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Ascend: A Trylle Novel

Ascend: A Trylle Novel

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Ascend: A Trylle Novel

4.5/5 (50 évaluations)
321 pages
4 heures
Apr 24, 2012


Amanda Hocking is an indie publishing sensation whose self-published novels have sold millions of copies all over the world. Ascend is the final chapter in her bestselling Trylle trilogy—and you'll never guess how it ends!

Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself. If she doesn't surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe. But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind…even if it's the only way to save them?

The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn't the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she's about to make the ultimate choice…who to love forever. One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life—and now all their lives might be coming to an end.

Everything has been leading to this moment. The future of her entire world rests in her hands—if she's ready to fight for it.

Apr 24, 2012

À propos de l'auteur

Amanda Hocking lives in Minnesota, had never sold a book before April 2010 and has now sold over a million. According to the Observer, she is now 'the most spectacular example of an author striking gold through ebooks'. Amanda is a self-confessed 'Obsessive tweeter. John Hughes mourner. Batman devotee. Unicorn enthusiast. Muppet activist.' Her books include the Trylle Trilogy, the Watersong series and the Kanin Chronicles.

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  • I would tell them that I had seen Oren and extended the agreement by offering to go with him voluntarily in six months.

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Ascend - Amanda Hocking




I had my back to the room as I stared out the window. It was a trick I’d learned from my mother to make me seem more in control. Elora had given me lots of tips the past few months, but the ones about commanding a meeting were the most useful.

Princess, I think you’re being naive, the Chancellor said. You can’t turn the entire society on its head.

I’m not. I turned back, giving him a cool gaze, and he lowered his eyes and balled up his handkerchief in his hand. But we can’t ignore the problems any longer.

I surveyed the meeting room, doing my best to seem as cold and imposing as Elora always had. I didn’t plan to be a cruel ruler, but they wouldn’t listen to weakness. If I wanted to make a change here, I had to be firm.

Since Elora had become incapacitated, I’d been running the day-to-day activities of the palace, which included a lot of meetings. The board of advisers seemed to take up a lot of my time.

The Chancellor had been voted into his position by the Trylle people, but as soon as his term was up, I planned to campaign against him as hard as I could. He was a conniving coward, and we needed somebody much stronger in his position.

Garrett Strom—my mother’s confidant—was here today, but he didn’t always attend these meetings. Depending on how Elora was doing that day, he often chose to stay and care for her instead.

My assistant Joss sat at the back of the room, furiously scribbling down notes as we talked. She was a small human girl who grew up in Förening as a mänsklig and worked as Elora’s secretary. Since I’d been running the palace, I’d inherited Joss as my own assistant.

Duncan, my bodyguard, was stationed by the door, where he stood during all the meetings. He followed me everywhere, like a shadow, and though he was clumsy and small, he was smarter than people gave him credit for. I’d grown to respect and appreciate his presence the last few months, even if he couldn’t completely take the place of my last guard, Finn Holmes.

Aurora Kroner sat at the head of the table, and next to her was Tove, my fiancé. He was usually the only one on my side, and I was grateful to have him here. I didn’t know how I would manage ruling if I felt completely alone.

Also in attendance were Marksinna Laris, a woman I didn’t particularly trust, but she was one of the most influential people in Förening; Markis Bain, who was in charge of changeling placement; Markis Court, the treasurer for the palace; and Thomas Holmes, the head guard in charge of security and all the trackers.

A few other high-ranking officials sat around the table, all of their expressions solemn. The situation for the Trylle was growing increasingly dire, and I was proposing change. They didn’t want me to change anything—they wanted me to support the system they’d had for centuries, but that system wasn’t working anymore. Our society was crumbling, and they refused to see the roles they played in its breakdown.

With all due respect, Princess, Aurora began, her voice so sweet I could barely hear the venom underneath, we have bigger issues at hand. The Vittra are only getting stronger, and with the truce about to end—

The truce, Marksinna Laris snorted, cutting her off. Like that’s done us any good.

The truce isn’t over yet, I said, standing up straighter. Our trackers are out taking care of the problems now, which is why I think it’s so important that we have something in place for them when they return.

"We can worry about that when they return, the Chancellor said. Let’s deal with saving our asses right now."

I’m not asking to redistribute the wealth or calling to abolish the monarchy, I said. "I am simply saying that the trackers are out there risking their lives to save us, to protect our changelings, and they deserve a real house to come back to. We should be setting aside money now so that when this is over, we can begin building them real homes."

As noble as that is, Princess, we should be saving our money for the Vittra, Markis Bain said. He was quiet and polite, even when he disagreed with me, and he was one of the few royals whom I felt actually wanted to do what was best for all the people.

We can’t pay the Vittra off, Tove interjected. "This isn’t about money. This is about power. We all know what they want, and a few thousand—or even a few million—dollars won’t matter to them. The Vittra King will refuse it."

I will do everything in my power to keep Förening safe, but you are all correct, I said. We have yet to find a reasonable solution for the Vittra. That means this might very well turn into a bloody fight, and if it does, we need to support our troops. They deserve the best care, including adequate housing and access to our healers if they’re injured in wartime.

Healers for a tracker? Marksinna Laris laughed, and a few others chuckled along with her. Don’t be ridiculous.

Why is that ridiculous? I asked, working to keep the ice from my voice. They are expected to die for us, but we aren’t willing to heal their wounds? We cannot ask more of them than we are willing to give ourselves.

