My warning: If you have not read this series, you may want to skip this character spotlight and check out the review of The False Prince, then pick a copy of your own to read. There are some slight spoilers in the spotlight below. I've been as vague as possible here, but alas, it was inevitable that some things would be spoiled.
Here are the reviews for all three books. Scroll down for the Character Spotlight.
The Ascendance Trilogy
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Jaron acts nothing like you're idea of a king. He doesn't act like royalty at all. He's always in trouble and rarely stops to think before he jumps into a dangerous situation. This is actually one of my favorite things about Jaron. From the first book, you see him get an idea into his head and just go with it. Even as you're groaning because you know, just know, that something huge is going to go wrong, you're also hoping that he knows more than you and it'll go right. Often times you're right, but then the next thing you know, he'll surprise you with his intellect.
Not that Jaron every acts anything other than intelligent. He is intelligent, but he lets his emotions get in the way of reason and thoroughly thinking through an action. Also, he never fully reveals everything he knows and everything that he is thinking--even to the reader--so when he makes a huge decision that seems to be leading him to certain death, you're surprised by what he has planned out. You had hoped he had a plan--a real one--but you were certain he didn't.
I think Jaron has a lot that he has held close to himself, not sharing with anyone really. Even when he does share, it's very limited information and to very few people. He's had to this. It was essential in his younger years when he was an orphan that no one know the truth about his past and about who he really was. Even later, when most of that has come out he still keeps as much to himself as possible and it's still understandable because his life is in danger.
Another quality I like about Jaron is how snarky he is! He's not afraid to tell someone what needs to be said, even if he is being held captive by that person and he'll be beaten in return for rude comments. In fact, often he says things that don't even need to be said, but are still true and hurtful to people who really deserve them. I'm not sure why I like this about him so much--maybe because it's an essential part of who he is, but I did enjoy those times when he would cut an enemy down with his words.
If you haven't read the Ascendance Trilogy, then I've probably ruined it a little for you, and I'm sorry, but you'll love Jaron so much that you just have to read him! He's a terrific character that middle graders will latch onto and want to find out what happens to him next.
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