I received this book for free from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
TITLE: Reign the Earth
AUTHOR: A.C. Gaughen
SERIES: The Elementae #1
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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.
The power of the story told in Reign the Earth is rooted deeply in Shania, the main character, herself. She’s an incredibly strong and righteous heroine, without whom this story, and the conflict of her struggles would be very different. I really liked Shania, mainly because although she’s a character with a golden heart, she is not a perfect person. She has her faults, and that makes her so much more likable.
One of Shania’s faults can be found in the romance department. There is a love triangle. Yes, a love triangle. Gah! But even I, with my immense hatred of them, cannot deny that this love triangle works well for this story. View Spoiler » I actually like who she ends up with, for once. « Hide Spoiler The romance in Reign the Earth is exciting, given that things are not all lovey-dovey and in the worst ways possible.
If you’re looking for a light, fluffy fantasy, this is not the book for you. Reign the Earth, while well written, is quite heavy, simply because it encompasses a whole lot of heavy topics, such as abusive relationships, pregnancy/miscarriage, death, rape culture, and gender roles. There are so many parallels you could draw from this fictional book to what’s happening in the world today.
Reign the Earth is a book that makes you think and tells a story that is not to be taken lightly. I think it would be a great book club read.