Book Review: The Captive Kingdom

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a book review, so I thought I’d share one I enjoyed recently.

To remind you of my rating scale, here it is.

  • Plot Structure: How well the story was put together.
  • Character Development: Level of growth a character achieves and how well the author makes them feel “real.”
  • Language: Level of swearing, innuendos, verbal abuse, and other triggers.
  • Violence: Level of fight scenes and gore.
  • Sexual Content: Level of physical intimacy.

Now let’s dive in!

The Captive Kingdom is the fourth book of THE FALSE PRINCE series written by Jennifer A. Nielsen. This series was originally designed to be a trilogy, but there are some characters that have more to say, even when the author may think that particular door is closed. So Nielsen has come out with books four and five in this series over the past couple of years.

I will admit, I was a bit hesitant to pick up this book because I felt the third book was lacking in many ways as far as character development with her main character Jaron. Sure he got beat up, and things didn’t always go according to plan, but everything ALWAYS worked for him. There wasn’t a lot of true failure for him.

This can also be said of THE CAPTIVE KINGDOM. However, it felt like Jaron had matured quite a bit. While he still had some hair-brained plans that quite often worked, things were less certain for him and we got to see more vulnerability. He went into situations not being certain if they would work out. This demonstrated more courage to me than an absolute certainty that his plans would work.

I also thought the supporting cast of characters was well rounded, and several times the reader was left to guess at what turn the story would take next, which I appreciated. On the whole, I thought this was a very well done story, and one I would recommend to read after reading the first three books.

I will also say that I listened to this book instead of physically reading it because I’ve had a lot of driving time on my hands. I really enjoyed the narrator, and feel he did a great job bringing a unique life to each of the characters, making it a pleasure to listen to.

This book, along with the three previous ones in this series are what I term as clean reads. Nothing to fear if you choose to read this out loud with your kids, or in my case, choose to listen along with them.

Here is how I rated this book. (The scale is 1 being least and 10 being greatest)

  • Plot Structure: 8
  • Character Development: 8
  • Language: 0
  • Violence: 2-3. Jaron gets a severe leg wound in a scrimmage. No gory details. Just simple swash-buckling sword fights.
  • Sexual Content: 1. Jaron and Imogen kiss.

Overall, I found it enjoyable to listen to and would recommend it to others.

If you check out this book, I’d love to know what your thoughts are on it. Either send me an email, a direct message on Instagram or use the contact form on this website.

Until next week!

As a side note, I just finished the final book in this series, and will say it was decent. I preferred the fourth book over the 5th because once again, things seemed too easy for the main character, like they had in book 3. Despite this, I enjoyed listening to it and the trouble Jaron got in, but I would only rate the plot at a 6 and the characters at a 6 as well.

Published by Vanessa Thurgood

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