Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
Series: The Elementae #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on January 30th 2018
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
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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.
Reign the Earth is such a richly spun tale full of amazingness that I am having trouble forming cohesive sentences about it, let alone write a full review. However, I decided that I am going to try because I want nothing more than to persuade you to read this book as well. I want to see this book on your shelves, your TBRs, and in your lives, period.
Why you need to read Reign the Earth
The main character, Shalia, is fiercely loyal and brave. She is such a selfless individual who, when faced with tough decisions, isn’t above doing everything in her powers to do the right thing. I loved getting to know her and seeing how she tackled the struggles that came her way (and believe me, there are plenty). Her story isn’t always easy to take. Especially her marriage with Callix and their relationship was very hard to read about. There is a very thin line that Shalia is walking and the smallest mishap could destroy all that she’d sacrificed.
The very best thing about Reign the Earth though is its setting and the variety of cultures. The worldbuilding was so well executed and an absolute joy to read about!
And if that isn’t enough, it all builds up to a finale that will give you feels aplenty! It’s devastating, it’s powerful, and it’s everything you want from such a powerhouse of a book.
Reign the Earth is a well-crafted and BEAUTIFUL book! If all things mentioned above won’t sway you to read it, then I have one last trick up my sleeve: the cover alone is enough reason to pick Reign the Earth up. I am not above saying that if you occasionally fall prey to buying books for the cover, let Reign the Earth be one of them. I promise you that you will not regret it.
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #2
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on January 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Sci-Fi
Source: the Publisher
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.
I was a bit late to the party with The Bone Season. This had to do with the immense hype surrounding the book, I bought it, planning to wait a little while until everything had calmed down a bit, and then suddenly it was a year after publication and I still hadn’t read it. So I read it over the summer and I fell in love with the story and its characters. What a difference this time around. Ever since I finished The Bone Season, I have been anticipating its sequel.
The world-building was as intricate and beautiful as it was in The Bone Season. Which made it so easy to get wrapped up in the storyline. The story picks up right where The Bone Season left off. Paige has managed to escape Sheol I and we’re back in the alternate and futuristic London that we only got a few glimpses of at the beginning of book one. I love how we get to know more about the Seven Seals and the Criminal Syndicate. It was something I’ve wanted to know more about since I read the first book, The Mime Order really dove into the Criminal Syndicate, it became more clear how the criminal underbelly of London works, hierarchy wise, and it was so interesting to read about.
Paige is such a great protagonist. She’s tough, smart, and intuitive. And at the same time she has her flaws and limitations. Which is exactly what makes her such a great character. I love how The Mime Order the offers an insight to Paige’s inner struggles. We learn more about her relationship with her mime-lord and other characters and we get those little insights into her childhood in Ireland (and I hope to learn more about it in the next instalment). She’s tough, but sensitive at the same time. I just adore her character. View Spoiler »and lets not forget those stolen moments she has with Warden *sighs* « Hide Spoiler
Then the romance. What I love so much is that it’s not the main part of the story. It’s always there in the back of your mind, but it’s not the main focus of the story. I pleasantly surprised when Warden made an appearance in the story. And the interactions between Paige and Warden are everything I wanted and more. Great dialogue. Sexy tension. And I am so excited to see how their love story will develop. Even though their relationship will probably know many hardships. They are such strong personalities, and I hope that their romance will survive against all odds.
Plot-wise this story is absolutely fantastic. The revolution travels with Paige from Sheol I to the world of the voyants in London. There’s lots of things going on and you want to know exactly how they will unfold. The tension between Paige and Jaxon keeps building. View Spoiler »After what she discovered about Jaxon in The Bone Season, the last thing she wants is to be under her mime-lord’s thumb again. But without him she is powerless to do what she set out to do. « Hide Spoiler Their exchanges are extremely chilling, filled with power-plays and political undertones. It all builds up towards one point. All those emotions build to peak and believe me, that ending… MIND WILL BE BLOWN.
I loved The Mime Order so much. I wish there was more to read, because the thought of waiting another year for the next book is killing. Samantha Shannon did a wonderful job with this book. Beautiful world-building, a great protagonist, thrilling romance, and a fantastic plot. The Mime Order was everything I hoped it would be and more. I love this world and it’s beautiful characters. Now, can I have the sequel? Pretty please!
First things first, I have fallen soooo much behind in reviewing my reads and I want to apologize! I’m still reading, but due to some health problems I haven’t been able to write all the reviews that I planned and wanted to share with you. They are coming up! I made myself a schedule (with some help from Debbie, who wrote an awesome post in which she shares her planning and scheduling methods) and I have my fingers crossed this will work out for me and I can keep up with it! Starting now, with my review of The Bone Season!
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on August 20th 2013
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Sci-Fi
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.
Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
I had this book lying around for quite a while. And back when I bought it, this book just got so much attention from, well, everywhere, that I decided to put it away for a while and read it when things calmed down a bit. I should’ve known that I’d forget about it back then, so roughly a year after publication I finally decided to read it! And somewhere within the story and just past the huge amount of information – that you get thrown at you within the first chapters – I ended up incredibly intrigued with the beauty of the story unfolding on these pages.
Generally, and for pretty obvious reasons, I am not a big fan of ‘info-dumping.’ It often confuses me. I’ll have trouble remembering the details later on in the story, which then leads to me having to go back a few chapters to clear up whatever I’m not getting or understanding. While every now and then this was a bit of an issue for me, I found that as the story unfolded, I didn’t really mind it. Because along the way I ended up so incredibly intrigued by the world of clairvoyance, otherworldly races and the imagined dystopian nature of this well-crafted futuristic society, that it became easy to look past that minor flaw.
Samantha Shannon did such a great job weaving the concepts of clairvoyance, otherworldly races, and a dystopian society into an incredibly intriguing and original story. I just genuinely fell in love with the story and its characters. The story is intricate and fascinating and characters have their own distinct personalities. The characters pack that little something extra that defines them, which makes them memorable and easy to root for. Plus, I love how realistically she portrayed the relationships between characters, how they grow gradually and slowly. It never felt forced or rushed.
This is by no means a light read. It is a big book and it’s pretty lengthy, but if you’re willing to put some time into reading it, it won’t be for nothing. The story is original and incredibly gripping. As the first book (in an expected series of seven!) I think this first instalment is incredibly promising and I greatly look forward to its sequel!
Original, gripping, and a very well-crafted story! Which made for the slight case of info-dumping to be easily overlooked by all the other compelling aspects of this story. I very very much enjoyed (loved!) this story.