Title: The Waking Land
Author: Callie Bates
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adults
Format: ARC provided by the publisher
Lady Elanna Valtai 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.
“This is why magic is dangerous. It lures you in. It makes you curious.”
First of all, COVER LOVE! I would be lying if I say I never judge a book by its cover, because holy moly I did spend the first fifteen minutes staring the awesome, gorgeous cover of The Waking Land when I got the book in the mail. No kidding, I’m. Seriously. In. Love! The cover definitely fits in amazingly well with the story itself, and that’s definitely a plus for my inner cover lover.
It’s really easy to fall in love with The Waking Land. It really does. Especially when the book was written in this beautiful, alluring writing and intricate world-building. And did I mention it was compared to books such as Six of Crows and Uprooted? I was hooked before my brain finished processing the word “Six” (*nervous fangirl laugh*). However, it occurs to me that I was a bit disappointed when I finished the book, because while the world-building and the writing are indeed amazing, there are many things with so much potential that fell short to me.
WHAT I LOVED:
• The magic is top-notch amazing. I adore the idea of El possessing the power to control nature.
• I especially love how complicated the territories and kingdoms are. This makes the book feels more real to me, and not to mention gives me this GOT vibe that I absolutely love.
• The language and culture are so beautifully crafted. Callie Bates really did an amazing job on building the world of The Waking Land. It’s easy to see how well thought out this book is.
• The intricate plot intertwines with politics and the heat of revolution really get to me! I love how everything was planned out, and all of twists and turns made me stay on the edge of my seat the entire time.
WHAT I DISLIKED:
• I found it hard to love the protagonist, Elanna. She’s determined and significantly grew throughout the book. However, it doesn’t help that I found most of her action infuriating. El has this tendency of meeting troubles head first without thinking through, and most of the time she was saved by someone. This makes it quite hard for me to relate to her.
• I adore Jahan and El together, don’t get me wrong. However, their relationship felt rushed, and there was not much of a development going on between the two. The romance was very predictable and it definitely screamed instalove.
In the end, I was disappointed, but at the same time excited to see how the rest of the series will go. The Waking Land has so much potential, and I’m looking forward to see it comes to live in the sequels.
You will love The Waking Land if you enjoy…