Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can't solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend's powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can't help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are impossible dreams.
So when she's given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world?
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Diana Peterfreund is the author of many books for adults and children, including the critically acclaimed For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea. She lives with her family outside Washington, DC, in a house full of bookshelves, and is always on the lookout for lost cities or stray rocket ships.From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up–Second novels sometimes pale in comparison to the series opener. Ascendant is not one of them. More sophisticated in both content and structure than the straightforward Rampant (HarperTeen, 2009), this title echoes the growing development of narrator Astrid as she questions the ethical complexities of her new life as a unicorn hunter. The threat of man-eating unicorns is increasing worldwide, and only the virgin descendants of Alexander the Great can stand against them. Many girls are choosing to give up their eligibility rather than accept the challenge, making new hunters difficult to find and train. Astrid, who hates hunting even while loving the powers that her calling gives her, takes a job with a pharmaceutical company, guarding the unicorns they use for testing. Once, she hoped to become a doctor, and her search for the recipe for the Remedy, a unicorn-based cure-all, appeals to her as an echo of the life she once wanted. But faced with the realities of animal testing and dubious behavior on the part of her employers, Astrid must decide where her loyalties lie, and the impact of that choice takes her in a direction she never imagined possible. Peterfreund is sure to gain a stronger following with Ascendant, and fans will eagerly await further titles in the series.Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
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