ARC Review: Crystal Crowned

ARC Review: Crystal Crowned

Author: Elise Kova

Release Date: July 12, 2016

Pages: 305

Rating/Grade: A

Synopsis

Long live Solaris.

One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

Characters

Vhalla – At the beginning, Vhalla seems so lost. Due to the fact that Victor basically siphoned her powers from her, she has to learn how to be a commoner again. Since she is surrounded by sorcerers this is particularly hard for her to do. After learning how to be a commoner again, she is probably stronger and feels more convicted than ever about what needs to be done in order to save the empire.

Aldrik – Speaking of feeling convicted, Aldrik, who is now Emperor due to Victor’s rampage, has truly taken on the role of a leader. He no longer hides behind the black of the Tower. He truly feels like the leader of an empire.  He takes on all of the good qualities of the role, despite the fact that he knows he is flawed.

Jax – He is his typical, jovial, sarcastic self, and I love his character more than ever. He has vowed to be Vhalla’s personal protector as his last promise to Baldair. I love Jax’s character more than ever because we finally find out his backstory and why he is tied to the crown as well as why he is the way is, AKA, using sarcasm as defense mechanism. I always love characters that are a little broken because people are all broken in their own way, so it was nice to find out the cause behind Jax’s brokenness.

Elecia and Fritz – While we don’t spend a ton of time with these two characters in this book compared to how much time we’ve spent with them in previous books, they are present, and every page they appear on shows just how much they care for Vhalla and Aldrik. While I have amazing friends, and trust me, I do have some pretty outstanding friends, friends that will drop everything immediately to help me out, I did, on occasion, get a little jealous for not having Elecia and Fritz as friends.

Victor – Again, Victor is not someone we actually spend a lot of time with in Crystal Crowned, especially compared to how much time we spent with him in Water’s Wrath, but he is a constant presence because he is always being talked about. When we do finally see him at the end, it is driven home just how much of a psychopath he really is.

Review

It was once again another whirlwind of emotions brought to you by Elise Kova.  I was crying by the time I got about 10% of the way into the book, I mean, big huge tears streaming down my face.  After having spent 4 books with these characters, I have become so emotionally attached to them.  It is something Elise Kova is able to do so well through her writing.  As a reader, you feel as though these characters are real people and that you know them as if they were your friends.

There were some beautiful things that have gradually been communicated throughout the series and touched upon in each book that were wrapped up in beautiful quotes in Crystal Crowned. The idea of no one being perfect was something that definitely made itself apparent through each and every book. We are able to see that all of the characters are flawed in one or another at some point in time. The idea that we should accept someone, including yourself, for who they are, flaws and all, is also emphasized. At one point Vhalla reflects on her relationship with Aldrik, and thinks to herself, “She didn’t make him out to be perfect. [She] knew Aldrik was horribly flawed. But so was she.”

Another very strong idea that is gifted to us is the idea that people are constantly changing, that this is a good thing, and that change, especially change in people, is unfinished. Aldrik expresses his feelings to Vhalla by saying, “You’ve changed. . . And I love the woman that you’ve become, deeply and completely.” He also says something about himself to Vhalla that I think shows how drastically Aldrik has grown and changed. It also shows how heartbreaking the turn of events in his life were and how they affected him. He says, “I have no more family, so I am no longer the black sheep.” Vhalla has a realization about herself, and I think this is something we all need to realize about ourselves and our lives. “Vhalla was discovering that the path to being the person she wanted to be had no endpoint.” Elise Kova leaves us with this as a reminder that we are always unfinished, we are ever-changing.

Now that I’m done mooning over the wonderful thoughts and ideas that Elise Kova communicates to her readers through her reading, let me tell you about the last third or so of the book. It is non-stop, and I mean, NON-STOP action, I could NOT put it down. I actually finished about the last half of the book in a day, but during the last third of it, there was no social media, no eating, no sleeping, no moving from the spot I was stuck to in the house, which could have been my bed or the couch. Honestly, I don’t really remember because I was so enthralled with Elise Kova’s world that she has built over these last five five books that the real world around me didn’t really matter.

