Author: K.A. Linde
Publisher: K.A. Linde Inc.
Length: 339 pages
Source: ARC received for Blog Tour
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm's lifelong plans come to fruition when she's chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland—an Affiliate to the Queen.
Or so she thinks.
When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene's position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have...
King Edric himself.
Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.
Protagonist: So while this book is told from the third person and sometimes follows certain side characters, for the most part this book focuses on the character of Cyrene. All Cyrene's ever wanted was to be chosen to stay in first class like she was raised and hopefully be given the position of an Affiliate to the Queen of her kingdom. Someone should have told her to be careful what she wised for. Being an Affiliate isn't all it's cracked up to be for Cyrene, especially when the Queen seems to hate her and other Affiliates and those in the First Class seem to be gruesomely and horribly killed. I loved the character of Cyrene, she's a kind, loyal, and curious character. While she doesn't develop that much over the course of this first book, there's plenty of potential for development in future books.
Romance: So, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not a huge fan of love triangles in which the two people vying for the main character's affections are siblings, especially when one seems kind and caring while the other is promiscuous and relentless in their pursuit of the main character. All that being said I actually found myself kind of enjoying this one. While I'm not quite taking it seriously as Cyrene doesn't seem to hold any feelings for Prince Kael, particularly after one incident, I do actually like the idea of Cyrene and King Edric together. Is it bad that I want them together even though he's married? Though I should clarify that it's a loveless and arranged marriage. The connection between Cyrene and Edric is very well developed, while it starts off as sort of an insta-infatuation while some BS about electricity, sparks, and bonds, it begins to develop into a fairly realistic romance, even though there isn't all too much of it, I found myself really enjoying it and anticipating seeing where it will go in future installments.
World-Building: So I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the world-building in this book. I love it because this is very interesting and semi-unique take on the fantasy genre, but at the same time I hate it because I had to sort of gather most of the world-building and explanations on various things from context clues. There are moments when certain things are beautifully and wonderfully explained and I got a real sense for what I was dealing with then there would be things such as the position of Consort in the court of Byern that sort of escaped me. I always had a vague idea, but it would have been a great help to have the explanation however long or short so that I didn't feel as though I was guessing most of the things I felt I should know.
Predictability: I was also a bit split on the predictability as well. While there were some amazing reveals in this book, I mean some completely awesome things, I felt as though they were a bit few and far between. Also, there would be times where I was lost as to where the story was going to go, by that I mean the story would lull at times and I really wanted a much more evenly spread pacing instead of having these great plot infused chapters and then some that I just felt sort of lost in.
Ending: So the ending of this book has many facets, first off there's the final climax which fell a bit flat, until a great chapter in which there was a great mass of exposition that was such a treat to read, it didn't feel info-dump like at all, but when we're pulled back into the final climax it's over which felt a bit anti-climactic. Then there are sort of two endings, from two different perspectives and they both ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, wait no, not a bit of a cliffhanger, it's actually a pretty large one, and one that had me wanting the next installment ASAP.
So yes, this book does have it's flaws but I was drawn into this world and I didn't want to leave. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to get my hands on the next.
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.
When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.