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Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father’s rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she’s come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again… but this time by her father’s mysterious righthand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna’s veins. Now she must decide which side she’s on, and whether she’ll use her powers for mercy… or revenge.

A bold and gorgeous fantasy featuring a brilliant heroine on the cusp of womanhood, The Waking Land is the first of a trilogy that will delight fans of The Red Queen, Six of Crows, and Court of Thorns and Roses.

~*~*~Wildegarde came bearing a flame in her heart and her hair crowned with the pale light of stars. Where she placed her feet, the earth trembled. Where she raised her hand, mountains moved.~*~*~

I received a copy from Hodder and Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:
★★★★★

The Waking Land is the beautiful debut and the first in a trilogy from Callie Bates. The story follows Elanna, who was held at gunpoint and kidnapped by the King of Eren after her father’s failed attempt at a rebellion. Fourteen years later, Elanna is still King Antoine’s hostage, though she is treated as one of his own, with no desire to remember the life she once had, nor the powers she possesses. Content to believe her parents are traitors and study Botany, until the King dies, seemingly poisoned by the Mushroom she was studying. Accused of Regicide, El flees Barrody, meeting Jahan Korakides, a sorcerer while returning to her homeland where she is reunited with her parents. After learning the truth, Elanna must learn about her powers in order to front a rebellion and wake the land.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous and captures the essence of the book, definitely one of my favourite covers of the year. There’s also a map at the beginning which is something I’m fond of, who doesn’t love a bookish map? I found the pacing a bit slow to begin with, though it soon picks up. By the end I was in awe of it’s beauty and Callie’s writing which is both lyrical and magical, painting a vivid picture that feels like you’re actually there. The world is beautifully created, weaving war, magic, politics and conflicting loyalties. I really enjoyed El’s character development, her determination, internal conflict and how she grows as a person and becomes one with the land throughout the book. Jahan is the favourite though. You’re never quite sure where his loyalties truly lie for a while,

 I really enjoyed this book, I’d highly recommend The Waking Land, it’s a must read for any fantasy fan. Callie is an author to watch, I can’t wait for the next instalment, I sense that we’ve just scratched the surface and there’s plenty more action to follow.

Buy from: Waterstones Book Depository

Published by: Hodder and Stoughton
Publication Date: June 29th 2017
pages: 400

4 thoughts on “Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates”

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