Reign the Earth

Reign the Earth

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 c...

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Title:Reign the Earth
Author:A.C. Gaughen
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Reign the Earth Reviews

  • Jessica

    Well, that was a hell of a ride!

    I did not expect to love this as much as I did. Not that this book looked bad, but I absolutely loved Gaughen's book Scarlet, and have been hankering to read Lady Thief and Lionheart, so I wasn't sure I wanted to try something new by her just yet. And yes, I admit I was a little like, yes, yes, elemental magic, sure, sure. But as I noticed in another review: when was the last time EARTH magic took center stage? Water and fire get all the love! Not only that, but

    Well, that was a hell of a ride!

    I did not expect to love this as much as I did. Not that this book looked bad, but I absolutely loved Gaughen's book Scarlet, and have been hankering to read Lady Thief and Lionheart, so I wasn't sure I wanted to try something new by her just yet. And yes, I admit I was a little like, yes, yes, elemental magic, sure, sure. But as I noticed in another review: when was the last time EARTH magic took center stage? Water and fire get all the love! Not only that, but I am a total sucker for desert dwelling nomad fantasy. I mean, I've only read The Blue Sword around 50 times, it's not like I was obsessed with it or anything, but still, I do love a good desert magic story. This reminded me very much of Blue Sword or, more recently, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst. And since this book doesn't come out until the end of January, 2018, you could all read The Blue Sword and Vessel in that time! Eh, eh? Not to mention her Scarlet books!

    But why, why did I love this book? Because of all the sand? Nope. Because of the characters. The characters were amazing. I loved them all, except for that one, the villain, who was TERRIFYING. I mean, seriously, like I started sweating and freaking out every time they entered a scene. The villain in this book is so incredibly, horribly, realistically dangerous I could not get over it. Like, I still feel traumatized hours later. And I loved the others so much that I was genuinely afraid for them, and rightly so. The stakes are high. No punches are pulled. This is some hardcore stuff. The writing is beautiful, but she does not shy away from real tragedy and real brutality.

    This is a good book.

  • may ➹

    As a means of protection for my heart, soul, and sanity, I’ve been prepared to be disappointed by every book I read. But?? This book did NOT disappoint??? I’m actually shook about how much I ended up liking this???

    First of all:

    It’s the reason I thought I wouldn’t end up enjoying this as much as I did. For anyone who wants to read this book but isn’t sure about the triggers, I’m putting a

    As a means of protection for my heart, soul, and sanity, I’ve been prepared to be disappointed by every book I read. But?? This book did NOT disappoint??? I’m actually shook about how much I ended up liking this???

    First of all:

    It’s the reason I thought I wouldn’t end up enjoying this as much as I did. For anyone who wants to read this book but isn’t sure about the triggers, I’m putting a

    . But the abuse is not glorified in any way, and the romance is not with the abuser.

    It was all very,, uncomfy to read about, and from other reviewers’ experiences, I thought I’d have a hard time reading it?? But no. I actually LOVED the book so I’m kind of ??? @ myself for being able to have such a fun time when there were so many dark themes.

    Reign the Earth is a novel about a girl named Shalia who marries Calix, the king of a neighboring nation, in order to establish peace. But Calix seeks to kill all Elementae—people who have powers that can control earth, water, fire, or air—and it turns out that Shalia herself is an Elemental. (Not a spoiler.)

    Shalia is a SUPER strong character. In the beginning, I was very “meh” with her?? I didn’t love nor hate her, just in the middle. But as the book went on and

    . She was a flawed character and I became super invested in her & her emotional struggles. And there were SO many amazing quotes that I loved that showed her strong character.

    WHAT! A! QUEEN!

    (And not because, you know, she’s an actual queen… I’M SORRY.)

    Calix is a VERY unlikeable villain and I just feel very ?!??#[email protected]?$?! about him. He had so much potential for complexity to his character, but of course it went the cliche way of “oh my heaaaart my one true love just betrayed me!!!! so now I’m going to turn eviiiiiil”.

    And not only was he unlikeable because of that and

    , but it’s also because he abused Shalia and behavior like that is not to be excused!! And also tortured other people!! And killed other people!! 0/10, will pass.

    The romance was,,, okay?? I’m not a fan of sappy romance, and while this was slow-burn and DEFINITELY not insta-love, I just ?? didn’t love it ???

