Elise Kova is having a HUGE blog tour to celebrate her latest release, Crystal Crowned, the last book in the Air Awakens series.
I'd never heard of this series before (how, I don't know) and jumped at the chance to at least review the first book, Air Awakens. Stay tuned for my review, a giveaway from Elis Kova and information on the rest of the tour!
Series: Air Awakens #1
Format: Ebook, 299 pgs.
Source: Review Copy from Elise Kova
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Recommendable? For all Fantasy & Elemental Fans
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.
About The Author:
|The Good||The Bad & The Other|
|Love Vhalla & Aldrick||No map :(|
|Character progression||Once was frustrated w/ Vhalla & the romantic subplots|
|Excited to continue the series|
|Natural love angle that makes sense||..and is resolved at the end|
Air Awakens follows Vhalla, a reluctant sorceress and library nerd. She’s the standard average woman with frizzy hair that thinks nothing of herself but cleans up nice. More importantly, a library mouse with a penchant of slacking off at work to read. So far, a woman after my own heart.
If this character is for you or you like elemental high fantasy, I’d definitely recommend it. There’s only one small caveat and a minor choppy spot: worldbuilding that needs to be fleshed out/revealed and a romance overload about 100 pages before the end that’s resolved shortly after.
It starts off engaging but I thought it really picked up around page 23. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a note on exactly why that is. In any event, it was entertaining and kept me reading even with the minor marks mentioned above. It’d be easily 4 stars, but my incomplete mental image is holding it back and that’d be the result for any fantasy book without it.
I’m really excited to read Fire Falling for a number of reasons: following the plot, learning more about magic and the world, but most importantly, I need to see Vhalla now that she’s resolved. Her and Mr. Prince will never be uncomplicated, but I don’t think I have to worry about more partners springing up. I REALLY want those two to get it together and be a couple.
I liked the character progression. There was this moment where Mr. Heartbreaker’s like “You’re not like the rest of them” and she would have been before her awakening. Such a wonderful illustration that while you can get lost in events and tumbled around, things are still moving. There is a point to it all.
Mr. Prince gets the same treatment and it’s why I’m so amped for their romance. However, background characters don’t. They’re lucky to have some new facts revealed and those that do are stronger for it.
It’s not a love-angle but a webby mess. The main split attractions of life before and after is understandable and I’m glad Vhalla progressed through it. It’s a solid example of using the trope right and I enjoyed it. It felt natural, like it had to happen.
But there’s another girl for the good common guy and a heartbreaker in on the play. It was frustrating with so much more to discover and explore the romance crescendoed instead. Even though (or maybe because) I understood Vhalla’s bumbling, wavering, people-pleasing ways on a personal level, I wanted to smack her at one point. She kept saying “I don’t get him.” But it’s obvious to me and he’s not the one she should be worried about…Mr. Heartbreaker is far sketchier and seemingly out of character often.
Thankfully, it was resolved like 2 pages later and the political and magical plot came back into focus with one interest and one suspect. I’m ecstatic to seeing their relationship develop and the plot unfurl.
The world is separated into East, South, West, and North. I have no idea what countries actually constitute each or where this stakes place besides the Solaris Empire’s palace. I know that they’re fighting a war with dark-skinned Northerners supposedly to spread their religion. Given where Vhalla’s headed next, we’ll learn more about the latter sooner rather than later.
The story still works of course, but fantasy is defined by magic, and this magic is divided geographically, so having a piss-poor understanding of geography hurts. Okay, even it magic wasn’t compass related, I’d still hate not having a map in a fantasy book. It’s part of the reason my mental image of The Hunger Games was just a straight line of numbered districts until the internet corrected me. This is my WORST subject, throw me a bone.
There’s no doubt the elemental powers and nations sounds like Avatar: The Last Air Bender and so far, Avatar’s is more interesting with spirits and reincarnation. With a noob protagonist, genocide, and a propaganda cover-up, the magic is shrouded and I NEED more from the Air Awakens series. I do like the secondary personal affinities and am glad they’ll be explored more.
Seems typical so far but it’s solid and I want to follow it. I knew certain things were going to happen because it’s a fantasy book but I didn’t know how most of the time. Leaving it a mix of surprising and standard and not much to say without spoilers. Don’t let this discourage you though.
The only thing holding it back for 4 stars for me, is the lack of a map. I can't picture and understand the worldbuilding here much without it.
Recommended For:Fantasy fans, especially fans of elementals and if you want a book nerd protagonist that becomes the chosen one.
This is the biggest raffle yet for the Air Awakens series. There are multiple prizes that people can win:
- Grand Prize – Complete set of first edition Air Awakens hardcovers signed by Elise Kova (Author), Monica Wanat (Editor), and Merilliza Chan (Cover Artist), plus a swag pack
- First Runner Up – Complete set of Air Awakens paperbacks plus a swag pack
- Second/Third Runner Up – Complete set of signed Air Awakens ebooks
- 4 Air Awakens complete bookmark sets
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Air Awakens (June 9-16)
Tour Posting Dates
Fire Falling (June 17-24)
Earth’s End (June 25-July 2)
Water’s Wrath (July 3-10)
Crystal Crowned Reviews (June 28-July 11)
Crystal Crowned Tour Day (July 11)*
Crystal Crowned Release Date (July 12)*
Other Events In the Tour
Facebook Release Party – July 12, 7:00-10:00pm EST
Join Elise Kova and friends, Michelle Madow, Susan Dennard, Rachel E. Carter, Leia Stone, C.M. Lucas, Laura Thalassa, and Danielle L. Jensen for the Crystal Crowned release party on Facebook! It will be an evening of fun, games, discussion, giveaways, and more!
Goodreads Fan Club Discussion/AMA – July 30, 7:00-9:00pm EST
About: Join author Elise Kova for two hours of discussion on the conclusion of the Air Awakens series. Bring all your questions!