The first book in this series, The False Prince, was hardly the best example of a grand technical achievement. It was neither a grand masterpiece of metalanguage, flowery prose or ideological philosophy. Yet, what it was, it was good at being: a work of children's literature that was tightly plotted, engaging and sheer brilliance. The sequel here does precisely the same thing.
The Runaway King certainly misses out on the suspense generated through the clever twists of its predecessor. However, the author clearly learnt plenty from her first novel and utilised it excellently to expand upon the characters and then the world. So, while this novel may not be the greatest in terms of its instant impact nor does it possess the same suspense factor as the original it still has plenty of sheer fun elements!
Sage is back, reminding the reader of what good a roguish smart talking character can add to any story. His cocky literary presence makes this novel as much fun as it is and while one could be tempted to feel that he is over the top in terms of his skill, one must admit that he falls flat often in this novel, often being forced onto his last leg of luck. So while I may not have anything profound or gushing to say about this novel, lest I continue on to spouting verbal (or textual) garbage, let me admit that if you liked the original novel with its thieves and plots, you will find this an equally spellbinding novel.