Thursday, June 22, 2017

ARC Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land
Author: Callie Bates
Publication: Del Rey (June 27, 2017)

Description: In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

My Thoughts: THE WAKING LANDS was a great fantasy novel filled with action and excitement. It begins with a five-year-old girl taken hostage by a king as a guarantee of her parents good behavior. Then fourteen years pass and Elanna has been thoroughly brainwashed into her captor's point of view and even thinks of him as a foster father which incites the jealousy and spitefulness of his daughter Loyce.

When the king is poisoned by a tainted mushroom, Elanna is the first suspect. She needs to flee to save her life but she doesn't know where to go. Some of her father's loyal people are urging her to return home to Caeris but she wants to go anywhere else. She would like to go to Ida and study botany and a representative of the emperor who is something of a double agent is willing to help with her plans.

However, she finds herself going to Caeris and learning more about the magic that she has been denying all her life since use of magic is forbidden by the emperor. Elanna changes greatly in this story as she learns that what she knew about her foster father was mostly lies and what he told her about her home and family was lies too. 

There are battles, betrayals, false friends and real ones. There is an intriguing magic that Elanna must learn to use to save her country. There is a romantic triangle with Elanna torn between the prince she was betrothed to as a child and the sorcerer from the empire that she might or might not be able to trust.

Fans of epic fantasy will enjoy this richly drawn story filled with intriguing characters and great world building.

Favorite Quote:
Finn reins in his horse to stare beneath the overhanging boughs of the firs. I watch him. There is something golden about him -- maybe it's his hair, but maybe it's his hope. I want to shudder away from it and at the same time I can't stop looking. 
I got this one for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Normally I'm not keen on more fantasies that involve tapping into one's magical powers and saving a kingdom, but this book sounds really interesting. Thanks for a good review that piqued my interest.


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