‘Ascend’ by Amanda Hocking

 What if the only way to save your world is to leave it behind?


by Amanda Hocking

St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date:  April 24, 2012

Copy received from:  Publisher


Spoiler alert:  If you have not yet read the first two books in this series, there may be spoilers contained in this review.  Although, I have tried to avoid giving too much away, read at your own discretion- because I really would hate to unwittingly ruin anything for you.


In the third and last installment of the Trylle trilogy by Amanda Hocking, we pick up a little bit after the last book, Torn, left off.  Wendy is now in a position of greater power, as she turns eighteen, marries, and is on the verge of becoming queen of Forening.  However, it is obvious that it is not going to be a smooth transition for her or those around her.  With more power comes greater danger, and given who her parents are, she is in the greatest of all dangers.  She must deal with a looming war, devastation at the hands of her father, and still focus on the goals she wishes to accomplish as leader.

In Ascend, it seems that not much has changed from Torn.  Wendy is still trying to navigate her way around three guys, two of which she has strong feelings towards but are both somewhat forbidden.  She still has not let her aunt in on her new life.  There are still divisions of class and race that stand in the way of many of those around her being with the ones they love- including herself.  Of course, some of these things are about the change, but whether they will change quickly enough remains to be seen.

While I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, I found Ascend to be lacking in anything that would surprise me.  It was a good read, but predictable throughout.  Maybe I was expecting something a bit edgier, but this wrap-up fell a bit flat for me.  There are already enough fairytales out there, and I was just hoping for a less obvious ending.  Also, the only other part I found troubling was in dealing with her husband, Tove, hitting her in one scene.  All the characters were in agreement that it was unacceptable, yet they all gave the same “he didn’t mean to do it, he was not himself, and he was just under a lot of pressure” excuses.  Regardless of him harnessing great power, the explaining away of abusive behavior seems somewhat irresponsible in YA fiction- even if he apologizes in the end.

However, even given the couple of weak points, I found Ascend to be entertaining; and it did make me feel warm and fuzzy at its conclusion.  Hocking has delivered a great, well-plotted, well-paced Trylle-ogy that really does make one want to read from beginning to end.  The magical feeling surrounding the happenings of Wendy allows the reader to be drawn in to a fresh fairytale for today’s YA audience, as Hocking lives her own fairytale ending.



This book can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.

For more about Amanda Hocking, visit her website.

To read my review of Switched, go here.

To read my review of Torn, go here.


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