Reason For Rating

There’s really not much to say here anymore. I think I covered all of it in the review. What I can say is that Elise Kova has taken me on a journey over the last year that I never could have expected when I signed up to be on her street team and got the ARC of Air Awakens in the mail. I don’t think I’ve been so excited about a book series, particularly an author in a long time.

Elise’s characters are so well-developed. They are real people to me.  Her world building is outstanding. Since she does these things so well, her books are not only enjoyable, but they also challenge you to think about who you are as well as the people around you. She is not afraid to take on hard or controversial topics in her books, to the point where they don’t really feel like your stereotypical young adult fantasy novel.  I guess I had plenty to say. Sorry for going off on a bit of a tangent, but Crystal Crowned definitely gets an “A” from me! If you haven’t done so already, do yourself a favor and pick up the Air Awakens series.

Grade A

Check It Out!!

The Author, Where to Get It, and an Exclusive Excerpt

Elise Head Shot

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Where To Get It

Exclusive Excerpt

With just the one weapon and a leather jerkin, she struck a course northward. Given all the reports she’d been receiving, it seemed like the most logical location for her Emperor. A red sunrise streaked across the sky, mirroring the crimson land before her.

The casualties had been heavy, heavier than she expected given the number of soldiers who had been in the Western force surrounding the city. But the hulking corpses of giant winged beasts offered a chilling explanation. Teeth longer than her body jutted out from their massive jowls. They had almost canine-like heads but with thick leathery skin pulled taut against oddly shaped muscles. Some had two arms, some had four, one even had six. They had the wings of a wyvern and scorpion-like tails. It was a creature that the Gods had never intended to exist, and the now-dormant crystals embedded in their bodies glinted like dull obsidian in the sunlight, slowly cracking into dust.

A handful of men and women were surrounded, forced to their knees. Soldiers waited around them, sorcerers and Commons alike, ready to execute the traitors who had ridden in to kill them all on the backs of monsters. The lean figure of a man was mounted before the lot—an Emperor casting judgment on those who fought against his throne.

“. . . forsake the false king.” Vhalla could hear Aldrik’s words as she approached. “Those who give information will be rewarded with their lives.”

No one spoke.

“You protect a coward,” Vhalla called out, announcing her presence. Aldrik turned in surprise as she rode up next to him. “You stand with a man whose power comes not through his own merit—as he would have you believe—but through theft.”

“What would you know?” one of the kneeling sorcerers demanded, curiosity drawing the words from him.

“I know all too well,” Vhalla replied quietly, “because I was the one whose powers he stole.”

Now she had their attention.

“Victor could not open the caverns on his own; he wasn’t strong enough to manage the crystals. I know because he needed me to help him do it. When he had what he wanted, he stole my magic to make him immune from the taint.”

“Lies!” one sneered. “The taint only affects those of weak will, Commons, and lesser sorcerers.”

Desperation carved the way for stupidity in the hearts of men.

“You can’t possibly believe that. Is that what Victor has told you? That you are the strong ones and immune?” She shook her head with a bitter sorrowful laugh. “He has written you off as expendable with his lies.”

“Are you really the Windwalker?” a timid voice asked from among them.

“I was.” Vhalla spoke only to the man who had asked. “I was the Windwalker until he stole my powers. Now I am a Commons. It was my magic that unleashed this monster upon the world—”

“Vhalla . . .” Aldrik had a cautionary note.

“—but because of that, no one will fight harder than me to do what is necessary to right that wrong.” The words hurt. They hurt like the wind still hurt on her cheeks, plain and un-magical. But it was finally the right kind of hurt. The hurt of a confession that needed to be said. “This is but a night. The sun will rise again, and I stand with the dawn.”

She looked to the Emperor. His eyes were a chameleon over the past few weeks, constantly changing to match the woman she was becoming.

“Who will stand with the sun?” He tore his eyes away from her to make his final demand.

The man who had asked his timid question stood slowly. “A false king sits on a false throne.”

“You disgrace sorcerers,” another loyalist spat. “You’ll follow a liar and a Commons.”

“Strength channels its own magic,” the man said in reply, looking directly at Vhalla.

“Who else will stand with us?” Vhalla demanded.

