Q: So, Katerina, you read tons of YA Fantasy. What made you pick this book?
A: The cover!
Q: Isn't that a little... shallow?
A: Yeah yeah, I know, don't judge a book by its cover (literally and figuratively), but have you seen it? It's so pretty!
Q: But what about the story? Was it engaging?
A: Yes, it held my attention from the very first pages! It's about Bree, a plain, common girl, that lives in a kingdom ruled by a cruel monarch, who forces the Elementals (people who use elemental magic) to serve him. Bree's world is turned upside down when her father is arrested and declared a traitor to the crown, because it is revealed that he'd been a gifted Elemental and effective assassin that left the king's side and disappeared. To spare her father's life, Bree is forced to attend court and obey the king she despises, but eventually she finds herself in the middle of the plot to control the king's greed and undermine his efforts to conquer another nation.
Q: It soulds like a story we've heard before, am I right?
A: I have to admit, it followed many cliches and it was highly predictable, I could sense what was about to come miles away, and I figured out the so called secrets and plot-twists really early, but that didn't prevent me from enjoying the story!
Q: Why is that?
A: Well, the world-building was solid and the writing fluid, reading Jennifer Ellision's was effortless! Plus, I'm a sucker for elemental magic and courts full of danger and intrigue, so naturally I had a great time following Bree's journey!
Q: What about the characters?
A: All of them were likeable! I understood Bree for feeling betrayed by her father and being cautious, and I admired her for wanting to help him nonetheless! She was stubborn, and fierce, and she did not let her fear guide her! I also liked Aleta and the way she became friends with Bree, and the boys were very alluring! Especially His Royal Highness, Prince Caden Garrett Langdon Edric Richard of the House of Capin. The Fourth.
Q: You said boys, is there a love triangle?
A: Thankfully no, and I hope it stays that way! There is enough love triangle drama in my life right now!
Q: Oh really?
A: You have no idea, my two nephews (3-years-old and 7-years-old) like the same girl (8-years-old), it's a freaking nightmare! The older one practiced his kissing skills on a teddy-bear!
Q: That's... not what I expected. Do tell me, how was the romance?
A: It was great! Very subtle, no insta-love, just slowly-burning feelings they could no longer deny! And a toe-curling kiss! In fact, Bree was a heroine who chose to save her father and her friend, even when it meant giving up Caden. It's so rare, a girl's decisions not guided by her love life!
Q: Well, it sounds like a book worthy of your time, doesn't it?
A: It definitely is!
“Sorrow drains from me, replaced with a boiling conviction. They know that fire can burn. But they've forgotten how water can scald.”
*ARC generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*