The Runaway King: Book 2 of the Ascendance Trilogy (The Ascendance Triology)

The Runaway King - Jennifer A. Nielsen Oh Sage!  You are by far one of the most delightful character-narrators I have met in a long time.  I'm sad that you will only have three books.Sage is now on the throne of Carthya, but his seat there is precarious indeed.  When an assassination attempt reveals a conspiracy between the country of Avenia and the pirates who roam the coast, Sage is backed into a corner.  The regents want to elect a steward in Sage's place, but Sage is determined to keep the reins of power -- without sinking his country into war.  Even if that means becoming a pirate himself.We can count on Sage to be predictably unpredictable, honestly dishonest and courageous beyond all common sense.  His voice drives forward the tightly structured plot; we are never in any doubt that Sage will triumph (he's Sage after all) but we are left guessing how he will succeed and what friends he will have left to him when he does.The only disadvantage of getting my hands on the ARC this early is that I have even longer to wait for Book Three.  At least in the meantime, I'll have the joy of introducing the first book to my nephew.  He's gonna love Sage!CatePS: I must confess, every time I read the phrase "king of the pirates", this is what went through my head.This review also appears at Boxes of Paper.