The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde: My Review
My Rating: 5 Stars
“What you seek lies where you cannot seek it. What you find cannot be found.”
As someone who loves fantasy books, when I discovered that K.A. Linde had recently released a fantasy romance, I was all over it. She’s an author I’ve enjoyed in the past, writing in a genre I particularly enjoy, so it was a no brainer. The Affiliate absolutely did not disappoint. With it’s fantastic world-building, wonderful characters, swoony romance, and intriguing storyline, it’s a great read.
This book has lots of very good characters. As the story progresses and Cyrene’s inner circle grows, the reader is rewarded with a team of characters that illustrate the value of friendship and trust. Cyrene is strong on her own, but unstoppable with her friends around her. The “good” group is easily balanced by a group of “not so good” or at least antagonistic characters. I like that many characters exist in a grey area; it’s clear they are working towards mostly for themselves, but their motivations are somewhat unclear. This makes for a richer story than a typical good vs. evil.
And Cyrene! I love, love, love that she is a clever, gutsy, strong female lead, surrounded by lots of other strong females, good and bad. She has a vulnerability, and is not immune to romance (in the form of a handsome king!) but when it really comes down to it, she’s brave, and she chooses a path that is best for her.
With her world-building, Linde expertly weaves a complex backdrop for the engaging storyline. I always had a clear picture of what everything looked like, without being bogged down. There was plenty of action as well as romance, and the two were well-balanced. I only had one small issue with the story, and it’s hardly an issue at all. It has to do with the story’s “pacing”. It moved along quickly enough, but I struggled with the reveal of key pieces of the mystery puzzle. A lot of information is revealed at the very end, which made for an exciting climax, but I wish that a few more bits and pieces of information were given throughout the story, and I think this would have been possible without spoiling anything. It would have kept me even more engaged that I already was. Keep in mind, this is a very small detail that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of an excellent book.
I’m super excited to have a new fantasy series to anticipate, and The Ascension shows a ton of promise. Linde succeeds in writing a book that will easily please both fantasy and romance readers; if you’re a reader who generally reads straight romance, I recommend you give this one a try, and hopefully find a new genre to love.
” ‘She has this pull. When I’m with her, the throne slips away, and I’m just a man with a beautiful woman. It both intrigues and terrifies me.’ He splayed his hands before him. ‘I can never be anything but the king… but when I’m with her, I want to be.’ “
About The Affiliate
The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde
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.
Also check out my review of Avoiding Responsibility by K.A. Linde!