Series: The Elementae #1
Published by Bloomsbury on January 30th 2018
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Book Depository
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.
Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen is incredible.
This may end up being my 2018 favorite. This is my first book by A.C. Gaughen but I did just recently purchase her Scarlet series with the gorgeous new covers. After reading Reign the Earth, I know I will definitely be diving into those soon.
These characters are on point! Shalia has grown up in a loving and caring family. The story starts out with Shalia preparing for her wedding day. In order to help broker peace between the desert and the City, Shalia is marring King Calix. The Desert’s custom is for the groom to unveil the bride at the wedding. Stating that this should create some divine connection between the two. As Shalia walks down the aisle, she anticipates meeting her groom for the first time but when her veil is removed and the first man she sees is not her husband, she wonders what this may mean for her marriage.
Calix is a cruel king. He has a hate so strong that the thinks everyone deserves to be punished. Calix is not a likable character. He really isn’t even a character that makes a good villain. He is just very cruel. Shalia ends up being in quite the complicated situation. Her husband is controlling and an abuser. No matter what Shalia goes through she is still strong and doesn’t allow herself to be torn down.
One of my favorite quotes in the book is said by Shalia herself and I think it is so well said.
“My honor has nothing to do with what man is married to me, or touching me, or loves me. I will not be broken or diminished or belittled by the choices of men around me.”
Total Girl Power Right?!
The world building for Reign the Earth is absolutely amazing. Gaughen did a great job helping the reader visualize everything. I didn’t have a map to look at but I could perfectly envision one in my head. I felt like I knew exactly what path the characters were taking when they would travel.
This book definitely touches on many sensitive topics but I think Gaughen handled them all extremely. This book is rough and deals with the nitty-gritty. I really wish authors were more brave to touch on these hard subjects. I mean this stuff happens in the real world. Nowadays, I feel like these subjects are avoided so much. I understand that some people need to have their feelings spared but then you just shouldn’t read the book. People like me, who have had “Tough Subject” things happen to them, would like to see this brought more to the light.
To A.C. Gaughen…I APPLAUD YOU! Thank you for putting yourself out there. Thank you for writing this book. I absolutely love it and it definitely meant a lot to me.