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The Affiliate by K. A. Linde
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The Affiliate

by K. A. Linde

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363485,409 (3.63)None
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm's lifelong plans comes to fruition when she's chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland, an Affiliate to the Queen. Or so she thinks. When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene's position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have. King Edric himself. Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom.… (more)

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3.5/5

Let me start by saying that this cover is gorgeous and the premise is on point. I love YA reads that pull you into a different world and this one did just that. It was a fantasy tale with a royalty atmosphere.

Cyrene the main character is chosen to be an affiliate to the queen. She expects to enrich her knowledge and use her skills to serve to the best of her ability. The queen however has different plans. She sees that Cyrene catches the King's eye and quickly becomes cold as ice towards her. Cyrene is forced to work in a field that isn't her favorite and becomes well aware of what she needs to do. Her intense feelings towards the King must dwindle. It's not that easy though... The more time they spend together, the deeper they fall. Cyrene's heart is pulled back and forth and her mind is worn down by a mysterious book and an unclear presenting letter. She makes it her mission to fulfill a prophecy and uncover the magic within her body.

For me... This book had all the ingredients to be an amazing story, but lacked depth and that complete story feel. I understand setting us up for the next book, but I would have liked to see a couple of loose ends be tied up before moving on. For instance, a letter to the king saying she had to leave would have been perfect. No explanation needed; just something to show that they were still connected. I feel like she disappeared so much that it was hard for me to fully commit to whatever it was between them. It was hot as fire, then she was running off. I know that was a big part of the story I just felt like some parts didn't completely add up or flow together to provide a completely developed story.

However with all of that being said... I loved the overall concept and the fantasy elements that gave it that eerie feel. The warrior test was intense and the tunnel scene was pretty great. It was enjoyable and kept me turning the pages. I was anxious to see what would happen next and to find out more about the book and the prophecy. I loved the King, the Prince, & Eren. I definitely look forward to what comes next in this series.

I recommend this one to all readers that love fantasy stories with hints of danger, brushes of romance, and a vivid royal feel. ( )
  ReadersCandyb | Oct 7, 2016 |
4.5 Stars! Engaging plot. Complex world. Scintillating romance. This is how I summarize The Affiliate by K. A. Linde.

I’m a sucker for a believable romance and this book definitely had that in spades. But there’s more. Linde introduces us to the complex world of Byren that is filled with numerous factions vying for their own gain and thus not friendly to each other…it’s the stuff great stories are made of, right?

The writing flowed and drew me in to the world. One thing...Read full review on my blog at http://blog.lrwlee.com/2016/03/07/review-of-the-affiliate/ ( )
  L.R.W.Lee | Jul 26, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Epic high fantasy that will leave you breathless and dying for the next book. Brimming with magic, romance, and adventure, this is sure to be a hit with all YA fantasy fans!

Opening Sentence: “Let them in.”

The Review:

It is Cyrene Strohm’s seventeenth birthday, which means it is also her Presenting day. The day she will be assigned into a class and given a position that she will have for the rest of her life. There are 3 classes and the Third Class is a mix of craftsmen, merchants, and farmers. The Second Class consists of mostly the guard service and all those that help with creating military weapons. The First Class are made up of the Affiliates and the High Lords that help to run the country. It has always been Cyrene’s dream to become an Affiliate to the Queen and her dream is about to come true. Cyrene grew up in a very prestigious family and she has always had high expectations of her future. What she didn’t expect was court life to be so dangerous and difficult to navigate.

On her Presenting day Cyrene received a letter full of riddles and as a birthday gift her sister gave her a book that is blank to everyone but Cyrene. She starts to hear voices inside her head, and it seems like she is being constantly watched. To top things off there are dark brutal murders happening at the palace.

Cyrene was bred to be the perfect Affiliate, but she soon finds herself caught between the man she can’t fall for and the queen she is suppose to serve. Will she choose loyalty or love? Or is there another path she is supposed to take all together? Find out in this sweeping high fantasy that you won’t want to put down!

Cyrene is a very bold character. She is witty, flirtatious, and intelligent. She was really fun to get to know and I felt an instant connection with her. On top of all of her endearing qualities she also has some major flaws which made her a more realistic character. She tends to make rash decisions at times, and she is a little overconfident at times, but she is also a sweet, loving, loyal person. I felt like she grew tremendously as a character throughout the story, and by the end she had really come into her own. She still has a long journey ahead of her and I am really excited to see where her story goes in the next book.

Edric is a very charming, swoon worthy, hot king that you can’t help but find intriguing. His relationship with Cyrene is very cute. They have an instant connection, an amazing chemistry, but things do develop a little too quickly for my liking. I think they could become an epic couple, but they still have a long way to go. To be perfectly honest, I felt like you didn’t get to know Edric as well as I would have liked, and I am hoping in the future books we get to explore his personality a little bit more. What I do you know of him I really like so far, but I can’t say whether or not I would pick him for Cyrene.

Kael is a mysterious character that I really can’t quite figure out. One moment he seems like he could be a villain and then the next moment he turns into the charming prince you want to fall for. To be perfectly honest his relationship with Cyrene is rocky from the start. They seem to have a connection as well, but at this point I can’t really tell if it’s romantic or not. Kael really intrigues me as a character and I’m very interested to see how he develops in the future books.

The Affiliate is an action-packed, romantic, adventurous book that I couldn’t put down. From the first moment I picked it up I was instantly hooked and finished the entire book in one sitting. I really enjoyed the entire cast of characters including all of the secondary characters they were all so well written and very engaging. The book is definitely full of lots of drama, political intrigue, and romance. I thought that the romance develops a little quickly, but I still really enjoyed it. I do want to mention that I know it looks like there is a love triangle because I talked about two boys earlier my review, but honestly I don’t think it was really much of a love triangle. It’s pretty obvious who Cyrene is going to end up with. So if you are not a fan of love triangles, I think that you would be fine reading the story. The book was definitely not perfect, but I cannot deny that it was very entertaining. The book was very fast-paced but there were a few times it felt a little choppy and not as smooth as I would’ve liked it to be. There were also moments where I got a little confused about what was happening and I feel that there were a lot of unanswered questions that I still have. But this is only the first book, so I’m sure that many of those unanswered questions will be answered in future books. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series. This is my first book by Linde and I found her writing to be very captivating, and addictive. She really knows how to weave a wonderful story and I look forward to reading other books by her. Overall, this was an extremely enjoyable story and I would highly recommend it to any young adult fantasy fans.

Notable Scene:

Her lips quirked up into a haughty smirk. “Yes, My King.”

King Edric paused, eyeing her mouth. “Do you always wear that smirk?”

She tried to tramp down the expression on her face, but she didn’t seem to be able to. “Yes, My King.” His blue-grey eyes narrowed, and her heart thumped. Why can’t I keep a lid on my attitude today of all days?

FTC Advisory: K.A, Linde/InkslingerPR provided me with a copy of The Affiliate. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Oct 7, 2015 |
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