we continue this conversation in the privacy of the throne room? Everyone is listening.” Yes, they were. Not only those who had been in the room when it started. 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. Rousing and affecting, Jaron's adventures have thrilled and moved readers in The False Prince and The. [DOWNLOAD $PDF$] The Shadow Throne (the Ascendance Trilogy, Book 3): Book 3 of the Ascendance Trilogy >>DOWNLOAD For download.
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THE SHADOW THRONE by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Excerpt) - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Jennifer A. Nielsen takes. War is coming Join Jaron as he embarks on his final adventure!. In this conclusion to the Ascendance trilogy, the impulsive Jaron, former orphan thief and now King of Carthya, is facing down multiple enemies and his country's .
Remember the pirates? Yeah, this book has more pirates. My only disappointment was that they stayed on dry land the entire time. I would've liked to see them at sea. Jaron is back, and he's the same snarky, savvy boy you grew to love.
Even when his life gets put through the wringer, even when everyone he loves is ripped away from him, even when there's no hope for the future-he's always got a plan.
You may think you know what happens next but he'll prove you wrong. The ending is action packed and heartwarming all at once. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go read over my favorite parts.
Goodbye, Internet! N iel sen my guard. Obviously, wed had our share of disagreements. But none were half so loud as this current argument. I would gladly die, Roden yelled back, if the order came from less of a fool for a king!
Gasps echoed around the hall at the insult. Words like that easily justified my ordering Rodens arrest, but I didnt. There were too many things that still needed to be said, or yelled, if necessary.
Do you think your position as captain makes us equals? I asked. You may command our armies but you do not command me! And I will lead them my own way! Roden pointed down at my right leg, which the surgeon had ordered to remain tightly wrapped for at least another few weeks.
You cant lead anything on a broken leg. Then maybe you shouldnt have broken it! I said. I shouldve broken your jaw instead, Roden countered. Then I wouldnt have to listen to your ridiculous orders! There were more gasps from the regents in the room and the passing servants, and he appealed to them to continue the argument. Our soldiers are scattered throughout this country. If Avenia invades from the south, they will crush us. My high chamberlain, Lord Kerwyn, hurried toward us and in hushed tones said, My king, could we continue this conversation in the privacy of the throne room?
Everyone is listening. Yes, they were. Not only those who had been in the room when it started, but many others who had heard the yelling 2 Th e S h a d ow Thron e and come to see the commotion for themselves. Kerwyn may have felt embarrassed for me, but I had no intention of making this private. I stepped back from Kerwyn and said, Theres nothing to continue, Lord Kerwyn.
The captain of my guard thinks I should have no say in the way my armies are trained. Kerwyn looked at Roden, clearly appalled by his dis respect, but Roden only tightened the muscles on his face.
We all bow to the kings will, Captain. So must you. Kerwyns scolding tone was so sharp, Roden actually flinched. But before Roden could speak, I said, No, Kerwyn.
I wont have him bow to me and secretly insist hes in the right. Then to Roden, I said, If you think you can train our men better, then I dare you to do so. Take whomever you wish, train them in whatever way you want.
Then well compare our two groups. Youll see Im right. Roden yelled. Ill begin training in the courtyard at once. Not in my courtyard, or even in my city! I retorted. If you do this, you will leave Drylliad. Leave with all your arrogance and high hopes, and come back when you finally understand your place.
Kerwyn put his hand on my arm. Jaron, I beg you to think of what youre saying. You two must make peace. You are still injured, and if war is truly coming, then we need your captain here. I only brushed off his hand and leaned in to Roden, then hissed, Get out. J en nifer A. N iel sen Roden stared back with an anger so fierce, it worried me.
Then he announced that within the hour, he would leave, taking forty of the men who had been assigned to him. Despite the things we had said to each other, I hoped he would go with only the best of luck. I watched him leave, and then stared around at all those who had gathered to watch our exhibition. They were trusted members of the court, servants, and citizens of my country.
And quite possibly, at least one of them was here as a spy for our enemies, who would now report that the armies of Carthya were broken and divided. Ever since the day I returned from the pirates, Carthya had begun making preparations such as had not been seen in a generation. We were storing up food, forging weapons, and building our defenses, but for all that, the thing I needed most would be the hardest to get: time. As it turned out, we had even less time than Id expected.
Only three short weeks later, the war would begin. ONE Thr ee W eek s L at er received news of the attack on Libeth at sunset while standing on a wide grassy field near the castle walls. Facing me were Kerwyn, Amarinda, and Mott, but I barely saw them.
Libeth was a peaceful town, long insulated from the troubles that had plagued other settlements near Avenia. Its citizens were the families of farmers and traders, and the raid certainly wouldve come without enough warning for even the strongest to form an adequate defense. I couldnt begin to comprehend the horror of what theyd faced in the night, the destruction left to them now. The thought of it sucked the breath from me.
