Gr 5-8-Jaron, aka Sage, from the The False Prince (Scholastic, 2012), has been king of Carthya for a month. On the night of his family's funeral, he is attacked by Roden, his former friend. The assassination attempt fails, but Roden warns him that pirates will destroy Carthya if he does not surrender in nine days. Knowing that the people closest to him are in the most danger, he sends Imogen away by pretending he no longer cares for her. Gregor, the captain of the guards, wants him to go into hiding and have a steward installed until he is of age, but Jaron has a plan. He will once again become Sage and go to the pirates alone. Through Fink, a local boy, Jaron joins a band of thieves whose leader, Erick, escorts him to the pirates. Once Jaron is branded as a pirate he must decide the best way to challenge Devlin, the pirate king, and stop the impending war against Carthya. Complicating matters is Imogen's presence as a serving girl, her attempts to save Jaron from himself, and the arrival of Gregor. The truth emerges after Roden returns from sea and paves the way for a resolution that satisfies everyone. Despite the intricate and often convoluted plot, this is a fast-paced and thrilling read with twists and turns that never let up. Students will likely devour it and eagerly anticipate the conclusion to the trilogy.-Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.