Review Detail

The Waking Land Featured
Young Adult Fiction 2578
Magic, battles, and a love story too!
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
THE WAKING LAND by Callie Bates begins with five-year-old Elanna Valtai being taken hostage because it has been discovered that her father, Ruadan (the Duke of Caeris) is behind an attempted insurrection against King Antoine of Eren. King Antoine has promised to keep Elanna safe as his ward as long as Ruadan doesn’t leave Caeris and doesn’t cause any more trouble.

Elanna—El—is now nineteen. She has spent fourteen years pushing memories of her family and her homeland away, focusing on her love of botany and the few friends that she has made in Eren. King Antoine has been true to his word, and he has treated El as well as he treats his own daughter, Loyce. The young women don’t like each other at all though, and Loyce and her friends go out of their way to try to make El unhappy at every opportunity.

There’s WAY too much to fit into a short synopsis of this book, so suffice to say that the real action in THE WAKING LAND starts when King Antoine is murdered and El is considered one of the main suspects. As she runs away from Eren and those accusations, she ends up heading toward Caeris and the life she was meant to live as the daughter of a duke and the key to returning the land to its past glory. Unfortunately, El remains conflicted. Her time as a hostage wasn’t difficult, and she was taught a slanted and negative view of the country of her birth. She’s not originally sympathetic to the rebellion that continued to boil while she was under King Antoine’s care, and she’s angry that her parents left her (seemingly) without any trouble at all and never bothered to try to get her back.

THE WAKING LAND tells a story that is typical for the fantasy genre, drawing from the history and mythologies of the United Kingdom for its plot. Elanna is a standard fantasy protagonist: she continually doubts herself and the magical abilities that she knows she has but can’t figure out how to nurture—particularly since anyone suspected of “witchcraft” is persecuted. There are so many characters in THE WAKING LAND that it’s often hard to keep up, and the secondary characters don’t get much time to develop as the action sweeps them along at a brisk pace. That’s unfortunate; many of those characters have interesting stories of their own that it would be great to follow. There’s also the standard love story as Jahan, a young man with secrets and magical abilities of his own, engages, intrigues, and bewilders El.

And the cover of the book… if I were to buy a book based only on its cover, I would have paid full price for this one and bought it for all of my friends and family too. It’s gorgeous.

THE WAKING LAND concludes neatly, so it works as a stand-alone novel. However, with so many potential stories lingering in those secondary characters, I hope we’ll have a chance to revisit Caeris soon. I’ll welcome the chance to read Callie Bates’s future novels. Although the world she has created doesn’t feel fully formed, and the characters need a bit more flesh, her story pulled me along. I’m definitely interested to see where the story of Caeris and its people will go next.

My thanks to NetGalley and the pubisher for a copy of the e-book in exchange for my honest review.
Good Points
Sets the scene for future books

Good pacing
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Watch Over Me
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mila is used to being alone. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Her job is to keep their secrets safe. ...
City of the Plague God
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents CITY OF THE PLAGUE GOD,...
The Shadow War
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Inglourious Basterds meets Stranger Things in this dark and thrilling...
The Valley and the Flood
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rose Colter is almost home, but she can't go back...
Don't Tell A Soul
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stay up all night with this modern day Rebecca! Perfect...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
58 Farm End: a twisted romantic crime thriller series (Book...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Beatrice Walker thought she lived in a normal world—that is...
Crying is Like the Rain: A Story of Mindfulness and Feelings
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A gentle metaphor for understanding and processing anxiety and sadness....
The Brass Queen
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She knows a liar when she sees one. ...
The Final Chance
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Friends no matter what. At least that's what Beth Ann...
Wylder and the Almost Rockstar
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How much trouble does it take to forget the boy...
Wylder and the Secret Rockstar
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How much trouble does it take to forget your summer...
Nubia: Real One
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can you be a hero...if society doesn't see you as...
Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Angsty teenager Mary Shelley is not interested in carrying on...
Cursed: The Girl Who Shook the Earth
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
I’m just another girl who survived foster care. Nothing special....

Latest Member Reviews

American Royals II: Majesty
 
3.7
"With her father gone, Beatrice must step into her role as queen. To do this, she has to let her..."
Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter
 
4.0
"Teen Mary Shelley is the many times great granddaughter of the legendary writer. Everyone in the Shelley lineage has become..."
The Obsession
 
4.7
"THE OBSESSION is a creepy and riveting YA thriller. Delilah lives with her mother and her mother's abusive boyfriend, a..."
The Project
 
4.3
"Lo Denham, magazine assistant and loner, is looking for her sister, Bea. Six years ago, Lo's parents died in a..."
The Night Circus
 
4.3
"I couldn’t begin to express how much I adore this book. This book, magically, soothed my temper and let me..."
Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
"WINGS OF EBONY is a beautifully crafted YA fantasy. A year has passed since Rue's life was irrevocably changed. Her..."
The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)
 
4.3
"THE GILDED ONES by Namina Forna is a YA fantasy novel and the first book in the Deathless series. The..."
Unchosen
 
5.0
"UNCHOSEN is a fantastic and completely captivating YA apocalyptic fantasy, filled with feminism, friendship, sisterhood, and romance. Charlotte is the..."
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
"IN THE PENALTY BOX is a cute YA contemporary hockey romance. Willow is a figure skater heading for the Olympics,..."
The Afterlife of the Party (Afterlife, #1)
 
4.7
"THE AFTERLIFE OF THE PARTY is a YA vampire book for anyone who doesn't want to make out with the..."
The Alcazar (The Cerulean, #2)
 
3.0
"THE ALCAZAR wraps up an intriguing YA fantasy duology. The book continues to follow four main characters in alternating points-of-view,..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.0
"Super Fake Love Song is about Sunny Dae, a Korean American teenager who is a mega-nerd trying to survive at..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.3
"Ellie lives in Washington D.C. and attends an elite school, even though the tuition is a stretch for her single..."
The Cerulean
 
3.3
"THE CERULEAN is an intriguing start to a YA fantasy duology. The book begins with Sera, a Cerulean who has..."
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
"TALES FROM THE HINTERLAND is an enchanting, haunting, and deliciously creepy collection of fairytales. Completely new and unlike anything I..."
You Owe Me a Murder
 
3.0
" *Connor is Deaf and has implants *Alex has light brown skin..."
Across the Green Grass Fields
 
4.7
"I love the Wayward Children series, and the latest installment, ACROSS THE GREEN GRASS FIELDS, is no exception. Here are..."
DEV1AT3
 
4.7
"Feedback What a difference between book 1 and book 2. I enjoyed this one so much more, and I..."
The Broken Raven (Shadow Skye, #2)
 
4.0
"THE BROKEN RAVEN is an intriguing YA fantasy that sweeps the reader away to a land of magic, plotting, and..."
You Have a Match
 
5.0
"YOU HAVE A MATCH is a beautifully written YA contemporary about family, summer, forgiveness, and best friend crushes. Abby is..."