Klarke Ascher has a singular goal: to become an Ascenditure, a member of the kingdom's elite climbing team who scale the treacherous peaks of Miter's Backbone in search of rare plants and elusive medicines. However, in a kingdom governed by centuries of tradition, where women are legally bound to home and hearth, owned by the men they are forced to marry, the Ascenditures have always been male. As the strongest climber of her generation, Klarke’s skill and strength are undeniable, and her courage and persistence prompt a civil uprising to which the king is finally forced to concede. Klarke’s fight for justice, however, quickly becomes a struggle for survival as fellow Ascenditures, one by one, are inexplicably murdered. For danger lies not only on the icy peaks of treacherous mountains, where ropes are cut and routes are compromised, but in the very halls of power, where the king is determined to see Klarke fail. With the hope of an oppressed generation on her shoulders, Klarke must dig deep within herself to discover the greatest strengths—of muscle and mind—not only to survive but to unravel the sinister conspiracy upon which the very foundation of their kingdom rests.
Praise for The Ascenditure
"A captivating thriller written in beautiful prose, providing an insightful, unflinching portrayal of institutionalized sexism and oppression of women and other marginalized people."
—Stephanie Scott, author of Come Back Alive
"The Ascenditure is a gripping feminist mountaineering tale wrapped in a compelling mystery."
—Natalie Wright, author of Season of the Dragon & The H.A.L.F. Trilogy
"The Handmaid's Tale meets Free Solo in The Ascenditure, a heart-pounding story of one girl's courage in the face of incredible danger, both on and off the mountains she loves to scale."
—Ellen Parent, author of After the Fall
"Klarke's harrowing quest to uncover the king's violence and corruption to advance women's rights over their own bodies, and to live fully and authentically is described so vividly that we feel it in our tendons, lungs, and muscles—and in our hearts."
—Karen Holmberg, author of The Collagist
“Exquisitely written with characters to die for and a plot that is both intriguing and inspiring. I LOVED THIS BOOK!”
—Darynda Jones, New York Times best-selling author of The Darklight Trilogy
"Klarke Ascher is the next Katniss Everdeen, with a climbing rope instead of a bow."
—Dr. Samantha Schinder, Ph.D, author of The Deliverance Series
"It is a world for the senses, rich with lore, and navigated by a heroine who is strong, vulnerable...and determined to conquer the innumerable odds she faces in her quest for equality, for truth."