Two more stood.

“Why take pity on them?” a Western soldier finally spoke. “They fight against your Empire. Put them to death.”

“Because a wise woman taught me that no soul is beyond saving,” Aldrik replied easily.

Vhalla’s chest tightened, instantly thinking of Larel.

“Those who stand with us, live; those who do not, die. Make your choice. Dawn comes and it will wait for no man.” Aldrik turned back to Victor’s sorcerers.

Two more stood, five in total. That was all who were spared. Vhalla bore a silent witness to the other sorcerers who died for Victor’s ideal. Men and women who had become so tainted with his lies that they valued his dogma more than their lives.

Vhalla counted every man and woman put to death. Twenty-three in total. She shifted in her saddle and felt the sword pulling heavy on her shoulder. The next time she saw Victor she would stab him herself, Vhalla resolved, twenty-three times.

Make sure to pick up the whole Air Awakens series!! It’s outstanding!!

Happy Reading!!

Erin

WWW Wednesday 7/6/16

WWW Wed

WWW Wednesday 7/6/16

This is my weekly WWW Wednesday post in which I answer three simple questions.  It is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Go check her out, her blog is great!  Each week I will answer the following three questions about what is happening in my book world.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

So, here we go.

What are you currently reading?

**The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

 

**Wrecked by Maria Padian

 

What did you recently finish reading?

**Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova

Crystal Crowned, the last book in the Air Awakens series comes July 12th!! My review will be up on Saturday, July 9th.

 

**A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Love, love, loved this book!! Review for it is here.

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

(All synopses are from Goodreads)

**The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

clash of kings**A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment; a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.

**Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world

 

ca084-whatareyoureading

I can’t wait to hear what all of you are reading!  Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

Erin

Crystal Tour – #FlashbackFriday

Crystal Tour Clearer

Crystal Tour – #FlashbackFriday

Well hello all!

I can’t believe it is the end of this series. I will miss new books in it, but also cannot wait for the new things to come for Elise Kova. For example the Loom series, with the first book due out January 2017. But that is for another post at another time. Let’s focus on the present.

In celebration of the release of Crystal Crowned, the fifth, and final, book in Elise Kova’s Air Awakens series, I am taking part in the Crystal Tour, and this week is all about Fire Falling.

This is one of my favorite reviews I’ve ever written, so in case you missed the first time around here is another look at my Fire Falling review:

Fire-Falling-Cover

Fire Falling

Synopsis

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Fire Falling is the second book in the Air Awakens Series.

Review

Ok. So I finished this book days ago. I had absolutely no idea how form coherent thoughts when I finished it at 1:00am on a Monday night when I had to get up at 5:30am.  I texted my sister, I jumped on Twitter, I went to the Goodreads Fan Club, and I still couldn’t fall asleep. I needed to talk to someone about it.  The following morning wasn’t much better. I spent a lot of morning reading through what other people thought about it, reading their predictions for Earth’s End, the third installment in the series. Now that I am about a week out from it, I can focus a little better, but when I start to think about it I get all excited again and want to reread it immediately, so get ready for some serious fangirling in this post.

I cannot even believe how amazing this book was. I can’t tell if it was better than the first because I was so crazy for it, and now that I’ve read it and it’s over and I am just that excited about it. But, seriously, this was so good, and unbelievably, better than the first, so a huge to Congrats!! to Elise Kova on being able to do that. You guys, that never happens!!

excited gif

One of the many beautiful things that happens in Fire Falling is the character development, especially of the secondary characters.  We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, I want to talk about the thing that is developing between Vhalla and Aldrik.  I was so thankful that there wasn’t the insta-love that often is present in many YA novels.  Not that I’m not a fan of the occasional insta-love story, but in this particular instance, I am really glad that it wasn’t the case, probably because it was between a prince and, for al intents and purposes, a peasant.

