Review / The Captive Kingdom

20220428ma_0586Book: The Captive Kingdom (2020)
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Genre: MG, Fantasy
Series: The Ascendance Series, The False Prince #4

Opening lines from the book …
One may ask, how is the great King Jaron described by those who know him? The answer rarely includes the word “great,” unless the word to follow is “fool,” though I have also heard “disappointment,” “frustration,” and “chance that he’ll get us all killed.”


1) Jaron has such a great voice in these books! And what’s even more fun is the knowledge that he’s also a bit of an unreliable narrator. So half the fun is trying to figure out what he’s NOT telling us.

2) So fun to be back with everybody… Roden, Tobias, Imogen, Amarinda, Mott, Fink. And of course, the pirates. Who doesn’t come into the story. (Well, there are a few who stay behind in Drylliad). But we also get introduced to some new characters like …

3) A new villain in the form Captain Strick, not a woman you’d want to mess with. And then there’s one of her lackeys, the one Jaron calls Lump is great! Not to mention the poor damsel in distress, Wilta, that’s on board the ship. (Although, she’s got a firey personality behind that red hair of hers.)

4) There’s also a character that may or may not be from Jaron’s past. Not even Jaron knows for sure. (No spoilers from me.)

5) Finally, I will say that I was totally surprised to see this book at my library. I had NO idea that there was a new book in this series! To be honest, I’m kind of glad I didn’t… until now. Because I got to read these book (and the next one – but more on that next week) back-to-back. Yes, each book is technically a stand-alone book, but this one ends with a promise that there are more adventures to come. (Stay tuned for my review of Book 5 in the series.)


High praise for this whole series from me. I was a little worried that this book wouldn’t live up to the previous books, but it did not disappoint!

NOTE: Do NOT read this series out of order. If you haven’t read THE FALSE PRINCE, you need to read that one first.



Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday


14 thoughts on “Review / The Captive Kingdom

  1. I have wanted to give this series a go but haven’t had the time. Sounds like it is not for everybody but I think I’d enjoy the story and characters. Thanks for the review and I look forward to your thoughts on book 5.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hardly ever read series. I just don’t have the kind of time it takes to devote to them, but I have some family members who love them. I’ll keep this in mind for them. Thanks for the review. It sounds like a lot of fun.


  3. I do think this book will really appeal to readers who loved the original trilogy! That being said, at some point I really started to struggle with just how over-the-top the plots were getting in each successive book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: My Top Reads… from 2022 | Of Maria Antonia

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