Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4/5 Stars Series: Yes - first book
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.
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This book is a fun take on the lowly-commoner-discovers-they-have-powerful-and-rare-magic, with a new angle of said commoner, Yhalla, hesitant to accept her magic. I’m not quite sure what her indecision has cost her – as the ending felt related to something other than her indecision.
That aside, Yhalla is a librarian! As an avid reader (obviously!), I love seeing bookish-people portrayed not as the weird-kid. She was so relateable. I liked her internal struggles – her fear warring and wish to be safe, not to mention self-doubt, with her desire to be someone of importance. It worked so natural as I think all of us struggle with this (albeit, without magic and the expectations of royalty!) at some time in our lives.
The two princes were great, and really kept me guessing what they truly wanted. The relationship with Aldrik flourished into friendship from a place of mistrust, but there was always a sense of status difference and hidden motives. Prince Baladrin was impossible to fathom his real motives, and as much as his charm was endearing, there was always a disjointed, wariness in those scenes.
The magic system is easy to understand, mainly because it’s an ‘anything-goes’ system, but also because chapter 2 or 3 is mainly a series of notes between Vhalla and ‘the Phantom’ explaining magic. It felt a little like a cop-out to explain the magic system and cram in some history exposition, but it worked, and sets up Aldrik better. I liked it.
I’m excited to see where the world, magic, relationships and story goes next.
Read my other reviews of books by Elise Kova:
Air Awakens (this series):
- FIRE FALLING (#2)
- EARTH’S END (#3)
- WATER’S WRATH (#4)
- CRYSTAL CROWNED (#5)