They are lower than us, Laris said, as if I didn’t understand the concept. We are in charge for a reason. Why on earth should we treat them as equals when they are not?

Because it’s basic decency, I argued. We may not be human, but that doesn’t mean we have to be devoid of humanity. This is why our people are leaving our cities and preferring to live among the humans, letting their powers die. We must offer them some bit of happiness, otherwise why would they stay?

Laris muttered something under her breath, keeping her steely eyes locked on the oak table. Her black hair was slicked back, pulled in a bun so tight her face looked strained. This was probably done on purpose to draw attention to her strength.

Marksinna Laris was a very powerful Trylle, able to produce and control fire, and something that strong was draining. Trylle powers weakened them, taking some of their life and aging them prematurely.

But if the Trylle didn’t use them, the abilities did something to their minds, eating at their thoughts and making them crazy. This was especially true for Tove, who would appear scattered and rude if he didn’t find constant outlets for his psychokinesis.

It is time for a change, Tove said, speaking up when the room had fallen into annoyed silence. It can be gradual, but it’s going to happen.

A knock at the door stopped anyone from offering a rebuttal, but from the beet-red color of the Chancellor’s face, it looked like he had a few words he wanted to get out.

Duncan opened the door, and Willa poked her head in, smiling uncertainly. Since she was a Marksinna, Garrett’s daughter, and my best friend, she had every right to be here. I’d extended an invitation for her to attend these meetings, but she always declined, saying she was afraid she would do more harm than good. She had a hard time being polite when she disagreed with people.

Sorry, Willa said, and Duncan stepped aside so she could come in. I didn’t mean to interrupt. It’s just that it’s after five, and I was supposed to get the Princess at three for her birthday celebration.

I glanced at the clock, realizing this had dragged on much longer than I’d originally planned. Willa walked over to me and gave the room an apologetic smile, but I knew she’d pull me out kicking and screaming if I didn’t put an end to the meeting.

Ah, yes. The Chancellor smiled at me with a disturbing hunger in his eyes. I’d forgotten that you’ll be eighteen tomorrow. He licked his lips, and Tove stood up, purposely blocking the Chancellor’s view of me.

Sorry, everyone, Tove said, but the Princess and I have plans this evening. We’ll pick up this meeting next week, then?

You’re going back to work next week? Laris looked appalled. So soon after your wedding? Aren’t you and the Princess taking a honeymoon?

With the state of things, I don’t think it’s wise, I said. I have too much to get done here.

While that was true enough, that wasn’t the only reason I’d skipped out on a honeymoon. As much as I’d grown to like Tove, I couldn’t imagine what the two of us would do on one. I hadn’t even let myself think about how we would spend our wedding night.

We need to go over the changeling contracts, Markis Bain said, standing up in a hurry. Since the trackers are bringing the changelings back early, and some families decline to do changelings anymore, the placements have all been moved around. I need you to sign off on them.

Enough talk of business. Willa looped her arm through mine, preparing to lead me out of the room. The Princess will be back to work on Monday, and she can sign anything you want then.

Willa, it will only take a second to sign them, I said, but she glared at me, so I gave Bain a polite smile. I will look them over first thing Monday morning.

Tove stayed behind a moment to say something to Bain, but he caught up with us a few moments later in the hall. Even though we were out of the meeting, Willa still kept her arm through mine as we walked.

Duncan stayed a step behind us when we were in the south wing. I’d gotten talked to many, many times about how I couldn’t treat Duncan as an equal while business was being conducted and there were Trylle officials at work around us.

Princess? Joss said, scampering behind me with papers spilling out of her binder. Princess, do you want me to arrange a meeting on Monday with Markis Bain for the contracts?

Yes, that would be fantastic, I said, slowing so I could talk to her. Thank you, Joss.

You have a meeting at ten A.M. with the Markis of Oslinna. Joss flipped through the appointment section of the binder, and a paper flew out. Duncan snatched it before it fell to the floor and handed it to her. Thank you. Sorry. So, Princess, do you want to meet Markis Bain before or after that meeting?

She’ll be going back to work just after getting married, Willa said. Of course she won’t be there first thing in the morning. Make it for the afternoon.

I glanced over at Tove walking next to me, but his expression was blank. Since proposing to me, he’d actually spoken very little of getting married. His mother and Willa had done most of the planning, so I hadn’t even talked to him about what he thought of colors or flower arrangements. Everything had been decided for us, so we had little to discuss.

Does two in the afternoon work for you? Joss asked.

Yes, that would be perfect, I said. Thanks, Joss.

All right. Joss stopped to hurriedly scribble down the time in the binder.

Now she’s off until Monday, Willa told Joss over her shoulder. That means five whole days where nobody calls her, talks to her, or meets with her. Remember that, Joss. If anybody asks for the Princess, she cannot be reached.

Yes, of course, Marksinna Strom. Joss smiled. Happy birthday, Princess, and good luck with your wedding!

I can’t believe how much of a workaholic you are, Willa said with a sigh as we walked away. When you’re Queen, I’ll never see you at all.

Sorry, I said. I tried to get out of the meeting sooner, but things have been getting out of hand lately.

That Laris is driving me batty, Tove said, grimacing at the thought of her. When you’re Queen, you should banish her.

When I’m Queen, you’ll be King, I pointed out. You can banish her yourself.