And, there was more. Imogen had been taken during the attack. Everyone seemed to be talking at once, none of them realizing that my head was swarming with questions that no one here could answer.
Did we know if she was still alive? If so, had she been harmed? What would they do to her if they thought it J en nifer A. N iel sen could hurt me? For that was surely the reason King Vargan had sent his armies after her. If Imogen was still alive, then Avenia would seek our total surrender in exchange for her return. They would know I couldnt grant that, so I would have to attempt a rescue.
She was nothing but bait to them, and I, their prize. Beyond that, the war Id been anticipating for several months had finally arrived.
But everything I had so carefully planned seemed irrelevant now.
So little of this news was what Id expected. And Kerwyn was steadily making it worse. Weve also just received word that Gelyn and Mendenwal are advancing from the north and east, he said. This was a coordinated attack and we are surrounded.
Jaron, the war has begun. They all returned to talking again, but I couldnt hear any of it, or at least, I couldnt separate one word from another. It was impossible to comprehend what they wanted from me. Amarinda touched my arm. Jaron, youve gone pale. Say something. I stared at her without seeing and began back-stepping. Forgive me, I mumbled. Then I turned and ran, led blindly by some force inside me that had to get away. I needed a place to think, to understand.
Somewhere to breathe. I sprinted toward the castle, only vaguely aware of the sharp pain that still came to my right leg whenever I worked it too hard. If anything, I wanted to feel the pain, to give my panicked emotions somewhere to go. Servants and soldiers were blurs beside me as I ran. I wasnt sure where I was going, or what I hoped to find there. Only one thought remained locked in my mind, that Imogen had been taken. And they would demand everything for her return.
I soon ended up in the Kings Gardens, the one place I could be alone. Hoping to hide myself on a ledge, I tried climbing the vines of the castle wall.
Up there I could think. With enough time, I could piece together this disaster into a world that made sense again. But I wasnt even halfway up the lowest wall before the muscles of my weaker right leg failed me and I fell back to the ground. I rolled into a sitting position and leaned against the wall, but made it no farther. Maybe it had been a mistake to come to the gardens. Id find no more answers here than anywhere else.
As I looked around, the walls loomed over me. It was dizzying, and I couldnt put any single idea in front of the other. Instead, the worries, plans, and choices all swirled around me like smoke, suffocating me just the same. Your Majesty, forgive me for invading your privacy. I stood when I saw that Harlowe had come. After bowing, he walked forward. I thought itd only be Avenia that attacked, I said. Maybe Gelyn too, but not Mendenwal. And not this way. None of us saw that coming.
N iel sen Theres no reason for Vargan to attack Libeth. Destroying that town gave him nothing. Images of the horrors that must have occurred that night came again to my mind. Nothing except Imogen.
I know. Harlowe licked his lips, and then added, We must have your orders, sire. What orders? It was irrational to be angry, especially with him, but I couldnt help it. I cant fight this! I dont have a plan for anything this big. I couldnt even protect her. She shouldve been safe, away from me. My eyes widened as I gulped in a breath that wouldnt release. I cant.
Hed hugged me this way once before, sensing my fears on the eve of going to the pirates. It was the embrace of a father to a child, and I needed that comfort again. Despite all my planning, the thought that war was now upon us terrified me. My father had seen a few battles in his youth, before he took the crown. In a small way, I began to understand his dread of conflict. Maybe it wasnt weakness that kept him from standing up to our enemies demands, as I had always thought.
Perhaps it was simply that hed already paid the price of war.
There would be a price if Carthya fought back this time; there always was. I had a good idea of what it might cost me, but our options were failing. As long as I had enough strength to wield a sword, I would not accept Carthyas defeat.
Th e S h a d ow Thron e Harlowe held me until I drew back, with a clearer mind and a resolve that if Carthya was surrounded by enemies and had no chance of victory, then at least we would make a spectacular end of it. All right, I said to Harlowe. I will present my plans in one hour. Gather everyone who needs to be there.
TWO erwyn sat on my right in the throne room, and Amarinda was on my left. Beside them at the wide table were Harlowe and Mott, and also Tobias, who was supposedly there to help represent the regents.
In truth, he had been with me since I had taken the crown, and I wanted his advice. Beyond that, I didnt want anyone else here.
Not until we had decided on a firm course of action. At my request, Kerwyn leaned forward to begin. Avenia has moved in from the west and will have thousands of men at their call. They will fight hard and without mercy, and because of that, they are the greatest danger to Carthya. Our spies also tell us there is movement from the soldiers of Gelyn. We must stop them from overtaking our northern border. The cavalry of Bymar can help us hold them back.
If Bymar comes, Amarinda said. My country will answer, but only if we find a way to tell them whats happening here. We must also consider Mendenwal, Mott asked. They have yet to attack, but our spies are certain King Humfrey has ordered his armies into Carthya.
