The characters of The Ascent come alive from the first page. They are three dimensional and varied - with their own motivations and relationships to each other. I immediately have found myself rooting for some over others, but am fascinated by all of them.
The setting in South African jungle is also refreshing and interesting, not to mention beautifully described. Both the dialogue and the description are both equally pleasurable to read, which is a rare thing to come across.
The System immediately reminded me of a twist on the Hunger Games, with Legends competing to be the best in the ranking. Of course, these similarities are superficial, and I'm not far along enough to know who put the system there, or to what end, but it is the feeling it gives me. There is also the interesting geographical / historical tie-in with the bloodlines, which is really intriuging - read this if you like learning a bit about historical fighting styles and weapons.
Best of all, this system - which is different from your usual fantasy-fare, is introduced in a non-overwhelming way, which I really appreciated. When people go for an unconventional class system I often find there are too many terms to immediately memorize and it throws off my immersion. That is not the case here! Even with the extra burden of geographical and historical terms, I found it an easy read. This is especially helped by the images the author supplies.
Grammar and style are superb. It's a joy to read - although a bit dark and gory in description (which can be a perk for many!) I really reccomend you give it a try.
"Wow, seventeenth in the line of succession? So you’re somewhere behind the family dog and the maid?"
Trickster Cleric only contains four chapters so far, but I can already safely say I'm desperate for the next one. The MC is a cleric with a troubled past, labeled immediately as a thief based on her past actions, but she's determined to go down the path of the "good guy" in her new life in this fantasy world. So far I've really liked the MC's personality and attitude - she's funny and sly, sarcastic but kind. I'm eager to accompany her through her adventures.
The style and grammar are flawless, and one of my favorite things about the story is how naturally it flows. It is not burdeoned by too much description - words are chosen precisely. This strength is especially apparent in action sequences. The fighting feels snappy and alive, with real stakes. In the same vein, the worldbuilding is subtle but effective, and the characters we've met so far, especially small but eager Salamander, have already captured my heart.
Another of my favorite features of the story is the system. While we don't know much about it so far, the character's starting build is already very interesting. She takes advantage of her unique build from the very first chapter - escaping using her Trickster skills, healing using her Cleric ones.
I'm eager to read more of what this author has to offer.