The Lotus Effect (Rise of the Ardent #1)
by Bridget Ladd (Goodreads Author)
An improbable partnership. An unforgettable love.
Lily Emerson, daughter of the Head of Council and Mistress of Science, has lived a privileged life. It’s Lily’s 18th nameday, the day she is to follow in her mother’s footsteps, becoming the next Mistress of Science—the most powerful woman in all of City Prosper. The Architect and designer of Prosper’s future.
During the night of her Coronation, the corruption of the Council spreads before her . . . opening her eyes to the cruelty that resides in the Council, even within her own parents. Lily realizes now the title of Mistress only comes with superficial power, that to truly save the citizens—she has to fight.
Fight in the Barrage—the mechanical gladiatorial tournament in which one chosen pair of volunteers from each Sector fights, armor-clad and as a team, utilizing unique weapon specialties: the Gatling gun, the Cestus, Klaives, Crescent Knives, mechanically engineered beasts—in the hope to win the right to change the Law. A law that has remained unchanged since its creation almost eighty years ago.
The tournament that Xander, Engineering Blacksmith and Lily’s partner, believes she has no business being in.
But Lily’s different. And she sets out to prove just that.
If you’re a fan of adventure, fighting for survival, unlikely female heroines, and romance—then grab your copy today!
“Time–an empty existence. Knowing only the bite of steel, the stretch of muscle to conceal the despair of loss, the barren hours, years, sitting alone. Watching. Waiting. Learning. Knowing what I know and yet cannot move forward.
These are the absolute thoughts that plague my every second. I have been patient to my word. Declarations of my own making. And now that I have grown: I have proven ready.
The Council–shaded and driven by their own desire, fabrications, and hidden evil–had stripped away my only life. My time has run out–and so too, has theirs.”
—-Xander, The Lotus Effect by Bridget Ladd
“A sudden and rash idea formulated itself into the forefront of my mind. I took a deep breath, steadying my tone.
“Your Feelings regarding my capabilities matter not,” I said evenly. “For I, Lily Emerson, as governed by the Laws of Prosper, renounce the title of Mistress.”
A mixture of shock and dumb confusion filled the faces of all those watching me.
The locket that I had wrapped around my wrist suddenly fell into my palm. Its smooth contours gave me courage . . . and an idea.
Nothing beneficial would come of me not accepting the title. The council would still operate as they always had, and nothing would change for the citizens who were suffering at the hands of the unjust.
If I did nothing after tonight, I would only be looked upon as the unruly, childish girl, who revoked her responsibility.
To change the system, I needed something more. Something brave. Something . . . stupid.
Staring openly into the crowd, I stood as tall and proud as I could, secretly palming the locket for strength–the memory of the broken automaton driving me forward.
“I Lily Emerson, shall instead volunteer my name into the Drawing for Sector 8. I will participate in the Barrage Tournament and, in doing so, shall wager my life to have the opportunity as victor to change the Law.”
I had said the words. The words that were now binding.
—-The Lotus Effect by Bridget Ladd
Xander has suffered great hardship in his life and Lily’s hardships are just beginning. Lily renounces her title as Mistress of Science. She declares her intention to fight in the Barrage Tournament for her sector. The Tournament is a mixture of old fashioned fighting and science. When it comes time to announce her partner, she discovers that Xander has volunteered. She knows very little about him, having only met him once. They only have one month to train and Xander is a hard task master. He pushes Lily to her limits. Along the way, Xander and Lily become friends and maybe something more. Both of them would do just about anything to keep the other one safe. The future of their world is in their hands. They must win the Tournament in order to change things for the better.
I really liked this book and I loved the main characters. Xander and Lily are wonderful together. I would have liked a little more love story between the two, but that is just my opinion. The story and characters were well developed. There were a few places, in the story, that dragged a little, but not enough to keep me from reading to the end. There was plenty of action and still many unanswered questions. The sequel, Ardent Ascension, is out now and I will definitely read it. The author is working on the third book in this series. It is called Soul Arbor. The Lotus Effect is a great first book in this series. I would recommend it to anyone who likes steampunk fiction, dystopian societies, and just plan old science fiction. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
About the Author(Goodreads):
She graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Computer Animation/Interactive Design and minored in Art History at East Carolina University. Living her life solely as an artist and illustrator after school was not enough–knowing that a picture was only worth a thousand words–she felt she needed more. She had to get the trapped stories, the vivid, sometimes adventurous, sometimes terrifying dreams, out of her head. Like the authors, artists, musicians, scientists, peaceful warriors who inspire her, she too wishes to share her worlds with others, let them escape into the unknown. Let them know that like her, it’s okay to be different.