Title – The Bound
Author – K.A. Linde
Publication Date – October 25, 2016
Series – Ascension, #2
Cyrene Strohm is a Queen’s Affiliate, a high-ranking official of the court of Byern, with power and privilege to spare. But she’s also a keeper of dangerous secrets: like the fact that she holds the heart of the King, and that she possesses magic in a world where magic no longer exists.
Determined to discover what this means and how to use her newfound abilities, Cyrene sets off for the distant land of Eleysia. An island nation where Affiliates are strictly forbidden from entering.
But the journey is perilous, and the destination may mean utter ruin, as Cyrene comes to learn that everything she’s been told her whole life – about her court, her homeland, and even herself—are bound in a beautiful lie.
I’ve been sitting and staring at a blank computer screen since the moment I finished The Bound because I’m honestly just speechless. K.A. Linde has taken strands of action, intrigue, and romance and intertwined them together so flawlessly that I don’t know whether to cry because I want more or rejoice that Linde is executing this story as perfectly as I could imagine. I’m not normally a young adult reader, and I’m certainly picky about the books within the fantasy genre that I’ll tackle, but picking up that first book in the Ascension series was magic and I don’t regret it for one moment.
“You are brave and loyal. You fight for what you believe in. You are smart and clever and witty and more beautiful than any woman I have ever seen. And I believe I have just scratched the surface of who you are.”
What I love about the fantasy genre is the ability to stretch limits of the imagination and take liberties you aren’t necessarily “allowed” to take in romance. However, strip the outright magical qualities of this novel and you still have a believable environment and I think that’s why I really appreciate it so much. I like letting go of reality to escape in a book, but for some reason, I also like having those attributes that make it feel like these people could exist, these romances could thrive, and the journeys could change people. Though we’re thrown into magic and make believe, these characters are still discovering who they are and growing into who they want to be – giving it a very genuine, relatable feel.
“There was a split second of perfection. A perfect calm. A perfect stillness. A perfect being. And then the waves started.”
The Bound is so incredibly different from the first book in the series, but it blew The Affiliate away. Whereas the first set the scene and introduced the characters and plotlines, this second book really got into the nitty gritty. While we were introduced to new characters and had twists I never saw coming, the action that took place drove the novel forward in a different fashion. K.A. Linde understands the complexities of the relationships we form, while dissecting how the different layers that make up individuals play into that web. It resulted in half the book making my heart race in anticipation and the other half had it racing from the adrenaline.
“You aren’t a label, Cyrene. You are everything you want to be and more. I see it in your conviction in everything you do. And though I know you could be anything you wanted, all I can possibly want is for you to be mine.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Bound but it’s nothing like I could have imagined. K. A. Linde has written what is most likely her best novel to date (and while I understand that’s subjective, I wholeheartedly believe it). There is magic and romance, suspense and action; basically, all the ingredients to cook up the perfect recipe for everything you could want. I may have just finished the novel today, but I’m already aching for the next installment of this series. If you are in the mood for a knock-your-socks-off read, I can’t recommend this one enough!
Staggering down the hallway, she didn’t even look up when she heard her name.
“Hmm?” she asked.
“Cyrene, there you are!”
Someone grabbed her shoulders, and she tipped her head to look up into the most beautiful face. She smiled and felt a renewed burst of energy flow through her.
“Hey,” she whispered.
“Hey,” he said, threading his fingers through hers. A shiver ran up her back. He glanced around the empty hallway and then tugged her away from the main corridors. She turned a corner, and he pressed her back into a darkened alcove. His mouth was only inches from hers.
Her exhaustion was wearing off from the excitement of being with him.
“I was really worried about you,” he breathed.
“You don’t have to worry about me,” she said, trapped in his gaze. She teetered on her tiptoes and nearly brushed their lips together. Her heart was racing ahead of her. This felt almost better than reaching for her magic. Definitely better than moving one drop of water at a time all day.
“You’re wrong.” Then, he softly dropped his mouth down on hers. His lips were tender and slow as they caressed hers. “I will always worry for your safety.”
Cyrene’s cheeks heated, and she sighed, leaning back against the hard stone of the alcove. “I didn’t mean to worry you.”
His hands pushed up through her hair and tilted her head back up to look at him. She closed her eyes and sighed. She was so tired, and just the feel of his fingers was lulling her to sleep.
“That feels good.”
His mouth found hers, and despite her exhaustion, she pushed back against his lips with more force. She refused to let the fact that she was tired get in the way of her time with him.
“Whoa,” he said, pulling back from her. He rested his forehead against hers, and she could tell he was breathing heavily. “As much as I want this, and I do, I want to make sure you’re okay. This didn’t scare you away?”
She shook her head. “This, most certainly, does not scare me.” Then, she kissed him again for good measure.
He laughed. “Good. Because I’ve been wanting to kiss you since I first met you.”
“You have not!” she insisted.
“Are you kidding? A gorgeous, feisty woman who wasn’t afraid to put me in my place the first time she met me? I mostly certainly have.”
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Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Series!
The Affiliate (Ascension #1)
The Consort (Ascension #3)
The Society (Ascension #4) – Releasing October 23, 2018!
K.A. Linde grew up as a military brat and created fantastical stories based off of her love for Disney movies, fairy tales, and Star Wars. In her spare time, she is an avid traveler, loves reading young adult novels, and dancing. Additionally, K.A. has written more than a dozen adult novels and is a USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Lubbock, TX with her husband and two super adorable puppies.
K.A. Linde loves to hear from her readers!