Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1) by A.C. Gaughen

*Review contains mild spoilers (as it was difficult to talk about this book without touching on certain points).
Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
Reign the Earth
(The Elementae #1)
by A.C. Gaughen
January 30, 2018
448 pages

Goodreads     Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
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.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.


Reign the Earth is a story that had me gasping and praying at every turn. Featuring a strong heroine, a diverse world and an intense storyline this book packed an emotional punch.

At over 400 pages Reign the Earth took its time introducing the characters and the world. Though the pacing was slow a lot happens. It's important to note that Reign the Earth is a bit darker than most other YA fantasies I've read. The book tackled some very serious issues which I thought were done in an efficient and realistic manner. "You choose your fate with every decision." (ARC, p. 154).

Shalia's character growth was empowering. She endured unimaginable horrors and losses at the hands of her husband Calix. His hot and cold attitude towards her gave me chills. Any goodness he showed only served to amplify his cruelty every time he lashed out at her. My heart ached for all her sufferings. Yet through it all she remained on her feet. "True power does not force others to make themselves smaller." (ARC, p. 137). He couldn't break her because she was loved and she loved fiercely.

My heart pounded for the forbidden romance between Shalia and Galen. He may be her brother in law but he cared much more for her wellbeing than his brother ever did. Galen's actions spoke louder and stronger than Calix's honeyed words ever would. No love triangle as Ms. Gaughen does an excellent job illustrating Shalia's romantic feelings. It was clear who belonged together (and who should rot alone in the fiery depth of hell).

The bond between Shalia and her family was everything. They were everything to her. I loved seeing her faith in her father. Her mother's words were constantly on her mind. Her older brothers were her support beams while her younger siblings lit up her life. Such a beautiful family who deserved better.

Reign the Earth wraps on a hopeful tone and while I wouldn't call the ending a cliffhanger it does leave you hanging on a few things. I'll definitely be adding A.C. Gaughen to the list of authors to look out for.
4.5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.


  1. I wish I would have liked this one more but I felt it was so hard to get into. So glad you loved it though! I loved her Scarlet series.

    1. Awww... I hadn't read her Scarlet series but I know it's well-loved! I'm hoping to find some time to give it a try :)

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I started reading it and put it down but maybe I should try it again.

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. It's not the easiest book to get into but I hope you give it one more try! The story's really quite good :)

  3. Aaaa, excited to see so many great reviews of this one---it just popped up on Hoopla at my library so I was thinking about giving it a listen!

    1. Sorry I missed this one! I hope you've had a chance to give it a try and enjoyed it :D


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