    , but whenever characters kiss passionately and say “I love you” a lot, my heart just kind of crawls out of my body so I’m literally just reading the book with no feeling whatsoever. Because while I’m a complete sap, I hate reading sap.

    The worldbuilding for this book was pretty good. Since I had the ARC version, I didn’t have the map available (WHICH MAKES ME SAD BECAUSE I LOVE MAPS), but

    which I think is a great accomplishment for someone who can barely visualize what a simple character looks like!!!

    Also, the book was pretty fast-paced, and though it took place over a couple of months, I don’t feel like it lagged anywhere?? It was exciting and fun and suspenseful, and

    . I usually take about nine minutes to read 10 pages, but then I took six minutes per 10 pages for this book and I’m ?? shook ???? Where are my superhuman reading abilities for other books.

    (But again, the heavy topics can be hard to read at times. I found myself flying through the book, but that was just my personal experience.)

    I cannot speak on the accuracy of the representation, though as far as I could tell (which is not much!), there seemed to be nothing offensive or harmful concerning the rep of the desert tribes. (Also!! How great is it that there is a WOMAN OF COLOR on the cover!!!)

    I also want to point out that I read the author’s note, and I recommend doing that as well, because it brought so much more perspective into her story and how much this book means to her! It made the book even more special.

    This was definitely a surprising read, one that I ended up actually enjoying more than I thought! While it handles heavy topics, it was fast-paced and exciting to read, and the character development was fantastic.

  • Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐

    I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of this at ALA this year and it took me until now to finally start it. The fact that I finished it in a day is a pretty good indicator of how solid of a start to a series it was. I enjoyed almost all of the main characters (and enjoyed hating the other one...) and there was some great world building and an interesting elemental-type magic scheme that seemed fresh and new.

    Actually for some reason certain aspects of this book reminded me of

    by Cora Carma

    I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of this at ALA this year and it took me until now to finally start it. The fact that I finished it in a day is a pretty good indicator of how solid of a start to a series it was. I enjoyed almost all of the main characters (and enjoyed hating the other one...) and there was some great world building and an interesting elemental-type magic scheme that seemed fresh and new.

    Actually for some reason certain aspects of this book reminded me of

    by Cora Carmack, which also had new (or new to me at least) magic concepts. So if you enjoyed that one, definitely check this out!

    The only think that didn't quite convince me was the romance...can't really say more right now or else it would give things away so I'll let you guys decide. :) Definitely a new series that could be really big so come January, you better make sure you get your hands on it!

    Huge thanks to Bloomsbury for the physical ARC! ♥

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    Disclaimer: I did skim several parts of this book because it became way too heavy, dark, and depressing. Sometimes I leave ratings off if I feel like I might have missed something crucial during the skimming, but I'm pretty confident in my rating here.

    I've been dismissed before as "weak" or "sheltered" for not wanting to endure endless pain and suffering in stories. But that's my honest opinion aaaaand I read for fun/to escape. I'm not here to test my endurance level for the miserable aspects o

    Disclaimer: I did skim several parts of this book because it became way too heavy, dark, and depressing. Sometimes I leave ratings off if I feel like I might have missed something crucial during the skimming, but I'm pretty confident in my rating here.

    I've been dismissed before as "weak" or "sheltered" for not wanting to endure endless pain and suffering in stories. But that's my honest opinion aaaaand I read for fun/to escape. I'm not here to test my endurance level for the miserable aspects of reality even further.

    And obviously I can handle some heavy stuff in stories because of course there needs to be conflict, threats, something to overcome, etc. BUT I also need... a break from that too? Some hope to get behind? Topics like questionable rape, abuse (both physical & emotional), torture, the trauma of a miscarriage, and a general lack of power were such a central part of this story that it's not something you can just read around. But at least the author wasn't supporting any of that... like Shalia doesn't excuse her cruel husband's actions and fall in love with him (thank goodness). But it was still hard to sit through for so long.

    And I can't really speak for the rep in this book, but the diversity was definitely great to see! I wish the story had spent more time with the tribes in the desert because the beginning was awesome.

    So this was not a book I personally enjoyed, yet I can't bring myself to give it less than 3 stars because

    The story just turned out to be a lot different than I was expecting... it's not the magical adventure that the cover sounded like. It's more like a lot of suffering for both the reader and characters. But I think others who are looking for more intense stories would still enjoy this!

    Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    This book was emotionally exhausting. I'm not quite sure where to leave the rating, so I'll say 3.5?

    Despite what the cover implies, this book is not a light-hearted fantasy in the least.

    Now, I'm not saying the author didn't handle them well, but they are definitely a prom

    This book was emotionally exhausting. I'm not quite sure where to leave the rating, so I'll say 3.5?

    Despite what the cover implies, this book is not a light-hearted fantasy in the least.

    Now, I'm not saying the author didn't handle them well, but they are definitely a prominent part of the book as a whole. It isn't a scene you can skip, it buries itself deep into the theme.

    Because of this, it was a VERY difficult book for me to finish, let alone review.

    Shalia is a strong heroine who agrees to an arranged marriage to bring about peace. However, her husband is extremely cruel and itches for war. Shalia tries to change his heart and weave peace into his rule, but almost everything backfires. It doesn't help that Shalia's brothers are involved in the resistance, and if her husband finds out, she will pay the price (and oh, she does.)

    The writing was lovely and there were some truly outstanding characters including Shalia's brother Kairos. In fact, I really admire her whole family though they were quite sparse.

    I really can't say it enough though - this is not a happy book. I had to walk away from reading it a few times just for a breath of fresh air. Just be prepared if you decide to read it. The author does NOT glorify any of the abuse, but it is still difficult to read. Also, I want to note that the romance does not involve the abuser.

    I guess I don't really know what else to say. This is different than your average fantasy for sure and involves lots of political strategizing/etc. The plotline is unique. I can't speak to the representation but I liked the richness of the tribes, though most of the book isn't actually spent amongst Shalia's family in the desert, despite what the cover suggests.

    Lastly, I would like to point out that I read the authors note and I recommend everyone else do the same. I relate so much - the author has been fighting a very rough battle, one that I completely relate to. I have a different illness, but props to her for writing a book of this caliber while dealing with all that. I'm in the same boat, I'm writing a book despite there being days I can't even hash out a sentence, let alone look at a screen. I have a ton of respect for her and I'm so glad she shared her story in the back.

    ~

    ~

    ~

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    I absolutely adored Gaughen's Scarlet series which is why I picked this up without any hesitation at all. Add in the cover and that description and I knew I would get something different, something fun, and something well written.

    And I did get those things but yet I can't help but feel somewhat..... disappointed.

    Don't get me wrong, this was a good story but it some how fell lacking from the greatness that was Scarlet.

    It was a bit slow and even dragged in places and the love interest and storyl

    I absolutely adored Gaughen's Scarlet series which is why I picked this up without any hesitation at all. Add in the cover and that description and I knew I would get something different, something fun, and something well written.

    And I did get those things but yet I can't help but feel somewhat..... disappointed.

    Don't get me wrong, this was a good story but it some how fell lacking from the greatness that was Scarlet.

    It was a bit slow and even dragged in places and the love interest and storyline were predictable at best and even, I hate to say it, a tiny bit cliched. But, there is a but here, it was still a really good and interesting (and most of the time entertaining) story and one I am glad that I took the time to read. I definitely won't be giving up on this author or any of her stories because she really does know how to create a unique twist on something that isn't unique at all and that is always worth a try.

    *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  • Jess

    FInally! Let's appreciate the earth elements for once! The fire, wind and water ones have had their time in the spotlight (

    ) NOW ITS TIME FOR THEIR DOWN TO EARTH (don't kill me) SISTERS (and possibly brothers) TO SHINEEEEE

  • Sandra
  • Erin Bowman

    With a clever, strong-willed heroine, a downright terrifying villain, and complex relationships that leap off the page, REIGN THE EARTH is the feminist fantasy I didn't know I needed. I will be thinking about Shalia's strength and fearlessness (and swooning over the slow-burn romance) as I anxiously await Book Two!

    Guyssss this book is so good. Put it on your TBRs, stat, and then lets talk about the perfection of the slow-burn romance and also the horr

    With a clever, strong-willed heroine, a downright terrifying villain, and complex relationships that leap off the page, REIGN THE EARTH is the feminist fantasy I didn't know I needed. I will be thinking about Shalia's strength and fearlessness (and swooning over the slow-burn romance) as I anxiously await Book Two!

    Guyssss this book is so good. Put it on your TBRs, stat, and then lets talk about the perfection of the slow-burn romance and also the horror that is the villain.

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