While Vhalla became more comfortable with the Crown Prince Aldrik toward the end of Air Awakens, there was so much chaos and drama when she finally did that you never got to really see the fun parts of who they were. There are so many fun parts that we get to see in Vhalla and Aldrik’s relationship this time. I love when they challenge each other and make fun each other.  We get to watch it develop as though we are on the inside of it, and it is so much fun to see.

pot meet kettle

There are also amazingly sweet parts to their relationship. Things that even the biggest fans of Aldrik weren’t really sure he was capable of, and this is coming from a huge fan of Aldrik. Aldrik has always given Vhalla the choice as to whether she wants him to be in her life, but as they grow closer there is more risk attached to it, and he makes sure to remind her of that. Yet, Vhalla always returns to him and reminds us that she “likes playing with fire.”

Finally, the tension between Aldrik and Vhalla breaks, and Kova writes some of the hottest scenes. The ones where you stop breathing and get so caught up in the story that it feels like you are actually there watching this really intimate thing unfold right in front of you, but not in a creepy or embarrassing way. Watching it as though you were completely invisible, or, if you are a fan of Aldrik, as though you are Vhalla.

fanning self

Now that I am done swooning over Aldrik, at least for the moment, let’s jump into the characters in the novel.  How have they changed? How have they grown? Are there any new ones?

Characters

Vhalla

Vhalla really starts coming into her own in this book, and shows just how deep the fire that burns within her goes.  To me, this is perfectly encapsulated in her when she thinks, Why not shatter the sky?

shatter the sky

Aldrik

He opens up so much in this book, telling Vhalla things that I never would have expected him to be willing to tell her. He tells her about his past and about what kind of person he used to be and sometimes still is. Even when Vhalla questions how close they are getting, and how dangerous it could be, Aldrik admits to her that it will always be dangerous for them, and that if she wants to make the appropriate decision, she should leave now because he can’t do things halfway.

aldrik

Baldair

I am slowly starting to trust Baldair more. He does nothing, but look out for Vhalla’s best interests.  He even does whatever he can to help Aldrik. It was eye-opening to find out a bit more about Baldair’s and Aldrik’s relationship works.  It is definitely different from sibling relationships that I am used to seeing, but it is definitely an interesting one.  But just fir the record, I still don’t fully trust him.

thor and loki

Fritz

Fritz, oh, Fritz. You are one of my favorites. I liked you from the moment I met you in the Tower Library.  I liked spending more time with Fritz in this book. He is truly an all-around good friend to Vhalla. He is whatever Vhalla needs him to be while they are on the march, someone to listen to her, someone to comfort her when she gets too confused about Aldrik. Fritz and Larel are the perfect best friends for Vhalla to help her get through this.

best friend fritz

Larel

I wasn’t sure about Larel in the first book. So many people that I talked to loved her immediately, I thought maybe I was missing something.  I think I realized who she full is in Fire Falling. She is so caring, and only wants what’s best for both Vhalla and Aldrik.  I loved learning about the past that her and Aldrik have together. After learning about it. Larel is probably one of the truest best friends anyone could have.

best friend Larel

Daniel

We were introduced to Daniel briefly at the end of Air Awakens. He was one of Vhalla’s guards while she was sitting in prison.  Now, he’s back, fighting as a soldier in the march, and as another friend that Vhalla can have while on the march. Which is really a good thing because she could use all the friends she can get. Kova does an interesting thing with Daniel’s character because while he is another friend to Vhalla, there does seem to be some sexual tension that comes and goes when he is with Vhalla. It will be interesting to see what type of role he continues to play in Vhalla’s life.

daniel

Rating

Like I said earlier, it is rare that a second book in a series is better than the first, but this one is, and sets very high expectations for the others, specifically Earth’s End, which comes out in February, and I can’t believe I have to wait a whole ten weeks for it. At the same time, I am grateful that I only have ten weeks for it and not a year.  Thank you, Elise Kova, for releasing your books so close together.  

There are so many beautifully quotable romantic lines in this book. You’ll just have to read for yourself to experience them. The kind of quotes that make a book especially memorable. It is an amazingly romantic story that, at the same time, takes place in the middle of a war in which its characters are soon to be on the frontlines. It allows the reader to see the characters at both their strongest and their weakest times, making the characters into extremely relatable people that you want to get to know more and more.  I give Fire Falling by Elise Kova an A+!!

