Prince and can see why it's getting such rave reviews!

  23. This sounds so good! I just got done listening to The False Prince as an audiobook and would love to read the sequel!

  24. I loved The False Prince!!! Thanks for the giveaway. Thanks so much for the chance :)

  25. I'm looking forward to the Runaway King! Jennifer Nielsen is so talented--and also very gracious in person (I was lucky enough to meet her at a book signing).

  26. You're giving away some wonderful books this week! This post is a great recommendation for the book.

  27. Our fifth graders are hooked on the FALSE PRINCE and this sequel e-book would be so amazing. THanks for your generous giveaway offer.

  28. I have heard so many awesome things about this series! I just bought The False Prince. I can't wait to read it!

  29. This is on my TBR list! I like Jennifer Nielsen a lot.

    Here is my FB post about the giveaway :) https://www.facebook.com/shelly.brown.5209/posts/339081482879171

  30. GFC: Chenise Jones

    Thanks for much for the giveaway! I absolutely loved the first book!!

  31. Thanks for the chance to win!
    This sounds like a great series!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Ooh, so excited about this! I have been wanting to read the first book since well before it even came out - why, oh why have I waited so long?!?! Well, sometimes I end up being happy I waited, when it's part of a series, because then I can read the books back to back! I'm REALLY looking forward to these books, and then to passing them on to my niece (she's 11) and nephew (he's 8). Thanks for the chance to win!

    I follow via GFC: Holly

    Tweeted: https://twitter.com/hmbryan/status/316978519081111553

    email: bryanholly34 (at) gmail.com

  34. Enjoyed this from beginning to end. It was full of excitement and suspense. I can't wait to read the next one.
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