Description from Amazon:
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.
This book. THIS BOOK! I’m so obsessed. It’s been a very, very long time since I got completely sucked into a fictional world to such an extent that I completely lost track of time and space. I read for a solid six hours in one go, and I was shocked when I looked up from a finished book to realise it was almost midnight. For me, this is the highest praise a book can get. It takes a lot for me to take my brain completely out of my own circumstances, so when I happen across a book that manages to do this, I’m elated.
Elise Kova is a co-host on a podcast I love, Anime Addicts Anonymous, and so I knew I had to read this series sooner or later, as Chiaki (aka Elise) is my favourite host on the show (#moearchangelforlife, y’all). But over to the book itself. It sort of resembles another book I love, ‘Red Queen’, in that there is a distinction between magical and non-magical people, and that the powers magicians have are all sorted into elemental categories. It also has a relationship budding between a commoner and a member of the royal family. However, where ‘Red Queen’ has romantic interests where you get frustrated and shocked at the level of backstabbing that occurs, the relationship between Vhalla and Aldrik has made me laugh, cry, gasp in shock, and squealed in fangirl delight. They are neither of them perfect people. Vhalla is obstinate, she doubts herself, and she often sees herself as not measuring up. Aldrik is stubborn, temperamental, and shut-off from his emotions to the degree that he refuses to let people in. But the way the two of them manage to work through their issues and reach a relationship that actually functions is so well done. Truly amazing character development.
The magic system is also very interesting. I’m looking forward to delving more into it in the rest of the books in the series, but I like that details about it are given to us as they’re given to Vhalla. She learns as the reader does, step by step. As she practices, our knowledge of how the magic works, as well as the limitations and possibilities, grows.
I’m well into the third book in the series, and so I can absolutely, with no hesitation, recommend this series. If you like romance, strong female characters who come into their own, action, and fantasy, I urge you pick this up. Or rather, if you have a lot on your plate, don’t. Because I promise you you’ll put everything down just to read this. I personally think it’s well worth it.