A+

So there you have it folks, my Fire Falling review in all it’s glory. This was probably my favorite book of the series, although it’s really hard to choose.  I’ll know after I finish Crystal Crowned.

If you haven’t checked out the Air Awakens series yet, now is the perfect time to do s0.

Here are the dates for the remainder of the Crystal Tour:

  • Air Awakens (June 9-16)
  • Fire Falling (June 17-24)
  • Earth’s End (June 25-July 2)
  • Water’s Wrath (July 3-10)

Don’t Forget!!!

Crystal Crowned comes out July 12th!!!

Happy Reading!

Erin

 

The Crystal Tour – Top Ten Tuesday

Crystal Tour Clearer

Crystal Tour – Top Ten Tuesday

Well hello all!

In celebration of the release of Crystal Crowned, the fifth, and final, book in Elise Kova’s Air Awakens series, I am taking part in the Crystal Tour, and this week is all about Air Awakens.

Crystal Crowned will be available on July 12th. So make sure to be on the look out for it.

banner

Make sure to check out the rest of the tour as well.  Here are the dates:

  • Air Awakens (June 9-16)
  • Fire Falling (June 17-24)
  • Earth’s End (June 25-July 2)
  • Water’s Wrath (July 3-10)

I have compiled a list of the top ten swoon-worthy moments between Vhalla and Aldrik in the first book, the book that made me fall in love with Vhaldrik. The following are in no particular order.

Top 10 Most Swoon-Worthy Vhaldrik Moments

  • The moment when she takes off his crown when they meet in the courtyard outside the ball.  She takes off his crown so he can pretend to be a common man in order for them to be together.

fanning self

  • When they dance in the courtyard outside of the gala.

  • Meeting in the rose garden for the first time.

  • When Vhalla turns the pages of her book with air and doesn’t even realize it, but Aldrik does and gets so excited.

  • Their banter back and forth in the letters that they write before they meet.

  • The first time they meet in the library after Vhalla thinks she’s dreaming. Because who doesn’t want to meet a gorgeous swoon-worthy prince in a library?!?

  • When they fight after Vhalla is injured after falling off the roof of the castle. Vhalla and Aldrik fighting is often one of the sexiest things, and not just in Air Awakens, but in all the books.

  • Every time Aldrik calls Vhalla “my parrot.” I think it is an adorable pet name.

  • When Aldrik helps her return to her body after Vhalla projects at the Sunlit Stage.

  • The second time they meet in the rose garden, and have their picnic in the gazebo.

Make sure to check out more info on the author of this wonderful series, Elise Kova, on all her social media outlets:

About the Author:

Elise Head ShotElise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

www.elisekova.com

Happy Reading!

Erin

Blog Tour: Water’s Wrath

Blog Tour: Water’s Wrath

So, here it is! It’s my turn for the Water’s Wrath blog tour, and I have brought you a fan casting of the characters. But first, here is all the information you need to know about getting the Air Awakens series into your hands, and some info on it’s wonderful author, Elise Kova. You can also find my review of Water’s Wrath here.

Order and Pre-order Links:

Air Awakens:

Fire Falling:

Earth’s End:

Water’s Wrath (Pre-order):

April 26th

Crystal Crowned (Pre-order)

July 12th

About the Author:

Elise Head ShotElise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

Follow Elise Kova on Goodreads

Follow Elise Kova on Amazon

My Website: http://www.EliseKova.com

My Social Media:

Water’s Wrath

Water's Wrath cover
Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

Fan Cast

Vhalla:

Indiana Evans. An electrifying Australian singer-songwriter and actress. Born 27 July 1990

Indiana Evans – Australian singer/songwriter and actress

I always pictured Vhalla with blonde hair, but mostly, in my mind, she always had really big eyes.  Although the color isn’t right, Indiana’s eyes are the perfect size.

Aldrik:

prince-aldrick

Tom Hiddleston

Who else could Aldrik be other than Tom Hiddleston? This is how I pictured Aldrik at the ball at the end of Air Awakens.

Baldair:

Chris Hemsworth

To me, this picture encapsulates all the things that the Heartbreaker Prince is. The smolder, the hair, the amazing way that he is dressed, and if you look really closely you can see a bit of a sarcastic smirk coming through that smolder, or at least I can.