Well, wait until you see what we have planned for you tonight. Duncan grinned. You’ll be having too much fun to worry about Laris or anybody else.

Fortunately, since I was getting married in a few days, I’d gotten out of the usual ball that would happen for a Princess’s birthday. Elora and Aurora had planned that the wedding would take place immediately after I turned eighteen. My birthday was on a Wednesday, and I was getting married on Saturday, leaving no time for a massive Trylle birthday party.

Willa insisted on throwing me a small party anyway, even though I didn’t really want one. Considering everything that was happening in Förening, it felt like sacrilege. The Vittra had set up a peace treaty with us, agreeing not to attack us until I became Queen.

What we hadn’t realized at the time was the specific language they had used. They wouldn’t attack us, meaning the Trylle living in Förening. Everyone else was fair game.

The Vittra had started going after our changelings, the ones that were still left with their host families in human society. They’d taken a few before we caught on, but as soon as we did, we sent all our best trackers to bring home any changeling over the age of sixteen, including most of the trackers serving as palace bodyguards. For anyone younger than that, our trackers were supposed to stand guard and watch them. We knew the Vittra would avoid taking them because they couldn’t do so without setting off an Amber Alert. Still, we felt that every precaution must be taken to protect the most vulnerable among us.

That left us at a horrible disadvantage. To protect the changelings, our trackers had to be in the field, so they couldn’t be here guarding the palace. We would be more exposed to an attack if the Vittra went back on their part of the deal, but I didn’t see what choice we had. We couldn’t let them kidnap and hurt our children, so I sent every tracker I could out into the field.

Finn had been gone almost continuously for months. He was the best tracker we had, and he’d been returning the changelings to all the Trylle communities. I hadn’t seen him since before Christmas, and sometimes I still missed him, but the longing was fading.

He’d made it clear that his duty came before everything else and I could never be a real part of his life. I was marrying someone else, and even though I still cared about Finn, I had to put that behind me and move past it.

Where is this party happening anyway? I asked Willa, pushing thoughts of Finn from my mind.

Upstairs, Willa said, leading me toward the grand staircase in the front hall. Matt’s up there putting on the finishing touches.

Finishing touches? I raised an eyebrow.

Someone pounded violently on the front door, making the door shake and the chandelier above us tremble. Normally people rang the doorbell, but our visitor was nearly beating down the door.

Stay back, Princess, Duncan said as he walked over to the entrance.

Duncan, I can get it, I said.

If somebody hit the door hard enough to make the front hall quake, I was afraid of what they would do to him. I made a move for the door, but Willa stopped me.

Wendy, let him, she said firmly. You and Tove will be here if he needs you.

No. I pulled myself from her grip and went after Duncan, to defend him if I needed to.

That sounded silly, since he was supposed to be my bodyguard, but I was more powerful than him. He was really only meant to serve as a shield if need be, but I would never let him do that.

When he opened the door, I was right behind him. Duncan meant to only partially open the door so he could see what waited for us outside, but a gust of wind came up, blowing it open and sending snow swirling around the front hall.

A blast of cold air struck me, but it died down almost instantly. Willa could control the wind when she wanted to, so as soon as it blew inside the palace, she raised her hand to stop it.

A figure stood before us, bracing himself with his hands on either side of the doorway. He was slumped forward, his head hanging down, and snow covered his black sweater. His clothes were ragged, worn, and shredded in most places.

Can we help you? Duncan asked.

I need the Princess, he said, and as soon as I heard his voice, a shiver shot through me.

Loki? I gasped.

Princess? Loki lifted his head.

He smiled crookedly, but his smile didn’t have its usual bravado. His caramel eyes looked tired and pained, and he had a fading bruise on his cheek. Despite all that, he was still just as gorgeous as I remembered him, and my breath caught in my throat.

What happened to you? I asked. What are you doing here?

I apologize for the intrusion, Princess, he said, his smile already fading. And as much as I’d like to say that I’m here for pleasure, I… He swallowed something back, and his hands gripped tighter on the door frame.

Are you all right? I asked, pushing past Duncan.

I… Loki started to speak, but his knees gave out. He pitched forward, and I rushed to catch him. He fell into my arms, and I lowered him to the floor.

Loki? I brushed the hair back from his eyes, and they fluttered open.

Wendy. He smiled up at me, but the smile was weak. If I’d known that this is what it would take to get you to hold me, I would’ve collapsed a long time ago.

What is going on, Loki? I asked gently. If he hadn’t been so obviously distressed, I would’ve swatted him for that comment, but he grimaced in pain when I touched his face.

Amnesty, he said thickly, and his eyes closed. I need amnesty, Princess. His head tilted to the side, and his body relaxed. He’d passed out.



Tove and Duncan had carried Loki up to the servants’ quarters on the second floor. Willa went back to help Matt so he wouldn’t worry, and I sent Duncan to get Thomas because I had no idea what we should do with Loki. He was unconscious, so I couldn’t ask him what had happened.

Are you going to give him amnesty? Tove asked. He stood next to me with his arms folded over his chest, staring down at Loki.

I don’t know. I shook my head. It depends on what he says. I glanced over at Tove. Why? Do you think I should?

I don’t know, he said finally. But I will support any decision you make.

Thank you, I said, but I hadn’t expected any different from him. Can you see if there’s a doctor that will look at him?

You don’t want me to get my mother? Tove asked. His mother was a healer, meaning she could put her hands on someone and heal almost any wound that person might have.

