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

 

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!

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Water’s Wrath Cover Reveal! and Giveaway!

Water’s Wrath Cover Reveal! and Giveaway!

I am so excited to bring you this today!! I have several things for you all:

  1. The cover reveal of Elise Kova’s fourth book in the Air Awakens series: Water’s Wrath.
  2. The synopsis for Water’s Wrath.
  3. A Cover Reveal Exclusive featuring Elise Kova’s thoughts on the covers of her novels.
  4. A Giveaway!

Air Awakens Series

If you haven’t already heard of or taken the time to check out the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova, I would strongly encourage you to do so, especially if you are into YA Fantasy literature.  Here is all the information you could possibly need to check it out:

Air Awakens

Air Awakens

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.

Air Awakens on Goodreads

Fire Falling

Fire-Falling-Cover

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.

Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) on Goodreads

Earth’s End

Earths-End-Cover-Only

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3) on Goodreads

And finally…

Water’s Wrath

Release Date: April 26, 2016

Water's Wrath cover

Synopsis:

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.
***
Isn’t it beautiful!?!?  The blues are so pretty!! And, oh my gosh, the synopsis! What’s gonna happen??? But, we don’t have to wait for long! In just over 8 weeks it will be available, so make sure to pre-order it!!  Here’s everything you need to do that:

Pre-Order Links:

Cover Reveal Exclusive: My Thoughts on the

Covers’ Symbolism So Far

Six months ago, almost to the day, Air Awakens came out. It was my debut novel as an independent author, no publisher and no agent behind me, and I had no idea what would come of it. Now, six months later, I can’t believe I’m revealing the cover on the fourth book of the Air Awakens series.

I say every cover is my favorite, because it gets harder and harder to pick. Each of the covers, in their own way, has been perfect for the book they belong with. My cover artist, Merilliza Chan, is amazing at taking direction and incorporating my suggestions.

Part of why each cover is perfect is because there are little hints, teasers, and call-outs to the story within. Without giving too many spoilers, here’s a couple notes on each of the Air Awakens covers so far!
Air Awakens
First off, notice how Vhalla’s sash is black. In the book, the sash that goes with her apprentice robes is cerulean. This, combined with her robes slowly turning black around the back of the cover is indicative of sorcery making a mark on her. But she hasn’t yet committed, she has yet to don all-black robes. The wind in her hair and sense of movement is a call-out to her affinity. The book in her hands, is representative of three things: her work in the library, the book she exchanges notes in, and the book she brings to the garden. Which, speaking of, the roses around her… well, if you’ve read the book you know what, or who, those are meant to symbolize. But I told Meril I wanted something ominous, something wicked about them. And the thorns going through them were perfect!
Fire Falling
Here is the first cover we see our dark prince on. Fire Falling is named after three incidents in the book… When Aldrik falls to his knees before Vhalla in the Crossroads, the Rites of the FALLen in the Crossroads for another, and the end of the book. Since two of the three aspects of the title of the book related to Aldrik it was only natural that he had to be on the cover. In Fire Falling, Aldrik is beginning to function as a guiding force for Vhalla and, on the cover, he’s looking over his shoulder at her. He can’t openly admit to their association. Vhalla’s eyes are glowing orange and she’s alight, immersed in flame. This was done to symbolize their Bond andJoining. That not only can his flames not harm her, but that he is connected on a mental and magical level. She is also wearing the armor Aldrik crafted for her.
Earth’s End
Now, the symbolism is beginning to get heavy. Vhalla is alone again on the cover, venturing into the wilderness. She’s almost facing the camera, symbolizing how she is growing into her own and becoming a more realized person. In the sky above her is a fire bird. We literally see this formed in the book, but it also is symbolic of a phoenix,
rising from its own ashes. I think this works for Vhalla and Aldrik in their own ways through Earth’s End. The cloak she’s wearing is the one she receives from Tim with slash marks. The watch in her hand was gifted to her. And, in her other hand, we see a special sort of magic… Finally, one other note… Carved into a tree that’s on the back of printed books is a symbol –that is actually the symbol of Shaldan!

