Fae's Ascent

Clover Book 2

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
298 Pages
Reviewed on 03/17/2023
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Author Biography

NICOLE KILPATRICK was born and raised in the sun-kissed Philippines islands, but now works and lives in the asphalt jungle that is New York City. A lifelong lover of books, she read The Godfather when she was twelve and instantly fell in love. While she still enjoys the occasional gangster novel, she has since discovered her true passion in young adult fantasy. Mario Puzzo was quickly replaced by J.K. Rowling in this author’s heart. When not writing, she can be found lounging in a cabin by a river, curled up on a couch reading a book, or concocting recipes in her cozy kitchen. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband. Clover is her debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Fae's Ascent is a work of fiction in the fantasy and adventure subgenres and forms the second novel in the Clover series. It is intended for the young adult reading audience and was penned by Nicole Kilpatrick. In this charming continuation of the series, we find ourselves back with our protagonist Clover as she battles with navigating the parts of her fae heritage and learning the ways of the merrow people. But even as Clover begins to get a sense of the awesome powers that may lie within her, a war is brewing between the Seelie and Unseelie factions that will put what she’s achieved thus far to the test.

Nicole Kilpatrick offers a superb take on Celtic and fae-style fantasy which builds on mythological ideas and combines them with fresh modern twists. I loved the surprising riffs that the author takes with underwater folk and the magical powers that Clover can possess and develop, which makes for some very interesting and inventive problem-solving later in the tale. Beneath the gorgeous atmospheric description and the unique world-building, there is also a strong emotional core to the tale and some complex relationships for our young hero to explore that are unusually sophisticated for a YA read. Clover’s complexities, her self-belief, and her assessment of those around her and how they treat her are all excellent food for thought for teen readers. They add to the depth and scale of her developmental journey in a way that made me deeply proud of her by the novel’s conclusion. I would recommend Fae’s Ascent to fans of the existing series, and the series in general to readers who enjoy emotionally complex and highly immersive fantasy adventures.

Stephanie Chapman

In Fae’s Ascent: Clover Book 2, Nicole Kilpatrick continues Clover’s story in Faerie. Clover and Finn have begun dating. Clover is still dealing with the discovery that her mother Meara is a powerful mermaid and that she has inherited those fae abilities. Queen Helena’s assistant Liz is upset about Finn’s relationship with Clover. She sneaks into the dungeon and releases the sorceress Iekika and King Boris. Instead of killing Clover, Iekika kills King Boris and disappears. Queen Helena appoints Scobert and Kean to transport King Boris’s body home, but Scobert and Helena’s relationship becomes strained. Alistair McCabe is elected the new Unseelie King and meets with the Queen and Finn in the palace. He wants Clover back or there will be war. While he was in the meeting, Iekika attacked Clover, but Meara managed to take Clover to safety. In the meantime, Alistair has a backup plan to close the portals between Faerie and Earth.

Nicole Kilpatrick has increased the suspense with new details and the introduction of additional characters. Alistair becomes a much more powerful figure due to his backup plan. Finn’s recruiting mission causes Clover to doubt his feelings for her, especially after an argument before he left. Every scene was vivid and I could picture myself swimming under the water with Clover. Her immaturity is made apparent by her insecurity in her relationship with Finn. The fight she has with him over his saving her grandmother proves how unreasonable she has become. The perspectives transition between several characters seamlessly. I liked being able to see the story unfold through each particular viewpoint. I recommend Fae’s Ascent to readers who enjoy romantic fantasy stories full of action and suspense.

Sheena Monnin

Fae’s Ascent by Nicole Kilpatrick continues the adventurous story of Clover as she fights to separate herself from the power-hungry Alistair, a leprechaun who, unbeknownst to her, is closely connected to someone she loves. She struggles to manifest the powers available to her from her mermaid mother and falls in love for the first time. As Clover is on her own personal journey to fully embodying her powers, evil lurks in the darkness waiting to overthrow Queen Helena by whatever means necessary. Clover’s love interest, Finn, is also under tremendous pressure between what is right versus what is needed to protect the kingdom. Along the way, Clover encounters friends and family, old and new, and finds her place in her homeland.

Fae’s Ascent by Nicole Kilpatrick is a fast-paced fantasy story with mystery and action. Each chapter keeps the reader engaged with the multi-layered plot and the unexpected encounters and incidents each character faces. I love the lead female character and the strength and determination she shows, learning to let go in order to fully embrace her capabilities. The author writes the female lead with courage and grit, a fantastic example of a kind and wise young woman navigating a challenging period of her life. Each type of fantasy creature is represented in this book and written with authenticity. I appreciate the fullness of the plot and the clever setup for a sequel to this splendid series. Lovers of fantasy and adventure will thoroughly enjoy this story.