Larel:

Fem!Scott McCall (Teen Wolf Genderbent)

Naya Rivera is the actress I always think of when I think of a Fem!Scott. She just has this look to her, with her dark eyes, tan skin and dark hair, that makes me think she’d be a great Fem!Scott.

Naya Rivera

Fritz:

friz

Ben Whishaw

Daniel:

Brant Daugherty

Victor:

Henry Cavill

I would love to hear what you think and who your fan castings are, so let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Erin

Crystal Crowned Cover Reveal + GIVEAWAY!

The last book is here. . . so much sadness, and yet, so much EXCITEMENT!!! Before we take a look at the new cover, let’s take a trip back over the last eight, almost nine months, since we saw the first beautiful cover of this series. . .

Air Awakens

Fire-Falling-Cover

Earths-End-Cover-Only

Water's Wrath cover

They are all so beautiful!

***

**

*

And for the FINALE!

Crystal-Crowned-Cover-sm

Long live Solaris.

One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

Is it not beautiful?!?

Personally, it is my favorite of the whole series. Below is more info on where you can purchase each of the books in the series, as a well as preorder links for Crystal Crowned which, by the way, comes out July 12th! Also below is some info on the author, the awesome Elise Kova, and how to enter the giveaway she is doing for the release of Water’s Wrath next Tuesday.

Purchase Links:

Air Awakens:

Fire Falling:

Earth’s End:

Water’s Wrath (Preorder):

Crystal Crowned (Preorder):

About the Author

Elise Head ShotElise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

Follow Elise Kova on Goodreads

Follow Elise Kova on Amazon

My Website:http://www.EliseKova.com

My Social Media:

And here’s the Giveaway!

FYI – There are two.  One for a cover print from the Air Awakens series and one for a Swag Pack and a Crystal Crowned paperback.

Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ARC Review: Water’s Wrath and GIVEAWAY!

Water's Wrath cover

ARC Review: Water’s Wrath

Author: Elise Kova

Release Date: April 26, 2016

Pages: 350

Grade: A-

All The Things You Need To Get Water’s Wrath:

 And The Other Books In The Air Awakens Series:

Air Awakens:

Fire Falling:

Earth’s End:

 

Synopsis

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

Review

Elise Kova, you have toyed with my emotions again! They were all over the place while reading this book. Confusion, pity, anger, shock, grief, hate, joy, heart-wrenching sadness. I felt as though I was on a merry-go-round of feels, and I kept being forced to change horses.

Kova brings her literary finesse and beauty to Vhalla’s story once again. This can particularly be seen in a rather rousing speech that Vhalla gives to the Imperial family. Kova has woven a beautiful and complex world that we, as readers, get to dive even deeper into this time around. Especially the mythology of the world we have spent so much time in so far.  We are really beginning to learn where all the conflict stems from as well as the importance of the crystal weapons that supposedly exist.

The characters, especially Vhalla, continue to develop into evermore complex people.  We also get the opportunity to learn more about characters we, maybe, thought we wouldn’t get to learn much more about, and we get to reconnect with characters we thought we’d never see again. I think I understood and connected with Vhalla more in Water’s Wrath than I have in any of the other books in the series.

And, of course, a novel by Elise Kova wouldn’t be complete without some heartbreak, and prepare yourself for it in this one. If you thought it was bad at the end of Fire Falling and Earth’s End, get ready. Like I said before, you’ll be on the merry-go-round of emotions, and you won’t be able to get off until you’ve read the very last page, and maybe not even then.

