by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #1
Release date: August 27th 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
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.
First things first – if you are looking for a unique fantasy with things you’ve never seen before, this is not the book for you. If you want a book that uses the standard YA fantasy tropes well, then by all means read this book!
This was a fast paced book but still gave you time to get to know the characters, and by the end I started to really connect with them, especially Vhalla! I loved how complex she was – she was strong but also had her flaws. This book covers a major life decision that Vhalla needs to make. She can either keep her magic and become the first windwalker in centuries, or she can be eradicated, and continue to be a normal girl working as a library apprentice. She starts off being very afraid of sorcerers, as in this world sorcerers are feared but also necessary, but quickly starts to learn the actual facts surrounding the sorcerers and their history instead of focusing on rumors which was great.
“Fire needs air to live. Air fuels fire, stokes it, and makes it burn brighter and hotter than it ever could alone. But too much air will snuff it completely, just as too many flames will consume all the air. They are far greater than the sum of their parts together, but are equally as dangerous to each other’s existence.”
I also really loved Aldrik! When we first see him, he’s the brooding dark crown prince that everyone steers clear of. He does kind of fall into the trope of ‘I’m-bad-but-I-have-a-soft-side-when-you-get-to-know-me’, but honestly I’m such a sucker for characters like that and his character was done really well. I really shipped him with Vhalla from the minute they met, and seeing as this is described by the author as a fantasy romance, I have the feeling that the two of them will eventually get together!
I think for me the reason I enjoyed this so much is because the characters were easy to fall in love with, but also because it has elemental magic! I loved how each region of this world had a certain element associated with it (like Windwalkers come from the east), and I’m excited to explore more of this world in the next books because it certainly seems like we will be journeying outside the capital of the empire!
“You can read all the books in this library, be wiser than the master himself someday, and then you will die having never really done anything. You will have only ever lived through everyone else’s experiences.”
While the magic was one of my favorite parts of this, you don’t really get to see much of it as Vhalla is still making her decision and learning, but it’s clear that we will learn much more in the rest of the series. This was also Elise Kova’s debut book, so with that in mind it was really impressive!
There were a few developments that happened in the last half of this book that I totally wasn’t expecting to happen, but it definitely intrigued me. There is clearly so much more going on than what we see in this first book, and I have a feeling that there’s something sinister going on when it comes to why Vhalla is the first Windwalker in centuries.
“They wanted to kill her, so this Vhalla would die, she resolved, and a new Vhalla would be born from her ashes.”
Overall, this was a very strong beginning to what I’m sure will be a new favorite series!