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Reign the Earth (The Elementae) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 464 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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|Book 1 of 2 in The Elementae||Age Level: 13 and up|
|Grade Level: 9 - 12|
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"A series opener with depth. . . .Gaughen delivers an emotionally resonant tale full of magic so powerful it can move the earth; rich writing and worldbuilding will appeal to readers seeking complex characters, palace intrigue, and weighty questions of power and loyalty." - Publishers Weekly
"A tale of staggering magic, cutthroat royalty, and lethal intrigue. . . . Gaughen weaves a compelling feminist fantasy. Shalia is a refreshingly strong heroine with a voice that leaps off the page. Her story will both break readers’ hearts and urge them onward, anxious to know how Shalia grapples with her destiny." - Booklist
"Another fantasy romance in the vein of books by Sabaa Tahir, Renee Ahdieh, and Sarah Maas, this volume will have teens clamoring for a sequel. Shaila matures from a frightened girl in a foreign land to a woman unwilling to allow her destiny or desires to be controlled by the men around her." - School Library Journal
"Shalia’s story unfolds slowly, smoldering before it rages into an enormous fire. It builds in a powerful way, drawing the reader into a larger plot than they ever expected. . . . Reign the Earth is sure to inspire a dedicated fan base eager for the next tale." - Foreword Reviews
"The romance between Shalia and Galen is absolutely swoonworthy, but it’s a relationship of equals with Shalia demanding a partner rather than a protector. Fans of Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen . . . will appreciate Shalia’s confidence, sense of agency, and ultimate defiance of Calix and his reign." - BCCB
"With a clever, strong-willed heroine, a downright terrifying villain, and complex relationships that leap off the page, Reign the Earth is the feminist fantasy I didn't know I needed. I will be thinking about Shalia's strength and fearlessness (and swooning over the slow-burn romance) as I anxiously await book two!" - Erin Bowman, author of VENGEANCE ROAD
"Following in the tradition of Tamora Pierce's stories of feisty, kickass heroines and drawing on some factual underpinnings. . . Gaughen's tale will satisfy teen readers seeking action-packed romantic adventure set alluringly in another age." - Kirkus Reviews on LION HEART
"Scarlet is a worthy protagonist for adolescent female readers, and [the] nonstop action that peppers the plot will entice male teens with a penchant for semihistorical fiction." - VOYA on LION HEART
"Filled with action, suspense, and a healthy dash of passionate but controlled romance." - School Library Journal on LADY THIEF
"Debut novelist Gaughen does more than offer a rip-roaring tale, though it is that. The story, told in Scar's distinctive first-person voice, captivates and gets readers as deeply into the heart of a troubled girl. . . has plenty for both the romantic and the adventure lover." - starred review, Booklist on SCARLET
"Plenty of swashbuckling adventure and a hearty dose of romance power this re-imagining of the legend of Robin Hood." - School Library Journal on SCARLET--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
A. C. Gaughen is the author of Scarlet, Lady Thief, and Lion Heart. She serves on the board of directors for the non-profit Boston GLOW to make sure young women have the support they need to become powerful leaders in their communities. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.
- File Size : 4295 KB
- Print Length : 464 pages
- ASIN : B077K8GG4G
- Publication Date : January 30, 2018
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Publisher : Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1st Edition (January 30, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #276,496 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Before I go any further, I want to mention that this book features potentially very triggering scenes related to emotional and physical abuse (including torture). The emotional abuse, especially, is present throughout the book and it’s uncomfortable to read. None of it is glorified in any way; it’s clear that it’s meant to be viewed in a bad light and not supported in any way. With that in mind, it’s that same discomfort that made me rate this book so high.
Shaila marries a foreigner to achieve peace between her two peoples. She doesn’t necessarily want the marriage for herself, nor does she have many disillusions about marriage, but she goes through with it for her family and her people. Her relationship with her new husband, Calix, is rough. He’s a king who believes he’s a god incarnate and acts as though his will is the work of the divine. He refers to her as “wife” rather than her name the vast majority of the time. He’s verbally and emotionally abusive toward her, constantly putting her down for having original ideas or opinions. And he gets physically abusive with Shaila at one point.
I cringed. I wanted to reach out and hug Shaila. I wanted to punch Calix in the face. Several times. And yet. . . and yet I loved this book. Because Gaughen shows how someone in a toxic situation who can’t necessarily get out of it so easily can overcome it. So often in my life I’ve heard people ask “well why don’t you just leave?” But sometimes you can’t, and I know this is fantasy so the situation is not necessarily realistic to our world but it parallels in a way. Shaila is strong. Not in the physical strength sense but strong willed with a huge heart. She cares so deeply despite the potential for harm to herself. And she conquers. It’s not easy, and the road to get there isn’t pleasant, but I think that’s true for situations in real life too.
With that, there’s a consistent theme of family. Shaila’s people is very family oriented and that becomes a point of conflict between her and Calix that plays out time and again. I also loved the bit of forbidden love because I’m a sucker for it but I wouldn’t say that played a big role until later in the book. It’s definitely a slow burn and, to be honest, I wouldn’t say it worked for me COMPLETELY but I still totally ship them in future books. I just wanted a bit more development in this one since it became a bigger plot point later on.
And as for the rest of the book, I absolutely loved it. Elemental magic isn’t exactly original but I felt like Gaughen gave it new life with the combination of the history she gave the world and the amazing cast of characters. I don’t think all the characters were given the same depth as the leads so there’s definitely room to expand in future books. The same for the world. It was a good amount of detail for me for an opening book but I definitely want more in the future. The pacing is a bit inconsistent. The middle dragged at times while the beginning and end were just one thing after the next. But I was so invested in the story I barely noticed.
Reign the Earth is a dark YA fantasy. Perhaps not in the way you’d traditionally think but the topics tackled are tough to read but well worth it for those who can push through. I devoured this book in one sitting and immediately told everyone I knew they needed to order it ASAP.
It literally has everything I love. Magic, fierce characters, a real evil villain, forbidden/slow burning love. AAhhhh...it's all wonderful.
But also, this book broke my heart. The things the MC has to deal with, the torture that bastard Calix comes up with for people. His lies and hatred.
This book covers some heavy topics such as physical and emotional abuse, along with sexual relations that aren't necessarily welcome in an arranged marriage. The author does a great job with these situations though, and through it all, the MC just proves to be a survivor and incredibly strong and determined.
The flow of this book was great! Action started quickly, or at least interesting parts of the story happened quickly. I love how close the MC is with her family. I also loved all the little twists towards the end! SO GOOD!
I really enjoyed reading this book. I did spend the majority of this book wanting to reach inside and pummel the living daylights out of a certain character but hey that's normal right? The characters were beautifully constructed and I cannot wait to find out more about each and every one of them. The story was pretty fast paced and kept me hooked for the majority of the book. After finishing the book I just want to know more! More about the elementae and their powers, more about the islands and more about all the main characters we encountered while reading! I will definitely be eagerly awaiting book 2!
Top reviews from other countries
I loved it for all the reasons that some people might see it a bit critical. I love how A.C. Gaughen is handling really heavy themes in a wonderful fantasy setting. She is touching so many different topics and we see them through the eyes of a very strong, female characters, which is not acting like a victim but she is also not unrealistically strongly fighting heroine all the time. There is this very fine line that makes the perfect character for me and with Shalia, A.C. just totally nailed it.
My very favorite scene which I usually refer to when making people read this book (yes, I do that) is when <spoiler>Shalia is wondering why the women are waiting in line for food when the fields are showing a full harvest and discovers that the factory processing the grain is not fully staffed because the men are at war. How she mobilizes the women to work themselves and how it is perceived by this society ist just pure awesomeness </spoiler>
I love how through Shalias eyes, many topics like female empowerment and LBTQ relations are completely normal and how shocked she is to discover that the world she has entered has different views on these things. I find this point of view extremely refreshing because I do not feel like these values are pushed on my like a lecture or like an LGBTQ relationship is something special that is worth mentioning. In Shalias world it is so normal that it would not be considered diversity because It. Is. Normal. I love that SO much.
There is so much more to this book, the plotline is wonderful and kept me entertained even though it is not the most special thing in the world. The worldbuilding happened beautifully and I never felt like I have to work to understand the world (which oftentimes is the case for me for the first 50-100 pages). I love the writing style and A.C. Gaughen has a new fan. I cannot wait to get into another book of hers!