Book 1 of the Ascendance Trilogy Children’s Book Series
by Jennifer Nielson, published 2012
“Food is considered a luxury in Carthyan orphanages. They operate on whatever money an orphan inherited upon the deaths of his parents, which inevitably is little more than the shirt on his back after debts were settled.”
It’s a delight to admit I was wrong! I had concluded that because of the intensity of Book 2, The Runaway King, I would not like this one, which is Book 1. However, since I had already ordered the book from the library, I decided to take a quick peek… and I was hooked. I cannot explain what it is about the writing style in this children’s book, but from beginning to end, it is impossible to put the book down. I don’t like fighting, nor scary things, and yet, something about this book works, despite some of those elements. The writing is clean, crisp, dramatic, and very easy to follow.
I think one of the appeals of this children’s book is that the hero is so heroic and the bad guys are so evil. It’s so black and white. I picked up the book to read during one of the many tumultuous events in the news, where I felt helpless as I watched humanity destroying itself. Reading the book was like a balm… you could count on a rescue, on a positive outcome.
The book is best for older children, at least 11, if not 12 and up. I wouldn’t limit this children’s book to any gender; while the hero is a boy, he has a great ally in an extraordinarily brave young lady. This powerful children’s book offers a picture of strength and determination, and very likable heroes. It’s nice to have no grey areas…good is good, and bad is bad, and that’s that!