About the Author

Elise Head Shot

Elise 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 toromance, 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 inher 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 (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com/, for news and extras about her books!
Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

GIVEAWAY!

Win an ARC of Water’s Wrath!!

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Cover Reveal Organized by:

ya bound book

YA Bound Book Tours

 

Earth’s End Book Blitz, GIVEAWAY! & EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

EE Book Blitz Banner

Hello All!!

I am extremely excited to be a part of the Earth’s End Book Blitz!  Earth’s End comes out Thursday, February 11th.  Yes, as in tomorrow!! As a part of this very special event and book release, I bring you an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT and a GIVEAWAY!!

Earths-End

If you haven’t heard of the Air Awakens series, you should definitely check it out. Here are the links to both Air Awakens and Fire Falling on Goodreads.

Air Awakens on Goodreads

Fire Falling on Goodreads

And while you’re there, you might as well add Earth’s End to your TBR list. In case you haven’t done so already, here’s a link to do that as well.

Add Earth’s End on Goodreads

If you haven’t already bought the books and are interested in doing so, and trust me, they are oh so definitely worth the purchase. Here are all the places you can get the Air Awakens series:

If you haven’t read the first two books in the Air Awakens series yet, but want to know more about them, here are my reviews of Air Awakens and Fire Falling.

About the Author

Elise Head Shot
Elise 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 Face
book (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com/, for news and extras about her books!
Author Links:

GIVEAWAY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here comes your one and only WARNING!
warning
If you continue to read any further down this page you will stumble upon spoilers in the EXCLUSIVE Earth’s End excerpt I am about to give you.  So, if you do not wish to receive any spoilers due to not having read the previous two books in the series, I would suggest you either stop reading now. Here we go!!
Earths-End-Cover-Only

