crap I forgot to write this review before I started another book
This Advanced Readers Copy was kindly given to me by Bloomsbury, in exchange for an unbiased honest review.
Name: Reign the Earth
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: January 30, 2018
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.
Book Cover Comments
tbh i was so confused with Shalia’s foot lol I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how she was standing cus she kind of looks like she’s floating
but i do like the outfit reference!
but her skin is LITERALLY ON FIRE lol someone bring in the firetruck
The Actual Review
That kind of sums up my experience with this book.
The first 66% of this book was definitely not amusing. It was a lot of setting and background building, and I just got really confused from time to time. Shalia had motive but made no action, seeing peace as a priority and thinking that her patience will be able to tolerate her terrible husband. She seems to have a tendency to constantly deny truth, to try to hope for the best. This is understandable in her situation, but it was quite unbearable to watch.
The entire concept with the elemental magic, but the book simply wasn’t executed the best way possible. The first part was simply mundane and simple. There’s a side love interest that we all saw coming, and the husband’s fear of the Elementae started off as irrational.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the last 33% of the book, but unfortunately, that was the only part I really enjoyed. The lore aspect of the Elementae suddenly exploded fireworks into my eyes, and I got really sucked in to knowing more about these strange caves and strange locations that might be connected to soures of magic that changes up the game entirely.
Husband also gets way more brutal than ever and Shalia’s wavering will and decisions really makes her stand out, finally, as the book’s MC at the end of the book.
Personally, I’d love a further exploration of the husband and his brother and sister, actually. The husband is a legit psychopath, but the brother and sister’s infinite heart to sort-of protect their king brother is pretty interesting as well. All three of them are so broken that they’re pretty much equally problematic. Exploring their past and what led up to the current events and attitude would be pretty interesting.
As much of the fact that its somewhat cultural/historical representation (based on the presumed cultural context of the book) for men to be dominating, Shalia as a female lead in modern YA literature of 2018 just felt too oppressed, something that was prominent on either side of the schism.
And I am really confused with the sequel to this book, Imprison the Sky. Reign the Earth had open-ended questions, yet I know Imprison the Sky has a new set of MC leads. So our old leads are abandoned to make way for an alternative perspective of the same timeline, which means no further exploration of characters of Reign the Earth until the two timelines merge?
Reign the Earth simply wasn’t the best reading experience: overall confusing and overly oppressed. Good concept and lore, but the full potential of this book was only brought out for the last 33%.
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