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.
I absolutely loved this book and looking back I’m honestly a little surprised. Hear me out! This book is pretty much about Vhalla finding out she has magic, a very rare magic, and can’t decide whether she wants to keep it or have it removed. And that’s pretty much it. There isn’t much that happens in the book besides her going back and forth with this issue. Usually, I hate books like this. However, Kovak wrote this book in such an amazing way that my interest was held the entire time and I wasn’t even annoyed by Vhalla’s indecision. Air Awakens is essentially an introduction to this world and the characters the series is going to follow. But it works. I loved learning the history of this world and I still feel like there is so much more that I will learn. Along with that, it was never boring. Each piece of history was given in such an interesting way that I never felt like it was too much or unnecessary. The plot build up was fantastic and when action was finally introduced, it only made sense. Throughout the whole book I was invested and it was just when I sat down to write this review I realized that there wasn’t much to it. The simplicity works though. If too much was given then I feel like it would have been too confusing. Kovak really took her time to build up everything very successfully.
Along with a great background story buildup, I loved these characters. Vhalla speaks to my soul. Maybe it’s because she loves learning and working in the library? Maybe it was the fact that she got this amazing power but didn’t immediately want it? To me, Vhalla is such a great character. I could only imagine that some people who get such a rare power that they would get power hungry. Instead, Vhalla really takes the time to try to understand what this means for her and if she could be happy with it. She doesn’t want to be anyone special and is such a humble character. I really can’t wait to continue her story and see how powerful and strong she gets. Aldrik is everything. As the crowned prince and a magic wielder, he is not the nicest person. The rumors say he is rude and not friendly. And that’s not entirely false. This is why I loved his character so much. He isn’t a pretend to be bad boy but really soft inside. Kovak shows that he can be crude and unapologetic and flawed. Which completely works for his character. He softens around Vhalla but that’s because she challenges him. And of course they are a hate to love, which I’m a complete sucker for! All of the characters in this novel compliment the story. There were many characters I wasn’t sure how they were going to play out and I still don’t know, especially Prince Baldair. I’m still not 100% sure if I can trust his character AND I LOVE IT!
Overall, Air Awakens by Elise Kovak is a fantastic novel. Even though the book is essentially a buildup of the story and characters - it completely works. Kovak’s fantastic writing doesn’t make it boring but instead engaging. I loved learning about this world and can’t wait to learn more about it. The characters were fantastically developed and I know it’s only the beginning. Every detail was important and nothing ever felt tedious or boring. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to engage in a series that is going be epic - the first book is just the lead up.