I’m so glad Facebook advertised this book/series to me. This has become one of my favorites, and I actually hadn’t planned on re-reading them, but then I decided why not and went for it. I listened to the first three through Audible, and I highly recommend it, they are so good. I didn’t listen to the fourth, because for whatever reason, there was a new narrator and I didn’t care for her (she wasn’t bad) after listening to another woman give voice to the characters for three books. Maybe if I hadn’t been bingeing them it would have been different, but it was too jarring and the names didn’t sound right, so I switched over to my physical copies.
This time reading through these books, I noticed some things I didn’t notice before – or maybe it was because I was listening to them, rather than seeing the words on the page. My ratings for these books haven’t changed from the first read to this re-read, because I still absolutely love them. But there are some things that I’ve come to realize. The major one being, I now have this love/hate relationship with Aldrik.
I know. It’s weird.
I also have an issue with his phrase of endearment for Vhalla later in the series. And again, maybe it was just the audio books, but damn, I could not stop rolling my eyes every time he said it. It was just so cheesy.
And I actually fell for a different character that I don’t remember falling or feeling for in my first time reading – that would be Daniel. I love him so much.
I really do think that listening to the audiobook version of the books offered something new to the story, and I think the woman who read them did an amazing job at bringing them fully to life. Elise is an incredible writer, and I never have any issue seeing what she’s describing, and all of her characters are unique, but actually hearing them come to life, it blew me away, and I want a Netflix Show, animation, anything, something I can watch about these books.
But, enough said. Let’s get into these tiny reviews/gushing about the books!
Air Awakens – Book 1
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 is such a great start to this series and so much happens. A lot of mouth gaping and gasping happens and Vhalla’s world is turned upside down, and nothing goes according to her plan and she quickly becomes a pawn in a much, much bigger game. But her and Aldrik’s note passing was adorable, and I do like how they complement each other, and kind balance each other out. Fire and Air and what have you.
Fire Falling – Book 2
Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?
The ending of this book makes me scream. The first time I read it, I couldn’t scream due to the fact I was on a plane, and it was late, and just overall would be frowned upon. With this re-read came the screaming, a loud gasp that hurt my chest and tears. I knew it was coming, but I was so lost in the story it didn’t matter. So…be prepared for that.
But other than the ending, one of my favorite scenes is in this book between Vhalla and Daniel at the Crossroads.
Earth’s End – Book 3
A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.
Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.
I mean, how many times does she have to prove herself? Vhalla does everything she is asked of, besides staying away from Aldrik, but that’s whatever. And yet, the stupid King can’t have a bruised ego. Vhalla’s not stupid, she’s smart and everyone can see that except him. The King angers me. Moving on.
Water’s Wrath – Book 4
Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.
The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light.
Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.
If you want a book to break you, look no further. Because this one probably will. I was reduced to tears at a certain scene, and if you’ve read it, you know which one I’m talking about, because IT’S HEARTBREAKING. It’s also unfair and in my opinion shouldn’t have happened at all. I think I’ll forever be bitter about it.
But Vhalla’s won her freedom, only for everything to hit the fan at full force and there are only pieces left.
Crystal Crowned – Book 5
Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?
I’m a procrastinator and I legit just finished my re-read of this book at 12:28 AM…so there’s that, and the book is pretty fresh in my mind. Reading through this one, made it very evident that Elise intended to continue the books (Vortex Visions out now!) I picked up on some things that I never picked up the first time through. This wasn’t my favorite book, and it kind of lagged a bit through the beginning and then felt a little rushed through the end. And maybe that’s because there is more story left to be told.
A lot happens in this book, some sad, some happy, but a lot happens.
I don’t know what to say without spoiling!
So, I’m just going to leave this here, as it is.
Now that I’ve finished my re-read of the series, I can move on to Vortex Visions! You don’t have to have read the Air Awakens Series to read Elise’s new book, but I felt like it had been too long and wanted to reread them before diving back into this world. Now I can…well it’ll have to wait until April, since I have a few books already lined up to read that I need to get to first. That’s another post if you want to check it out – here.
It’s been fun being back in this world, with these characters, and I’ve been reminded how much I love them. It’s a series definitely worth rereading, and it does hold up, which is fantastic!