Exclusive Excerpt From Earth’s End

Vhalla snapped the reins and dug her heels into Baston’s sides, forcing him into an all-out run. From above, she heard the shouts of her waking enemy.
Thick and melodic calls erupted in the night, a language completely foreign to Vhalla’s ears. She didn’t have to know the words to know they weren’t friendly, so Vhalla pushed harder, pressing herself to Baston. Vhalla took a breath as she heard arrows being knocked overhead.
The sound of bowstrings being drawn in mass made gooseflesh dot her arms. Another shout, a single word and arrows cut through the air, determined to rain death around her. Even if Vhalla was certain her chainmail would shield her, the horse was completely unarmored; if Baston died, she was as good as dead. Vhalla twisted in her saddle, sweeping a hand through the air. The curtain of wind sent the arrows scattering harmlessly.
They shouted in protest, angst-ridden that she continued on unscathed.
The second assault came faster and hastened Vhalla’s mounting frustration. She had to be out of their range soon. More lights began to blaze above and behind her, casting the ground below in a faint glow. The light illuminated the edge of the city, and Vhalla was forced to stake her life on the hope that once she was out they wouldn’t catch her.
The arrows soared through the air once more and Vhalla twisted, knocking them away in mass. She expected to hear a cry for a third assault, but instead what she heard was even more disheartening. Two words that someone said in a thick Southern Common.
“Wind Demon!”
She became their prey. The sound of thundering hooves came from the direction of where the city first began.
Vhalla crossed under the edge of the city, plunging into the welcoming darkness. Had it been a day ago, Vhalla would not have given those riders a moment’s worry. Baston would outrun any normal horse, plus with her wind he was faster than thunder across the sky. But Baston had been ridden hard with only a brief rest.
Vhalla shifted her vision and peered over her shoulder. In the distance she saw them, riding relentlessly after her.
Sweating, panting, clutching the reins with white knuckles, Vhalla pushed all her energy into the wind at Baston’s and her back. More—they both had to give more. In her blind determination she almost missed the whiz of an arrow through the air.
Vhalla thrust out her arm and stopped the arrow midflight. She closed her fist and threw her arm backwards. The arrow turned and sped back at its original owner. Vhalla watched it soar straight into the Northerner’s eye, the one she pointed a finger at. The man slumped, and then fell off his saddle. She swallowed hard, looking away as the others’ cries grew louder.
Eyes, she would always go for the eyes. Whether someone was or wasn’t a Groundbreaker with stone-like skin was a risk she couldn’t take; she wouldn’t have many shots. Another archer held his bow, waiting for a different opportunity to take his chance.
Baston was already breathing heavy, and Vhalla knew she had to get them off her tail. The four riders behind her rode on fresh mounts and had the advantage of their night’s worth of sleep. Vhalla turned and pointed a finger. Sweeping herhand upward, an arrow freed itself from the other archer’s quiver. With a twist of her wrist, and the keen focus of a killer, Vhalla sent it into the unsuspecting Northerner’s eye.
One of the remaining two riders fell away as they swerved through the trees, his companion pushing forward. As the man swung wide, Vhalla realized they were trying to flank her. Vhalla grabbed for the dagger strapped to her wrist, sending it straight for his eye.
In the process, the woman rider had caught up with Baston, raising a wickedly curved blade toward his haunches. Vhalla threw out her other arm, sending the rider toppling head over heels. It wasn’t chance that the assailant’s blade slit her wielder’s throat in the fall.
Vhalla held out an expectant palm, her own dagger returning to it after a moment.
Wiping the blood on her thigh, she quickly sheathed it against her wrist before grabbing the reins once more. Vhalla swallowed a cry for speed; shouting at the horse would not make it go faster. It would only further compromise her position.
Vhalla pressed her lips together, forcing herself to keep her composure. It was not the first person she had killed. She had killed on the Night of Fire and Wind, she had killed the man who had murdered Larel, and she had killed with her bare hands at the Pass. What had sunk deep into her bones was the acceptance of what she must do. It was knowing she had become a killer. It was how easy it was for her to slay her foes without even thinking of each of them as a whole person that showed Vhalla she’d gone far down a path she’d never wanted. They were entities, enemies, barriers, but they weren’t human.
Distracted by her inner conflict, Vhalla was caught completely off-guard
by the first assault coming from the trees. A Groundbreaker swung down from the air, bringing his sword against the back of her head. Vhalla attempted to dodge at the last second, but it was too late. The blade slipped off her chain mail but it left her vision blurred and her ears ringing.
She blinked, trying to sort her senses as she pushed Baston onward, putting the assailant behind them. Groundbreakers jumped from limb to limb in the trees above her—free and fearless. Vines came to life to meet their extended hands, allowing them to soar through the air. With a twist or a tug, their lifeline shrunk back, curling around branches to pull them upward.
She wanted to feel amazed; perhaps she would have, if these people weren’t out to kill her. Another swung low, and Vhalla dropped off to the side of the saddle to dodge. Righting herself, Vhalla redrew her dagger in one quick motion as a third swung forward to attack. She sent the blade soaring through the vine the Groundbreaker held.
The man fell through the sky; Vhalla’s mind betrayed her, showing a different body plummeting through the air.
With a growl, she turned her blade to the next Northerner she saw, relying on the same tactic. She would show them why one did not hang above the head of the Windwalker. The other body fell with a sickening thud, and Vhalla left them behind her. With a twitch of her wrist, her blade returned to her hand.
Baston’s pace had slowed, and Vhalla snapped his reins again. This was the first time the beast did not heed her command, and she felt uneasiness settle across her.
Five Northerners still jumped from tree to tree overhead as dawn began to fade into early morning. Vhalla wondered if they were biding their time for rider and mount to tire. If she were they, she’d do the same thing. Baston’s sides heaved with exhaustion.
Their presence began to wear on Vhalla, and she watched them with bated breath, waiting for the next assault. Another hour passed and Baston slowed to a trot; she expected this to be the moment they attacked. But the Northerners held fast, following from welcoming branch to welcoming branch, each bent to meet their feet and hands.
They were toying with her, like cats with a mouse.
****
OH MY GOSH!!!  So much excitement, and still so many questions!! What’s going on with Vhalla? We know who’s chasing her, but how is she going to get out of it? Where is she headed to? Most importantly… Where is, and what is going on with Aldrik?  I just want to find out ALL THE THINGS!!!
Deep breaths everyone! We only have to wait ONE MORE DAY!
Now that I have calmed myself down, a very special thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for hosting this awesome Book Blitz! Make sure to check out her delightful blog.