No. She would never heal a Vittra. Besides, I don’t want anyone to know that Loki is here. Not yet, I said. I need an actual doctor. There is a mänks doctor in town, isn’t there?

Yeah. He nodded. I’ll get him. He turned to leave but paused at the door. You’ll be okay with the Vittra Markis?

I smiled. Yes, of course.

Tove nodded, then left me alone with Loki. I took a deep breath and tried to figure out what to do. Loki lay on his back, his light hair cascading across his forehead. Somehow he was even more attractive asleep than he was awake.

He hadn’t stirred at all when they’d carried him up, and Duncan had jostled and nearly dropped him many times. Loki had always dressed well, and while his clothes looked like they had once been nice, they were little more than rags now.

I sat down on the edge of the bed next to him and touched a hole in his shirt. The skin underneath was discolored and swollen. Tentatively, I lifted his shirt, and when Loki didn’t wake, I pushed it up more.

I felt strange and almost perverse undressing him, but I wanted to check and make sure there weren’t any life-threatening contusions. If he was seriously injured or appeared to have any broken bones, I would summon Aurora and make her heal him, whether she wanted to or not. I wouldn’t let Loki die because she was prejudiced.

After I pulled his shirt over his head, I got my first good look at him, and my breath caught in my throat. Under ordinary circumstances, I was sure his physique would be stunning, but that wasn’t what shocked me. His torso was covered with bruises, and his sides had long, thin scars on them.

They wrapped around, so I lifted him a bit, and his back was covered with them. They crisscrossed all over his skin, some of them older, but most of them appeared red and fresh.

Tears stung my eyes, and I put my hand to my mouth. I’d never seen Loki shirtless before, but I knew there had never been scars on his forearms. Most of this had happened since I’d seen him last.

Worse still, Loki had Vittra blood. Physically, he was incredibly strong, which was how he’d pounded at the door so hard it shook the front hall. That also meant he healed better than most. For him to look this terrible, somebody really had to have beaten the hell out of him, over and over again, so he wouldn’t have time to heal.

A jagged scar stretched across his chest, as if someone had tried to stab him, and it reminded me of my own scar that ran along my stomach. My host mother had tried to kill me when I was a child, but that felt like a lifetime ago.

I touched Loki’s chest, running my fingers over the bumps of his scar. I didn’t know why exactly, but I felt compelled to, as if the scar connected us somehow.

You just couldn’t wait to get me naked, could you, Princess? Loki asked tiredly. I started to pull my hand back, but he put his own hand over it, keeping it in place.

No, I—I was checking for wounds, I stumbled. I wouldn’t meet his gaze.

I’m sure. He moved his thumb, almost caressing my hand, until it hit my ring. What’s that? He tried to sit up to see it, so I lifted my hand, showing him the emerald-encrusted oval on my finger. Is that a wedding ring?

No, engagement. I lowered my hand, resting it on the bed next to him. I’m not married yet.

I’m not too late, then. He smiled and settled back in the bed.

Too late for what? I asked.

To stop you, of course. Still smiling, he closed his eyes.

Is that why you’re here? I asked, failing to point out how near we were to my nuptials.

I told you why I’m here, Loki said.

What happened to you, Loki? I asked, my voice growing thick when I thought about what he had to have gone through to get all those marks and bruises.

Are you crying? Loki asked and opened his eyes.

No, I’m not crying. I wasn’t, but my eyes were

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50 évaluations / 38 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    Back on track, unputdownable. Ended well.
  • (5/5)
    What a perfect way to end the Trylle Series. This last book took you on quite the emotional ride of saddness, fear, excitement and love. The author does a wonderful job of describing the characters and holding the story line beautifully. I loved it and look forward to reading more of this author.
  • (4/5)
    Another book I bought solely based on the cover. I really should start reading the backs of books. But lucky for me, this one was okay.

    Who knew a book about trolls would be good. I found it interesting. It was different. Another part to the fantasy world and I was happy I found it.

    It follows the new life of a teen. Running and fighting and becoming a princess! Scandalous makeup sessions and a marriage to a gay man. Oh my!

    It was pretty funny and entertaining.

