Reign the Earth by AC Gaughen

February 27, 2018     erinthebooknut     Book review

Reign the Earth by AC GaughenReign the Earth (The Elementae, #1) by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury on January 30th 2018
Pages: 438

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.

3.5 Nuts

Have you ever read a book that you liked but it just took FOREVER to get through. That’s REIGN THE EARTH for me. It books me 21 days to get through this book. Anyone who knows me knows that NEVER happens with anything smaller than 1500 pages. Seriously.

By no means is my 3.5 review a negative thing. 3.5 is still solid. However this book just doesn’t move. REIGN THE EARTH’S beginning meanders this way and that, sort of wandering through the world building at a snail’s pace. Guys, I’m used to quicker books. Let’s get the lead out!

I LOVE the magic in this book. I’m always a sucker for elementals, though we don’t usually focus on earth in such stories. But the way Gaughen ties each to a different emotion reminds me of my own WIP (so maybe I’m a little bias in that case). I very much enjoyed her explanations of the sources of each, at a temple for the individual element as well as the elixir. I’ll leave the rest for the readers to discover to avoid spoilers but suffice to say this was my favorite part of the book.

Once we get through the slow bit (and all the whining, there seems to be a fair bit of whining in the first half of this book) you really very quickly understand the kind of man Calix, the main character’s husband is. That is a awful, abusive asshole with not much in the way of redeeming qualities. I hated him immediately. Anyone who goes around barking “WIFE!” at his significant other deserves a swift kick to the family jewels.

Of course, Calix is very clearly not supposed to be a beloved character. The author makes it plenty clear that there are several better men around our heroine. I’m quite a fan of the guard Zeph who I would have no problem allowing to sling me over his shoulder or carry me around, thank you very much. Galen is obviously a big, if violent, teddy bear and despite a few of his dumber moments I’m very fond of Kairos. Theron wouldn’t be too bad himself if he got his head out of his ass.

But for Calix, there is not hope and I want something very bad to happen to him in the next book. Oh yes, I WILL be reading the next book in this series. I only pray that it moves along a little faster than the first half of REIGN THE EARTH did or it’ll take me another almost-month to get through it.

What’s your favorite books about the elements? Share your pick in the comments.

From my shelf to yours,


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