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 as 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.
OK, maybe it was just me, but this book made me think of CW's show, Reign, which helped me create this world in my head. I apologize if I'm way off, but I just couldn't help and think about that show ... which I use to watch!
The Affiliate was a first KA Linde book for me, so I didn't really know what to expect. I have quite a few mixed feelings about this book and I don't want to sound like I'm butchering every little thing. I felt a roller coaster of things as I got through each chapter, so I'll do my best to break things down.
For the most part, I enjoyed the story and by the end of the book, I was rather intrigued with the direction that this series will take. For some who may have had a tough time connecting with this one, I think as the series progresses, the story will just get better and better.
Cyrene, the affiliate, although the heroine was a character that I couldn't quite connect with. We get to witness different sides of her, more on that in a bit. She gains the role of being the Queen's Affiliate. And the way that I comprehended this world is that when they at the age of seventeen, they're seen/interviewed in front of the royal court to determine what their role will be for the rest of their lives (I think). I had issues with the world building, it got confusing for me.
King Edric, the man in an arranged and loveless marriage. There's a lot of flirting and deep desires between Cyrene and King Edric. And love triangles are huge NO for me, they just make things messy. There are several moments throughout the book, we get to witness the progressing 'relationship' between the two and quite a few times where I'd love to high five Cyrene for some of her decisions. At the moment, I can't say that I exactly love what's going on between them. And I don't know what the end game will be, but as of right now, I don't want them to be together. Cyrene falls a little too quickly in love with him, but she is a teenager, so I'll play that card for her.
Prince Kael, the brother of King Edric and I think I liked him more than Edric. I'm kind of at an impasse with him. In the beginning, I thought he was a grade-a douche for the way he acted towards Cyrene. But as the book progresses, I'm somewhat okay with him. I think he's just a boy that is stuck in his brother's shadow, so he acts out. I don't necessarily see him as a bad person, but who knows what will happen in the future. I'm kind of rooting for him ...
I actually came to appreciate and love Cyrene's friends, and the journey they will all take together is something I'm 100% looking forward to. Towards the end, we learn that there's so much more that Cyrene is capable of, but it's a huge mystery of what that all is. SO, her team of friends venture to find the right people to help discover her "skills".
There are things I liked and didn't, but I'm hoping the next book explains more about this world and that the characters are more developed. I love the direction that the storyline is going and can't wait to see what will come of Cyrene and her friends. There's a lot of mystery involved with this and it'll be great to see it all unfold. I was definitely intrigued with this world. I'm not giving up on this series, so I'm looking forward to the next installment!
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.