I received this book for free from ALAAC17 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
Series: The Elementae #1
Published by Bloomsbury on January 30th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, fantasy, Love & Romance
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Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.
But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.
This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.
Full disclosure: A.C. Gaughen’s Scarlet series is one of my favorite series ever so I had some high expectations going into this one but was also a little nervous, especially after seeing some early reviews that weren’t exactly glowing. But I shouldn’t have been nervous at all. This was amazing! It’s been a while since I’ve been so entranced by a YA fantasy and I’m not at all surprised that it was a book written by A.C. Gaughen. This book is epic. It’s emotional and hits on some difficult subjects. It certainly doesn’t dumb anything down for the teenage crowd. And that’s one of the reasons I loved it. If you want epic fantasy and magic and an intense, can’t-put-down, addicting book, check this one out!
The characters are really well developed in this one, which is another reason to love it. I had favorites and I had ones I hated, and rightly so, but I never stopped learning more about them and even then, some still surprised me! I love a book with characters that keep me on my toes and aren’t afraid to be flawed. Plus, the growth of the MC is incredible. From the beginning to end she changes and grows so much and I really love that. The world building is amazing too, and the pacing is perfect. I was never bored even though the book is 400+ pages.
This book was difficult to read at times and covers some tough topics (and sometimes I wanted to throw it at the wall because the characters made me so mad) but I think these topics are all done really well and nothing ever gets too graphic, which I appreciated. I liked seeing the difficult situations the MC is in (e.g. protecting her people or family at risk to herself) and how she responds to them and how the abusive relationship is dealt with. It felt very realistic and I loved the way Shalia changed and grew over time and went from young and naive to strong and worldly but never lost her ability to care about people and be really passionate. I really can’t wait to read more of this story and see more of these characters. This book is really well written and if you’re a fan of YA fantasy and elemental magic and desert settings and romance and family, you really should read this book!