    They only thing I didn't like, was teen pregnancy and how okay it seemed. How everyone just accepted it. I know it happens, but it shouldn't be glorified in books.
  • (5/5)
    Find this review and more at On The Shelf!I am definitely glad that I was able to listen to all three of these audiobooks in a row. I didn't have to wait a year in between and forget some things here and there because of it. I was able to enjoy the whole story and I loved it. I think this last book was my favorite because of all of the build up and emotional investment.Wendy is at her more mature in this book and she grew a lot from the beginning of the story. I am pleased with the way the story ended and loved the short stories at the ends of each novel. I really like all of the people she is close to and I can't pick a single favorite.As for the ending solution, I think there could have been a simpler answer, but maybe there was a readon it couldn't be the solution I thought of.***SPOILER***SPOILER***SPOILER***SPOILER***For those of you who don't mind spoilers or have already read teh book, my solution was for Wendy to use her abilities and pick up the sword with her mind and use that to end Oren, but instead she tries to push him and drains her energy. She ends up getting into his head, causing him a lot of pain, and decapitates him with the sword. Why? Maybe her control with her abilities wasn't as fine tuned to be able to move it that way. Maybe she was only good at mentally shoving stuff?***END OF SPOILER***END OF SPOILER***The narrator does a great job of reading, just like with the first two books. She does really well at having disctinctive voices so you know who is talking before the book tells us. The world of Forening is very interesting, though all I really know of it is how secretive and hidden it is. We still never got to see the kindgom and that would have helped it to feel as if Forening was bigger.The cover is beautiful, as is all the covers of this series. The colors are so vibrant and on the Ascend cover, the red of her dress and throne stand out beautifully against the lush green. I really enjoyed this trilogy, even if there were some things that could have been better, and I greatly look forward to reading more of her work. I am glad she thought outside of the box and wrote such a great story based on trolls.Matured characters, emotional, same great narration, still don't get to see the kingdom.
  • (5/5)
    Also posted on Lovey Dovey BooksAscend is ever the fairy tale ending to Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy. Though Wendy's life isn't full of extravagant balls or gowns, she gets her fair share of romance and experience as the Trylle princess. With the risk of danger in every decision Wendy makes toward saving her people, she has to rely on her training and friends if she wants to come out alive.Ascend is the most suspenseful of the three Trylle novels. Not knowing what will come next for Wendy and fearing that the Trylle and Vittra will end up in war will surely put readers on edge. The suspense even extends to Wendy's personal life as she swivels between marriage to one of her closest friends, or loving freely the man who may very well be the love of her life. If not for the steamy and adorable romance, Ascend would be only pages and pages of political intrigue and heart-stopping action.All great series must come to an end, but at least Hocking closes the Trylle Trilogy with a big bang. Readers will certainly be pleased with Ascend's unexpected surprises and long-lasting triumphs!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the way this series reframed our ideas about "trolls," which offered a refreshing change from the vampires and werewolves that can get a little old. I'm torn between three and four stars because I wouldn't say I "loved" the series, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who listens to this genre. So I'll leave it at four.

    I particularly like the way the author brought the series to an end. I'm sure she was under some pressure to come up with a fourth in the series, but the story ends exactly where it should have.
  • (4/5)
    I typically do not write anyting with spoilers and this still will not include big ones but it will include a few hints and pieces of information you might not want to know...so stop now if you haven't read the series yet.

    I have to admit that this book left me a bit fustrated after really enjoying the first two books in this series so much. The beginning of this book confused me a bit since rather than picking up where Switched left off it went back in time about a week. I also found it strange that all of a sudden Wendy's had control over her powers and needed very little training when she could barely use them at the end of Switched.

    I thought Wendy's final relationship developed a bit to fast...in fact I litterally yelled at my book a couple of times. There were a few areas that were predictable and others that I didn't see coming and thought "why didn't she do it this way?"

    Despite these things I still really liked the overall idea of the story. I know Amanda Hocking has said that this will be the end of the series...but I would love to see here write additional stories set in this world for some of the other characters (if I mentioned who, I would give away the end of the book)! She could even expand it to some of the other Troll Villages!
  • (3/5)
    (Spoilers!) I prefer the first two books in this series to the last one. There was all of this built up anticipation for the so-called "war" that was supposed to happen and it ended so abruptly that I was left, mouth agape, trying to figure out why I read over 250 pages to get to, "I swung the sword down, slicing through his neck. I turned away so I didn't have to see it, but I heard his head fall to the floor." It was like I was on a rollercoaster looking forward to the huge drop in front of me, but instead the ride completely stopped. There was no excitement in that "war," and I was disappointed. Where did the Amanda Hocking that I love go? There were a few other quotes that stuck out to me as being poorly written and left me screaming, "WHAT?!" in my head. For example, ""I don't know Wendy." Tove shook his head. "I don't want you to die, but I don't know what else to tell you."" Huh? That lacks so much compassion that I literally wanted to punch Tove in the face. Who cares if he's gay? I still think he should have been more upset about the fact that Wendy, at that point in the story, was most likely facing death. Don't get me wrong, I do recommend this series and I do plan on reading more of her books but this one was just a letdown in more ways than one and to me it seems that Hocking may have rushed the ending to this series without putting as much thought into it as she did the first two books.
  • (4/5)
    I knew it would end with me totally pissed. And I am. The story is as riveting as the others and a complete nail biter/page turner that I raced through. I like the overall story but I won't pretend for a second that I even remotely like the ending. Amanda is a talented writer and this is the second series from her that I have latched onto and loved the characters. She writes these so that you find yourself wrapped up and feeling a part of the story. I completely recommend the Trylle trilogy to everyone but in my head I am rewriting the ending.
  • (3/5)
    The Beginning: We are plunged into a heated discussion between Wendy and her high ranking officials (Markis and Marksinnas) about tracker equality. This sets the tone of the novel, one of debates, disagreements and as the first chapter closes, some unexpected developments. [read the first chapter]

    The Middle: I don’t know how else to say this, so I’ll just come out and say that the middle lost me. Wendy had a lot of tough decisions to make, not only with the kingdom but with her personal life, and a lot of the things she does with her personal life, well, it confused me. Without spoiling the book, it seemed to me that some minor characters sprang up and took over. It is not my intension to impose my opinion of how the characters should behave on the author; so I think that, even if I did not like the outcome, she had her story to tell and she told it. My biggest concern was that I did not love the characters that she wanted me to love nor did I hate the characters that she wanted me to hate - and this is not only in relation to the romantic storyline.

