Hey all, Dani here.
Happy Good Friday, and I hope everyone has a lovely Easter this weekend. Today I’m back with another review, this time for a recently finished book that I could not stop reading. It was so interesting. And in many ways I am now very grateful that I did not get an ARC of this last year at BookExpo, because it would have made the wait for book two even more frustrating.
Anyway, let’s get started.
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 Scarletwill hold readers spellbound.
Rating: 5 stars
Let’s just get this part out of the way first: I despise Calix. He is an awful human being, completely and utterly cruel and hateful. That’s a little obvious from the summary, but reading the book I felt this desire to reach through the pages and punch him–repeatedly. So, I guess I can give all sorts of compliments to author A.C. Gaughen for writing a character that makes me feel that way.
Speaking of, this is the first book by Gaughen that I have read, and it was fantastic. Now I find myself wanting to give Scarlet a try. I mean, I was intrigued by it anyway because it is a twist on Robin Hood, but now I really want to read it.
*Ahem* Anyway, back to this book. I enjoyed the worldbuilding. I didn’t think that this was a fantasy novel that overdid the descriptions of the land or the culture or the religion. It was just enough to highlight the differences between Calix’s people and Shalia’s people, and some of that came from the characters actually having discussions about how their cultures are different, which I rather liked.
The characters felt nicely developed too, like living and breathing people instead of words on a page. I liked Shalia and Galen and Danae and Kai and Kata. And I already talked about my feelings towards Calix.
I admit that there were a few things that I didn’t see coming and they surprised me, some in a good way and some in a not so good way. But I liked that I wasn’t trying to figure out what was going to happen. I just let myself soak in the experience of reading the book. Sometimes it is nice to just exist in the story as it unfolds instead of predicting what could occur later.
With everything that has happened in this book, and with how it ended, let me just say that I hope we get more information about the second book soon, because waiting for the next release will not be easy. Then again, I guess I do have a rather large TBR list so…maybe it won’t be that difficult after all. Still, my point is that I really want to know what happens next.