Title: Reign the Earth
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Elementae, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I found this book from a recommendation list, and it’s been sitting in my library stack for a while. As soon as I was finished with The Radical Element, I dove into this book. This is my first book by A.C. Gaughen, and I can promise you all that it will not be my last. A lush, gorgeous fantasy series opener, rife with magic, deception, betrayal and political intrigue, I was captivated by this book, and I will never forget it. Easily one of my favorite books of 2018, and I’m so excited for the sequel! I decided to wait a few days to review, because I needed some time to think before I put my thoughts down on paper, and I went on a camping trip on Friday and didn’t return until yesterday. Honestly, I’m really tempted to check out her first series, about a lady Robin Hood! Reign the Earth was absolutely amazing.
Shalia is a daughter of the desert, and in an effort to barter for peace for her people, she is engaged to marry the King of the Bone Lands, Calix, never mind that they’ve never met. In their world, there are people who have the gift to control different elements, called The Elementae. But her new husband has his own secrets, many of them deadly: He longs to exterminate The Elementae, aiming to settle the score for a wrong that happened years before his time. Even more unsettling, Shalia begins to have feelings for her husband’s brother, Galen, which trigger dormant powers over Earth that she never knew she had. As whispers of rebellion and revolution begin to reach the palace, Shalia must choose between forging a lasting peace between the peoples of the desert and the Bone Lands, or to fight for her own future as an Elementae, even if it costs her everything she loves.
This book was amazing. The writing was gorgeous, the pacing breakneck, and I was utterly spellbound by Shalia’s glittering, dangerous world. I also really enjoyed Shalia’s voice, and her character development; she grew from a meek, shy girl into a powerful young woman who refuses to let anything stand in the way of what she believes is right; I loved it. All of the characters in this book were really memorable, especially Shalia’s family members most noticeably Kairos and Rian, Calix, his siblings, Danae and Galen. There were also really great elements mixed into it that helped move the plot along: secrets, betrayal, political intrigue, forbidden love, surprising magic and heartfelt bonds. And that ending! Oh my goodness, how in the world am I supposed to wait a whole year before the sequel?! I’m dying here! This book was perfect, a gorgeous, thoughtful fantasy about what it means to be human, and how to stand up for yourself, even if all the odds are stacked up against you! The bottom line: A gorgeous, emotional series opener full of magic and action, I loved Reign the Earth, and I can’t wait for what’s next in this series! Next on deck: Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings!