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Reign the Earth (Elementae) Hardcover – January 30, 2018
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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
"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
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.
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1. A female protagonist that grows into a strong heroine. You actually watch her grow. AMAZING!!!
2. Elemental powers
3. This book does not shy away from abuse (emotional and physical), torture, genocide, rape, and a few other topics that I will not say because they would spoil the story. It made me cringe and feel sick.
4. The female protagonist's family is strong and very close. AND COOL! (so rare in fantasy novels)
5. Sibling banter
6. A. C. Gaughen builds up the momentum of this novel SO WELL!
7. The world-building was EXCELLENT! You could really feel the differences between the two main cultures among the characters
8. The romance was a slow burn not insta-love. *swoon* (THANK YOU A. C. GAUGHEN!!!!!)
9. Sometimes, I wish I could punch characters. Well, I got my wish. There was a well deserved punch on page 295 that had me like YES! THANK YOU! SOMEONE FINALLY DID IT!!!!
10. The villain is no joke. You grow to hate him.
11. Read the acknowledgements! It had me teary-eyed seeing the story behind this book. A. C. Gaughen, you are my hero! A true inspiration to keep pursuing, hustling, and chasing after your dreams! XOXO
Even though Shalia is warned by her best friend Kata that she herself is an Elementae, the warning is ignored for much of the story. Bad idea. Once her powers which are triggered by her emotions finally do appear, she will have no choice but to accept that her abilities are incredibly powerful. Now, Shalia must walk a delicate balance of deception and hope that she isn't betrayed by anyone which would lead to her death. At the same time, Shalia urges changes in the way things are done from her new husband.
Speaking of whom. Calix is truly the monster made from the myths of the most villainous bad guys ever. One can hate a villain and still love the overall story. This is that story. He truly believes that there is a prophecy that says an
Elementae will one day end his life. The lengths Calix goes to snuff out every single Elementae might be a bit much for younger audiences. The lengths he treats Shalia, at times, is also a bit on the dark side. One can have thoughts and emotions on what Calix puts Shalia through, but facts are this is a different world where men don't see women as their partners but property to be misused and tossed away.
On the other side of the story, there's Shalia's own family for whom she would sacrifice everything to save. Her brother Rain is a member of a rebel faction that continues
to fight against Calix. We don't get a whole lot of Rian; just enough to give you an idea about who he is and who else belongs to the resistance. Thankfully, there are others who do stand by Shalia. I already mentioned Kata who has a command over water and can heal. She is also responsible for a whole lot more which I won't spoil.
The other important secondary character is Shalia's brother Kairos who travels to the Bonelands to help keep her safe. Kairos is a chippy character who I actually liked a whole lot. There's no one going to get in his way of protecting his younger sister. He has no safety net when it comes to how hard he pushes Calix's buttons. Finally, there is Galen, Calix's brother and the commander of his army. Galen will become an important figure when all is said and done. I won't speak a whole lot about Galen. There are some good things, and some things that happen that lead to a seriously twisted cliffhanger ending.
This book may not be for the feint of heart so I am warning you up front. There are unexpectedly dark situations that may not be suitable for younger audiences. There are situations with emotional abuse, physical abuse, torture, violence, and shocking deaths. I often refrain from trigger warnings because they are subliminal ways to shut down freedom of expression. So, here is your only warning. Reader beware.
Most recent customer reviews
Recommended Age: 16+ (sexual violence and rape, infant/child/fetus death, abuse)
Author: A.C.Read more
I had head nothing but the absolute best things about Reign the Earth, and all the hype that had been...Read more
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