Review: Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen

Reign the Earth by A. C. GaughenReign the Earth
A. C. Gaughen
Bloomsbury
Published on January 30, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Reign the Earth
Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

My Review
It might sound silly, but the first thing that struck me about this book is the fact that Shalia approached her arranged marriage with the attitude that she would try to fall in love with her husband and have a good life with him even though the match wasn’t driven by love. I liked that the story didn’t set up with the more typical approach where she’d be chafing under the arranged marriage and looking to escape it from the beginning.

Shalia and her family drew me into the story with their customs and love and loyalty to each other. One of my favorite characters was Shalia’s brother Kai with his hawk. I loved the way he both protected her and respected her.

I read Reign the Earth a few weeks past the birth of my daughter, so I haven’t been getting very much sleep—and when I do sleep, it’s usually just an hour or two at most. So when I say I found it hard to put this book down, and a couple of times even stayed up to keep on reading, that’s pretty serious! Already, I’m anxious for the sequel, even though I’m sure it won’t be out for a while.

If you liked The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, you will probably like Reign the Earth with its clash of kingdoms, rich relationships and magical elements.

Reign the Earth on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Shalia describes herself and her people as having brown skin, and her husband’s people as having pale skin. One character briefly mentions she’s a lesbian.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used very infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between a man and woman. Sex is implied but not specifically described. One character tells Shalia she kissed a girl.

Spiritual Content
Calix and his brother and sister are said to literally be the three faces of their god. Shalia shares some of the customs of her family which have some spiritual origin. Her childhood friend, a priestess’s daughter, has traveled the world opening sacred sites so that powers can manifest in people across the world.

Violent Content
References and brief descriptions of torture. Battle scenes with some gore and fatality. An abusive relationship between a man and woman escalates from words to threats to physical violence.

Drug Content
None.

Reign the Earth on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
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