    The relationship between Wendy and Finn, Wendy and Elora and Wendy and Willa were so fleshed out in the first two books that I could almost feel what Wendy was feeling towards them as she narrated the story. I did not feel the same way about Wendy and Trove, Wendy and Loki and Wendy and Oren.

    The End: Not the ending I expected and not in the conclusion I saw coming, so that was pretty good. Again, my only issue here is that I wanted to feel more for the characters, but wasn’t moved by them.

    Overall: I have a lot of respect for Amanda Hocking, she is publishing her own books, she’s making her own way and she’s fulfilling her dream. I want to give this trilogy 5 stars, but - barring a few editorial mishaps throughout the series - this book was the downfall. I spent a lot of time thinking about this review, I didn’t want to write it and give a low “grade” just because things didn’t go my way. Also, understanding that this was self published, I didn’t want to dock a “grade” due to any gramatical mishaps that might have been otherwise caught. I had to put these aside and I think about my biggest struggles with the narrative; there were only two things. The first addressed above, I wish I had some time to really love the characters that Wendy loved and to really hate the characters that Wendy hated - even to be a little frightened of Oren. The last was something that ran though the series, I felt that Wendy narrated a lot of things that I didn’t need to know, that sometimes I was being told things instead of shown things.

    While I did not love Ascend, I did enjoyed the Trylle trilogy on a whole. I am going to follow Amanda and read her upcoming books. I am looking forward to see how she grows as an author. I see a lot of potential and I think she’s an excellent story teller with good stories to tell.
  • (4/5)
    This was an intense, suspenseful, and satisfying ending to a great trilogy. As expected, there is much action that takes place in this book. At times it leaves you worrying for your favorite characters because it's a war and anything can happen. On top of that there is much the Princess wants to change for the kingdom. So she has two distinctly different war fronts against her. In the end it's satisfying how it all turns out. That short story was just icing on the cake of an already wonderful ending as well.
  • (3/5)
    I received a copy of this book in return for a review.The book itself is not marked as being part three of a series. That it is indeed part 3 is something I found disconcerting. So much has happened in previous books I haven't read that I don't understand most of the references made. I was several chapters in before I realized that 'Trylle' meant 'Troll' and I still don't understand why they talk about the United States right alongside their Fairyland. Or why it is that trylle look so much like humans that they can apparently successfully pass as them and yet are afraid of discovery. Why haven't they simply integrated? Why haven't the humans discovered them?These unanswered questions make the book that much harder to read, even though the prose is easy to follow and the heroine somewhat sympathetic. (And somewhat ditzy. We're all but at war with Teh Enemy. Let's go visit! And fickle. She's married to one guy and in love with two others. At the same time.) Another example of the princess' good judgment -- the villain is immortal, so she'll just cut off his head. Now, if she was planning on sealing it in cement, I might call that a plan, but to me, it just raises the question of what kind of immortal is someone who dies from cutting off their head? (Shut up, Highlander.)It ended well, but I think that the solution was overly simplistic and the deeper problems with the society brushed over. Still, it made me *care* about those problems, so it wasn't bad, not at all.
  • (4/5)
    With Elora declining fast, changeling Wendy knows it's only a matter of time before she becomes Queen of the Trylle and her father the King of an opposing faction of trolls called the Vittra, will attack her people. Then Loki - one of the Vittra that Wendy met when she was imprisoned - suddenly shows up looking for amnesty. Can she trust him? And can she defeat her father with the help of her friends?The third book in the Trylle trilogy comes together for a satisfying conclusion in this fast-paced read. Nothing was truly surprising, but it's a solid read for fans of YA fantasy and paranormal romance. Wendy narrates her story, and we follow everything through her eyes and she starts to see Elora and Loki more clearly, and as she struggles to do what's right for the kingdom or for herself, personally.
  • (3/5)
    A good conclusion to a fun series.
  • (4/5)
    This book, like the other two in the Trylle Trilogy, is a compulsive, fun read. Amanda's writing style is clear and concise, and every chapter is fast-paced and exciting.

    The Trylle world is interesting, based on troll folklore, and I found myself completely immersed in the reality Amanda built. Monarchy, laws that govern social status and discrimination to go with it, are all part of the believable Trylle world.

    Wendy is a lovable character who has deep empathy for others and a commitment to social justice. She deals with a painful and difficult love triangle, one of them under intense pressure by the social rules of the society. The outcome is completely unexpected.