Th e S h a d ow Thron e I hadnt expected Mendenwal to be a part of the attack. Of the three countries surrounding us, Mendenwal was the most civilized, least aggressive, and had the longest tradition of diplomatic relations with Carthya. King Humfrey and I had a bit of a history, howeverI had cut his thigh years ago after challenging him to a duel. But that was hardly reason to go to war.
Besides, hed deserved it. Kerwyn was probably taking this news harder than anyone. He and Humfrey had seen a lot together over their years and almost could have been considered friends.
Having Avenia as an enemy was bad enough, but Mendenwal worried me as much. Carthya could not withstand the full force of Mendenwal against us, even if they were the only aggressor we faced. I pressed my lips together and looked at Kerwyn. Why Mendenwal? Is it because my father lied to them?
Or something more? I have sent him letters of apology and explanation, Kerwyn answered. All have been ignored. We cant afford to have them as an enemy. Mendenwals armies are three times the size of Avenias. But they can be reasoned with, Tobias said. Theyre not bloodthirsty like Avenia, or hungry for our gold, like Gelyn.
Perhaps so, but something had drawn them into this war, and I didnt know what. I turned back to Kerwyn. Can you get King Humfrey to come here? If he wont answer my letters 11 J en nifer A. N iel sen Youll have to travel to Mendenwal and remind him of your friendship. I hated to ask so much. It was a long journey and we seemed to be enemies now.
Itll be risky. For some reason that prompted a smile from him. If Ive learned anything from you, sire, its how to take a risk. Thank you, Kerwyn. With that settled, I turned to Mott. You and I must attempt a rescue of Imogen. Well find the camp near Libeth where theyre holding her, then No.
I did a double take. He didnt flinch. No, Your Majesty. I will attempt a rescue. I will go there alone, or accompanied by an entire regiment of your soldiers if you prefer.
But you will not be anywhere near the Avenian camp. Yes, I will! I often wondered if Mott had made it his lifes mission to oppose me. If so, he should feel very good about his success. I suspected if I chose something as unimportant as wearing a gray coat for supper rather than a blue one, hed find a reason to argue about that too.
Theyre expecting you to rescue her, he said. This is a trap. Do you think I havent considered that? I think youve escaped some tight situations in the past and believe you can do it again this time. But its different now. They know you and theyll prepare for your tricks. If you enter that camp, you will not leave it alive. If theyre watching for me, then youre no safer going in there. Its a risk Im willing to take. But Im not! You will not fall into a trap meant for me! You will not die for me!
There hadnt been a word from Roden since Id sent him away three weeks earlier. For all I knew, he was gone. And now, perhaps Imogen too. The thought of something happening to another of my friends terrified me. If he really understood that, then he would stop arguing and let me have my way. In the face of my frustration, Mott managed to remain calm. He licked his lips and said, My first duty is to you, Jaron, and I will gladly go in your place. But your first duty is to this country.
Not to her. That only made me angrier. Do not lecture me about duty! What else have I done in life but my duty? I disappeared in the name of duty and returned for the same reason, and I will fight this war because it is my duty to do so. No matter how I wished to do otherwise, each time duty presented itself, I answered. But not this time. I am coming with you! Silence fell in the room. From the corner of my eye, I saw Amarinda lower her head, and I immediately regretted my words. My betrothal to her was a duty as well.
Tobias cleared his throat to get our attention, and then said, Mott is right. Jaron, you should call Roden to come back.
Send him to Libeth instead. N iel sen At the mention of Rodens name, everyone grew quiet again. Ever since our argument, I had refused to have any public discussion of Roden. Tonight would be no different. Roden can have no part in Imogens rescue, I said stiffly. That should have been the end of it, but Tobias pressed further. Whatever fight the two of you had, hes still the captain of your guard.
If were at war, youve got to call him back. Thankfully, Mott intervened for me. If Roden were ready to lead, he would never have left us. Let Jaron be. I took a deep breath before continuing. The last question is how to protect the princess. They took Imogen because she was easy prey. We will not risk Amarinda. Her eyes widened as if she had not considered that she was in personal danger too. She glanced over at Tobias, who gave her a grim smile, then her attention returned to me.
I want to keep the fighting away from Drylliad, I said. But if they know youre here, this castle will become their top priority. You must leave to someplace safer. She could go to Farthenwood, Tobias suggested.
We could hide her in the secret passages if necessary. Id rather go home to my family in Bymar, Amarinda said. Someone needs to bring their armies to the border of Gelyn to fight. They will listen to me better than anyone else. But you cant get to Bymar without crossing through either Gelyn or Avenia, I said. Neither was a safe route. Without flinching, she answered, I must go. The fastest route is through Avenia, where I could get a ship from Isel. I smiled back at her. She was braver than I had given her credit for, and she was right: Bymar would answer her call without hesitation.
Any escort strong enough to protect you is sure to draw attention, Kerwyn warned. And once youre in Avenia, youll stand out even further.
I agree. Mott leaned forward and clasped his hands.