The first in a series of 5 books!
Themes: YA fantasy, romance
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.
I really enjoyed this book even if it contained few surprises. You are drawn into a world quite typical of the fantasy genre with an empire and its ruler ready to conquer the world. The heroine (Vhalla) is caught in-between and falls in love with one of the princes. Yet, there is a bit of originality in the magic system which is based on the elements and that is what intrigued me from the start. Obviously, Vhalla is the last of the Windwalker – mages whose powers are based on the wind and who were eradicated centuries ago. The writing style is quite simple but still succeeds in building this world. It was as if I was in the palace with the characters, which made the book very nice to read.
No surprise with the characters either. With Aldrick, I had the feeling that the author failed in creating a morally grey character and he ended up just being an asshole. Vhalla is a quiet librarian who suddenly discovers she has some powers and has to learn how to use them. The only issue is that she’s a whining 18 years old girl who seems to be 10. She falls in love with a boy she briefly met once (guess who he is? That’s right, another prince…) and then is unable to choose between him and Aldrick. And when she’s supposed to have a brain, apparently she forgot how to use it so much her decisions are rash and stupid… The other characters aren’t better and are constructed around the familiar stereotype supporting characters/antagonists.
In brief: Despite these criticisms, Air Awakens remains a good book overall with a lot of potential. I’m waiting to see the evolution of the plot and the characters, and I’m full of hope for the sequel which will see a drastic change of setting, from the intrigues of the castle to the war.
My rating: 3/5
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