    I'm very much looking forward to more books from Amanda Hocking!
  • (2/5)
    Some books you can read as a stand alone even when part of a trilogy but don't attempt this one. It makes very little sense and the setting is totally omitted in this book. Had no idea where I was or what era I was in. Series may be enjoyable but not as a stand alone.
  • (3/5)
    I'm not a fan of the teen mother happy ending. But this was a fun series of books to read, and I think I'll give some more the author's books a try.
  • (4/5)
    Finished the last two of this series almost as quickly as the Hunger Games. This series; however, seems far from complete for me. Amanda - there are more stories to be told about the Trylle. More please!
  • (3/5)
    This is a cautionary tale about what happens when you put a bunch of hormonal teenagers in charge of a nation. Lots of destructive violence interspersed with dialogue like "When we were in your room you said you wanted me to remember that I wanted you to kiss me" (that one tied my brain in knots).This was easily the worst of the trilogy for me, I was expecting an explosive finale but all the dramatic set-ups fizzled out with a whimper, not least the romance side of it. It's practically compulsory nowadays for the female protagonist in a YA novel to have two rivals for her affections (thinking of Twilight, Hunger Games - both employ this device) and in this case I was expecting the situation to be resolved with a bit more of a twist and a bit less of a shrug of the shoulders. The trolls' special abilities too seemed under-used. They seemed to forget they could do cool stuff like move things through thought power. I'm sure if they had got a handle on that a lot of the problems they had could have been solved a lot quicker and without all the convoluted plans. At one point Wendy instructs her people that they are to stick with the plan, but the only problem was I couldn't remember what the plan was any more.So it's a three star for me, but five stars and total respect to the author for what she has achieved though sheer hard work and determination.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic series & great final book. Perfect ending! This has me oohing & ahing, crying & smiling. Wonderful.
    Can't wait to see what the next series brings.
  • (3/5)
    ** Spoiler Alert ** I prefer the first two books in this series to the last one. There was all of this built up anticipation for the so-called "war" that was supposed to happen and it ended so abruptly that I was left, mouth agape, trying to figure out why I read over 250 pages to get to, "I swung the sword down, slicing through his neck. I turned away so I didn't have to see it, but I heard his head fall to the floor." It was like I was on a rollercoaster looking forward to the huge drop in front of me, but instead the ride completely stopped. There was no excitement in that "war," and I was disappointed. Where did the Amanda Hocking that I love go? There were a few other quotes that stuck out to me as being poorly written and left me screaming, "WHAT?!" in my head. For example, ""I don't know Wendy." Tove shook his head. "I don't want you to die, but I don't know what else to tell you."" Huh? That lacks so much compassion that I literally wanted to punch Tove in the face. Who cares if he's gay? I still think he should have been more upset about the fact that Wendy, at that point in the story, was most likely facing death. Don't get me wrong, I do recommend this series and I do plan on reading more of her books but this one was just a letdown in more ways than one and to me it seems that Hocking may have rushed the ending to this series without putting as much thought into it as she did the first two books.
  • (5/5)
    Okay, so I am going to try to do this without spoilers but it is going to be hard!

    I read the first book in this series a while back, though I did not review it at the time as I was not posting reviews at that point. I will try to reread it in the near future and post a review for you folks.

    I posted my review of the second book in the series earlier today and was extremely grateful that I got Barnes and Noble gift cards for my birthday on the 18th so that I could get the next one immediately. I had to sit down and start reading, and have now finished it in under 12 hours. Yes, it is that good. The editing issues I mentioned in my review of Torn are not a problem here, as it would appear that this work was just edited better. I was unable to put it down, and that is high praise from me as I am not afraid to walk away from a book if it sucks.

    The character development throughout the series as a whole was just absolutely amazing. You feel yourself drawn to the characters and sucked into the story. This series really does have it all. There is drama, action, adventure and romance all rolled into one. The forbidden love from the first book has morphed and changed, but you will not find yourself disappointed at all. The ending is absolutely perfect, and I especially loved the little short story that was included at the end of this one. A lot of books leave you hanging, wishing you could know what happened down the line, but this author did a good job of tying up loose ends in a short story she includes for her readers to enjoy.

