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It knocks at every door and window in the land. 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. But everything that can go. Too many deadly battles.

Jaron, irascible, incorrigible king of Carthya, faces the loss of his kingdom, his friends and his life in the gripping finale of the Ascendance Trilogy.

Fresh from his foray to the pirates in The Runaway King (2013), Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia and allies from Gelyn and Mendenwal have invaded Carthya and captured Jaron’s friend Imogen. Determined to save Imogen, Jaron attempts a rescue and fails, leaving him a prisoner and Imogen presumed dead. As he tries to cope with Imogen’s death, captive Jaron discovers how much he loved her. Relying on the skills of lying, stealing and deceiving he honed as a child, Jaron outwits his captors and returns to Carthya to rally his outnumbered troops. Resolved to save Carthya, Jaron devises a series of improbable, dangerous and ingenious plans designed to surprise his enemies as well as readers. Through his self-reflective, first-person narration, Jaron confesses friendship and love have greater power to wound him than villains, plots, and enemies. In the end, friendship and love win out, as Jaron and his loyal friends confront their foes to determine Carthya’s future in a harrowing conclusion.

From one cliffhanging episode to the next, wily Jaron’s rebellious, undisciplined spirit carries the day as he battles to save everything he holds dear. (map) (Adventure. 10-14)

☀Avenia, Gelyn, and Mendenwal are waging war against Carthya. Roden and Jaron have fought and Roden left with a group of Carthya's soldiers. Imogen has been taken by Avenia as a trap to lure Jaron into their hands. Jaron takes a group of soldiers to save Imogen and barely makes it out alive. The Avenians shoot Imogen, but she is not killed, though Jaron presumes that she is dead. Jaron and his friends cannot go back for Imogen, so they leave her. However, the fight between Jaron and Roden was staged and they are actually still friends. Jaron wanted the fight to be public so that his enemies would underestimate him and so Roden and his men could defend Avenia's borders without other nations knowing. Jaron heads back to Carthya's capital city, Drylliad, to lead the next battles. Jaron and his troops are trapped in the battle against Avenia and Mendenwal and are forced to retreat to the woods. Jaron gives himself to the Avenians to get a medication to keep some of his troops from dying. The Avenians take Jaron to Farthenwood; there, he finds that Imogen and Roden are still alive. He chooses for Roden to be hung with him. Conner helps them escape execution by handing Jaron a knife and dies in the process. Jaron convinces Mendenwal that the war is not justified, and so saves Carthya. In the end, Jaron and Imogen are wed, and so are Tobias and Princess Amarinda of Bymar, previously betrothed to the Carthyan throne.