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.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
I will be the first to admit, I got EXTREMELY lucky with this book. It was actually the first physical ARC I’ve received directly from a publisher and I am so thrilled. What a book to get as my first!
My favorite thing about this book was the way that Gaughen built the world. I feel that some authors spend too much time establishing the world at the very beginning of the book, or do it in bulk at times, making the book drag. Gaughen spread it out wonderfully, there were no slow moments, and the pace of the book was constantly moving.
The romance was absolutely full of angst and had a wonderful slow burn, which I loved. I adored Shalia’s romantic interest, and was actually able to peg him from the moment he was introduced. Additionally, the secondary characters in the book were easy to grow attached to. Shalia’s entire family was endearing, particularly her brother Kai, who was in the majority of the book.
Without spoiling too much, the baddie in Reign the Earth was a real piece of work. At times I actually found him interesting and enjoyable, but by the end of the book I thoroughly hated him. I felt that Gaughen did a great job developing my hatred of him as a character through his relationship with Shalia and his family members.
The only part of the book that I didn’t absolutely adore, was the ending. The book wrapped up well, and didn’t end in a huge cliffhanger, but there was just one thing that bothered me. I can’t discuss it without offering spoilers, but would love to talk about it with anyone else who has been given the opportunity to read it! I’m hoping that my issue is resolved in the second book – which I will ABSOLUTELY be reading the moment it comes out.
My Takeaway: Gaughen builds a world rich with culture, magic, and love. Her characters were easy to both love and hate, and I look forward to the next book! I can only hope that Bloomsbury is kind enough to offer me another ARC – I don’t think I can wait another year for Reign the Earth’s sequel!