Air Awakens by Elise Kova

SynopsisA 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.

Review: I've had my eye on Elise Kova's books for quite some time. I've heard overwhelmingly positive things for this series in particular. I get it. It was entertaining. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read a lot of fantasy books in my life. As far as characters go, I didn't really care for any of the major characters in the story. None of them were particularly memorable and that bummed me out quite a bit. The story was also kind of meh. First off, yes there were obvious similarities to Avatar: The Last Airbender and Harry Potter. Honestly, that didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story. It was different enough, it just started to elicit some eye rolls. There were some aspects of the world that I appreciated. I liked how sorcerers were considered bad, but it was also random as to who ended up being magical. One common problem I've seen with other fantasies is how the "bad guys" tend to be focused on specific countries or races. This can be extremely hurtful to readers who are of a specific ethnicity if they read characters who look like them, but are evil. Having magic is a random attribute that has nothing to do with a character's ethnicity and, in this world, anyone with magic can be dangerous. I did find the public's reaction to sorcerers to be a bit odd. It's no secret that one of the princes has magic, and that seems to be fine, but when anyone else is suspected of having magic, it's considered bad. I liked that a prince had magic. I liked that Vhalla had a friend in this. I just found it odd that people were willing to serve someone with magic while also hating others. This book was definitely the basic start up to a fantasy series. It opened with a shocking amount of urgency which was nice, but there ended up being a lot of history and world building which is fine. It made for a slightly slower read, but it wasn't awful. Elise also did things to her characters that I wasn't expecting, but I won't say what because spoilers. Overall, the book was underwhelming, but I am going to read the next one and see if the series gets better. This is by no means a "bad" book, but I'm hoping things develop in the next installment.

3 howls