    Overall, this was an excellent book and I feel everyone needs to read this one!
  • (5/5)
    What a perfect way to end the Trylle Series. This last book took you on quite the emotional ride of saddness, fear, excitement and love. The author does a wonderful job of describing the characters and holding the story line beautifully. I loved it and look forward to reading more of this author.
  • (5/5)
    This is a long overdue review, but Ascend truly was the perfect way to end the Trylle series.Note: If you haven't read Ascend yet, don't read this review.I wasn't sure what to expect when I started Ascend. I had an idea of where Hocking would take the story, thanks to the blurb and title, but I was still pleasantly surprised in the end.Ascend is where Wendy comes into her own. She's grown a lot since the beginning of the trilogy. There's a lot that occurs in Ascend. There is war. There is loss. There's love. But really, it's Wendy learning who she is - and who she wants to be.Ascend was everything I hoped for in the conclusion to this trilogy. It felt as though each character received closure in the end. I was worried after the final scene in Vittra, that the rest of the story would be rushed given the lack of pages remaining. But that wasn't the case what-so-ever. Wendy, Loki, Finn, Tove, Willa, Matt, Rhys, Thomas and even Sara all receive some sort of closure in the end, their own happy endings.When it comes to the love triangle, I'm actually okay with this one. To me, what Wendy felt for Finn was never anything more than a crush, even though she may have felt otherwise. With that said, Finn was a significant influence on Wendy. Had it not been for him, Wendy wouldn't have grown into the Queen the Trylle needed - the Queen she wanted to become. Sure, Loki helped her realize what she wanted, and who she was, but it was Finn that pushed her in the beginning.The reason I'm singling out the love triangle is because I've read comments of readers being upset about the final choice. And while I understand fans being upset, after all everyone is entitled to their own opinion of which boy is the better option, I thoroughly understand Wendy's choice. Finn would have been the safe bet, yes. He would have been the easy choice. But had Wendy not fallen for Loki, the story would have been entirely different. And I think Ascend was the perfect ending to the Trylle trilogy. Wendy became the queen the Trylle needed, but most notably, she became the Queen she wished to become.If you haven't checked out the Trylle trilogy yet, I'd suggest doing so. Hocking has crafted a truly delightful series here full of characters you'll easily fall in love with - although there will be a few you'll rightfully hate.
  • (3/5)
    I admit that I was surprised by the way things resolved themselves in this one. I enjoyed it though, and I was pleased by the resolution. I am still a little sad about Finn, but Wendy made a good point about how Loki was willing to give up everything for her, but Finn wasn't. This was a good trilogy, and I could see myself re-reading it and checking out what else Amanda Hocking's done.
  • (4/5)
    So, the trilogy is done. I'm still not thrilled with it. Seemed a bit abrupt to me. I enjoyed the storyline. I just wish it had been written with more care. I wasn't happy with how it ended, either. I thought it was contrived. I also saw the ending coming a mile away. There was a lack of imagination, tbqh, to me.
  • (4/5)
    Alright, after reading the first two books I fell in love. I loved the characters, the plot, everything. But for some reason as much as I wanted to love this book, I was not happy with the ending.When I first started this book I was for sure I knew who she end up with. Let me tell you that this author has many playing cards up her sleeve because it so did not end that that way!!! I was surprised yet shocked. I did not want to believe it. Though I have to admit, that quick change that is done takes the reader for a surprise of their life.I am sad to see the series go. I like how nicely done all ties at the end were tied. Questions were answered, kingdom is saved and the reign of a new king and queen starts. I enjoyed the fight for her freedom as well as her love grow for the ones that she loves. Wendy fought for so many people and for so many things. It's good to see her happy for once.Ascend is a great ending to a fantastic series! The development of the characters, the depth of their growth pulls the reader to a world of excitement. Ascend is wonderful!
  • (4/5)
    Ascend picks up the story shortly after Torn left off. As usual, it's difficult to review a sequel without spoilers, so excuse my vagueness.Wendy, who only learnt she was a Trylle princess in book one, now has to save her kingdom from destruction by the dark and power-hungry king of the Vittra, another race of trolls. The problem, of course, is the Vittra are physically much stronger than the Trylle and the Vittra king is very powerful magically.As with the previous books, I particularly enjoyed Wendy's attitudes towards the various love-interesty boys in her life: - She never lets boys interfere with her mission (to save the kingdom) - She does what she has to do without ignoring what she wants to do (so long as that doesn't interfere too much) - She has sane reactions to their bullshit where relevant ("you didn't love me enough to make any sacrifices yet you still expect me to want to be with you?") - She's not afraid to tell boys to piss off (eg when they're showering her with unwanted attention/affection)The lack of a conventional love triangle is also a big point in this series' favour. At the end of book two, I was a bit confused as to how the boy she does end up with was a serious contender, but having read Ascend it does work.I enjoyed this series very much. It's one of the less conventional YA fantasies I've read lately, particularly thanks to the lack of love triangle. And the troll part was novel too, I suppose. I recommend it to anyone who likes YA fantasy/paranormal.4 / 5 stars
  • (5/5)
    Just finished Ascend and Torn by Amanda Hocking. The story/plot line minus the romance was really good! When I finished Ascend, I was completely taken by surprise. Maybe it was because I read it on a nook and wasn't paying attention to the page numbers but I was so into the story that I didn't want it to end! In Ascend, Wendy is kidnapped by King Oren and meets Markis Loki, the prince of an enemy kingdom. More of her background unfolds as she learns more and more about her family and the warring troll kingdoms and she must figure out if she wants to live with King Oren or Queen Elora. All the while, she still feels a strong pull to Finn but must face a possible future with Toven Kroner at her side. In Torn, everything comes to a head and Wendy must figure out how to keep her kingdom safe while protecting everyone she cares for. On top of keeping her people safe, she must dig deep and decide just who she wants at her side: Finn, Toven, or Loki. I'll give this series a 5 out of 5. I really enjoyed these books. I have to say that I didn't like her choice in men at the end. Though I understand why she did it and that it's more like real life. All in all, REALLY GREAT SERIES!
  • (4/5)
    Well people, Ascend comes out in April so I thought I’d reread this book as I did with the first two books in the Trylle series and give you a little insight into how this awesome series comes to an end!In Ascend, Wendy is so close to becoming the ruler that she was destined to become. While her mother and fellow Trylle are so happy to have a new ruler, this new responsibility comes with some dire consequences. Wendy must now make an impossible decision to save her people… she must sacrifice herself to the Vittra. If she doesn’t, her people will be forced into a war that they can never win. As if this wasn’t enough pressure on a young girl, her decision is made even harder because she has to juggle a few romances. That’s right… I said a few romances. Her relationships with Tove and Finn have now become even more complicated in that she has started to have feelings for a Vittra named Loki. She does eventually pick the person she wants to be with, but her happiness is short lived because their lives are in grave danger. Amongst all of these love triangles and chaos, Wendy knows she must do what’s right for her kingdom and she isn’t going down without a fight.Obviously, this was the best book in the series for me. All of the loose ends get tied up and Wendy finally establishes herself as a leader of the Trylle. There are moments in this book that will make you laugh and you’ll probably shed a tear or two… I know I did!These books are simply amazing. They are creative, fun, exciting, emotional and any other adjective you can think of that means flippin’ awesome. If you haven’t checked them out, definitely do so because they are in my top list of top ten best YA fiction books. This last installment is being rereleased on April 24, 2012!Below are my reviews for Switched and for Torn (books 1 and 2), the book trailers and a link to Amanda Hocking’s website!