Characters

Vhalla

I was reminded, once again, while reading Water’s Wrath that Vhalla is an awesome character, and her badassery just continues to be put on display in every book in this series.  When Air Awakens was released, several people I talked to said they thought Vhalla was a weak character.  This was something I didn’t understand at the time because I thought she was a pretty strong character, but Vhalla’s character has been amped up through each book. Now, I get why people said.  However, that was four books ago, and Vhalla is an infinitely stronger character than she was in the first book.  She has morals and principles that she will stick to until death, if need be. She is physically stronger and more willing to fight for what she feels is right.

the incredibles feminism feminist strong women

While she, at times, feels as though she is a bit lovesick (still), I have determined that it is not so much that she is lovesick, but that she is in love, and when she agrees with and stands by Aldrik it is not because sh is a teenager who is infatuated with a prince. It is because she truly deeply loves him, and that is what people do when they love each other. Vhalla stands tall and strong on her own, and does not need Aldrik to complete who she is as a person. The fact that Vhalla still believes that love is worth it despite all her heartbreak is hopeful.

Aldrik

We learn more details about Aldrik’s past that have previously been very fuzzy. Again, Aldrik has a tendency to annoy me in this book.  One minute I really like him and respect him, and the next he is annoying the crap out of me. However, he is less of lovesick puppy dog than he is in Earth’s End, which is greatly appreciated. I enjoy the fact that he is shown to be a “real guy” when he “begrudgingly accepts” a  condition that Vhalla has laid out for him.  Aldrik is not perfect! There are some epic reactions from Aldrik, especially when he is in the alone in same room with the Northern princess and Vhalla. Again, these reactions from him show me that he is not the perfect man and he has his flaws, just as we all do.

At the end, he has a tendency to play the martyr, and find that especially annoying. He stays so emotionally strong throughout the novel, and at the end he falls to pieces, and wants to feel sorry for himself all of a sudden. It really threw me off.

Baldair

He plays his usual charming self from the minute he makes an appearance.  I’m so glad I was finally able to get to the point where I could fully trust, and know that he only wanted the best for Aldrik and Vhalla. His relationship with Aldrik and Vhalla really develops during the first half of Water’s Wrath, and we are able to see just how important they are to him.  He even goes so far as to say that Vhalla is “the sister he never had.”

Jax

Jax returns to us in true Jax fashion in Water’s Wrath.  Helping Vhalla in what she is going through in his own sarcastic and crass Jax way.  He helps Vhalla develop her skill and strength as a soldier, and I love the fact that despite his hard outer shell, he is a little bit like pudding on the inside.  He cares for Vhalla and the princes you didn’t think was possible based on the way he behaves outwardly.

Fritz

We learn so much more about Fritz in Water’s Wrath!! We get to see more of his relationship with Grahm and we get to meet his family, which by the way are so sweet, and tell you a lot about who Fritz is as a person. They are just as down to earth and heartwarming as Fritz is. Finally, there are some really sweet and tender best friend moments that take place between him and Vhalla.

Victor (the Minister of Sorcery)

I had always assumed that Victor was significantly older than the rest of the sorcerers due to the fact that he is in charge of the Tower, but it actually turns out that he is only 4-5 years older than Aldrik.  We find out a lot about Victor’s background as well as his relationship with Aldrik. In addition, we learn what kind of role he has played in all the previous books as well as what kind of role he’ll end up playing for the last book. I will leave you with this piece of information: at one point Victor says, “The line between genius and madness is so very thin.”** Do with that what you will.

**Quote is taken from an ARC, so I don’t know if it will be accurate for the published version.

Sehra (the Northern princess)

I don’t have a ton to say about Sehra, but what I do have to say is important.  We get to know what her motives are for marrying Aldrik.  Any face off between her and Vhalla would be extremely interesting. Sehra is a smart one. She is ruthless and smart. . . which makes her dangerous.

Rating

There is so much shit that goes down during this book, which is why I am so looking for Crystal Crowned, which comes out in July!  I can’t wait to see what happens! But, it is the end of this book and the development of the secondary characters that earns it the rating that it gets. There are no words to express the shock and awe that you are left with at the end of Water’s Wrath, which is why it earns A- in my gradebook.

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GIVEAWAY!

Elise is doing a pretty cool giveaway for the release of Water’s Wrath. She is giving all of you the opportunity to have your name in Crystal Crowned, which comes out in July! Here it is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

View More: http://radred.pass.us/joseph-wedding-2015-jpegElise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

Follow Elise Kova on Goodreads

Follow Elise Kova on Amazon

My Website: http://www.EliseKova.com

My Social Media:

Happy Reading!

Erin