Sunday, 21 January 2018

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen ARC Review

I received an eARC from Bloomsbury and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so so much! This is a spoiler free review.

Reign the Earth
Written by A.C. Gaughen
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Pages: 448
Source: ebook ARC provided by Bloomsbury and NetGalley
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 15 and up!


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.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.


I was so excited when I got approved to read this ARC as it is on my most-anticpated list for 2018! That being said, this book is not a light-hearted fantasy. It includes physical and emotional abuse, and unconsented activities in an arranged marriage. A.C. Gaughen handles them very well but they are very prominant and you can't just skip them.


I adore the cover. It gives the reader a desert theme which is partially where this book is set. The cover is a little bit too light-hearted for the whole tone of the book.


I really enjoyed the world-building in this novel. We learn about the Elementae who are people who have powers that control either earth, water, fire or air. Shalia (our main character) is an Elemental herself and we get to learn about their powers through her and her experiences.

Then there are the characters.


“My honor has nothing to do with what man is married to me, or touching me, or loves me. I will not be broken or diminished or belittled by the choices of men around me.”

Shalia is a very strong heroine. At the beginning she wasn't great but she ended up getting stronger throughout her experiences in the book. She is very flawed which is an interesting thing to see in this book. Shalia is able to deal with a lot in this book both from her people and from her husband. Shalia's marriage is an arranged one but Shalia is very uncomfortable within it and she is able to outsmart her husband several times. Also, Shalia is a woman of color and I loved the representation.


Calix is the villain in this novel but he is a very unlikable villain and his character isn't too complex. From the beginning, you figure out that he will be the villain. There are a couple of moments where he shows redeemable qualities but those quickly vanish under his longing for power and control. Calix is abusive and I really hated his character. There was honestly no valid reason for his actions.


Gaven is Shalia's love interest and Calix's brother and I really liked his character. At times he seemed two-dimensional but he ultimately was a really nice character who looked out for Shalia's best interests. He is apart of the army and yet he doesn't let all of that get to his head and is very humble and helps Shalia a lot throughout the book.


Shalia is taken away from her family at the beginning of the novel in order to get married to Calix. Family is a huge part of this book as Shalia is constantly thinking about her siblings and her desert home. She loves her family and everything she does is for them. Shalia also is pregnant during this book so she really wants to create a good family setting for her daughter.


The whole concept of this book is amazing. An arranged marriage in order to create peace between two warring countries? Um, sign me up! This book is about a girl named Shalia who marries Calix, who is the king of a neighboring nation, in order to establish peace between the two nations. Calix is the villain who wants to kill all of the Elementae and his wife (Shalia) happens to be an Elemental. Shalia wants to protect the Elementae because she is one and some of her family and friends are as well but this is hard when her husband hates them. This is a pretty fast-paced book and it didn't lag anywhere which made it more fun and suspenseful.

As I mentioned before, a majority of this book revolves around an arranged marriage between Shalia and Calix. However, the romance in this book is between Shalia and Gaven and I actually enjoyed this romance even though it was a little sappy. Shalia and Gaven is a very pure romance and yes, Shalia is married but her marriage is very abusive and she wants to get away from it. I'm really enjoying their romance so far.


The writing was lovely and I really liked how she described the characters and the setting which made it more immersive. A.C. Gaughen also wrote the Scarlet series which had some more beautiful writing.


I really enjoyed this book. It is not your average fantasy as it involves a lot of political strategizing. I really liked the tribes in the desert which was good representation (even if it might not be accurate). This isn't a completely happy book. Just be prepared once you decide to read it because there are triggers. That being said, it was such a good book and I highly recommend it!

Quotes from the Book:

None At this Time

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns

No comments:

Post a Comment