Fire Falling

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+

Happy Reading!
Erin

WWW Wednesday 11/25/15

WWW Wed

WWW Wednesday 11/25/15

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?

Crystallum by Laney McCann

crystallum

Not much progress here. . . I read this one mostly at work on much lunch break and it’s easy to get distracted, so that’s why.  It’s interesting, though.  Right now, it’s reminding me a lot of the Fallen series.

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

ice like fire

It’s starting to pick up a bit, so I’m hoping to finish this one over my long Thanksgiving weekend.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

TKAM

It is pretty slow moving through this one since I am reading it at the pace my students are reading it, but I am appreciating this more than I ever did when I read it in high school.  I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to reread it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Fire Falling

Fire-Falling-Cover

It was SO, SO good!! I stayed up until 1:00am two nights in a row, and on work nights no less, because I didn’t want to put it down!!  I’ll have my book review up as soon as I get over my book hangover.

What do you think you’ll read next?

(All synopses are from Goodreads)

Blood and Salt

blood and salt

Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

**I came across this one around Halloween time, and have been looking forward to it ever since it showed up on my doorstep.  

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In-Between by Jennifer E. Smith

hello, goodbye

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions

**I’ve heard so many great things about this book and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (which I also want to read) that I thought I would pick this one up soon.

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

Happy Reading!
Erin

WWW Wednesday November 18, 2015

WWW Wednesday

So sorry!! I know, I’m a day late with this one, but here it is.  Enjoy!!

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?

crystallum

Crystallum by Laney McCann

I got an advanced reader’s copy of Crystallum through NetGalley.  It’s pretty good so far.  I’m only about 25 pages, so things are still being established, but the beginning has really pulled me in and makes me want to continue reading.

ice like fire

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Much like with Snow Like Ashes, the beginning of the second book in the series is slow moving.  There is quite a bit of political explanation being carried over from the freshman book.  However, I am loving Meira and Theron’s relationship. Theron is so supportive, but I can already tell things are going to get a little rocky between the two of them eventually.

TKAM

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

It is pretty slow moving through this one since I am reading it at the pace my students are reading it, but I am appreciating this more than I ever did when I read it in high school.  I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to reread it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Six-of-Crows

Six of Crows

Six of Crows was great!! It was very different from the Grisha series, but I still loved it.  Check out my full review of it here. And definitely check out the book trailer for the second book in the series, Crooked Kingdom, on YouTube, here.

Air Awakens

Air Awakens

Loved rereading this one and having the opportunity to discuss it with Elise Kova and fellow fans of it.  Cannot wait to start Fire Falling today!

sleeper and spindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle

Neil Gaiman definitely did not disappoint with this beautiful twist on the fairy tales of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  Not only that, but the illustrations are absolutely stunning. A full review will be coming soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

(All synopses are from Goodreads)

Fire-Falling-Cover

Fire Falling by Elise Kova

Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

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.

This book should be showing up in my mail TOMORROW!!! At least, that’s what Amazon told me yesterday.  As soon as I get it everything else will be put on hold just so I can read this one.  That’s how excited I am about it.  If you want to see the cover for the third book in the series and want all the info on how to preorder the third book, Earth’s End, as well as places to order Air Awakens and Fire Falling, get connected with the author, Elise Kova, her Goodreads Fan Club and her Street Team, go check out my post on the cover reveal of Earth’s End.

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

Happy Reading!
Erin