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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
This gripping tale of determination and grit is a celebration of female resilience. Crafted in poetic language, The Ascenditure by Robyn Dabney follows Klarke Ascher, a passionate young woman who wants nothing but to become a member of the kingdom's elite climbing team. She wants to climb the Miter's Backbone in search of the cure for lung sickness that afflicts the population. But since climbing is reserved for men, not everyone is ready to welcome her. In her kingdom, women are owned by men and their place is in the kitchen. Klarke has skills that are unique and when she insists on joining the team, a civil uprising that favors her ensues. There are powerful people who are determined to make her pay. Now she finds herself not only fighting for the rights of her oppressed people but for her survival as her fellow Ascenditures are killed, one by one. Can she survive long enough to unravel the truth behind the killings?
The descriptive prose welcomes readers on the first page and it only gets better and better as they read on. The image of the female heroine climbing a treacherous mountain against a raging storm immediately gives readers a powerful insight into her fighting spirit. This is a novel about a young woman who stands up against sexism, oppression, and the misuse of power by the ruling class. Robyn Dabney writes with confidence. But what sets this book apart is the incredible journey the heroine makes in pursuit of her goals. She is a robust character who faces unforeseen cruelty and must navigate through a web of conspiracy and threats to survive. It is a page-turning story that will appeal to fans of women's fiction and tales with finely accomplished female protagonists.