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.
Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.
… Does that sound familiar to anyone? I’m sure most of us would pick up on the fact that it’s the opening sequence to Avatar: The Last Airbender. This book would’ve been more aptly named as Vhalla: The Last Windwalker. Seriously, we got a heroine here that is such a special snowflake that my tears of frustration started freezing when reading about her. (Get it? Because it’s so cold?) OF COURSE she’s the first Windwalker to have appeared in hundreds of years. OF COURSE the only guys she comes in contact with her age are all vying for her attention. OF COURSE the main love interest is the crown prince. My eyes rolled so hard that they fell out of my head.
Air Awakens is one of those reads that you pick up when you’re extremely bored and have nothing better to do. It’s riddled with cliches and inconsistent characters, but somehow you end up kind of enjoying anyways. Well, at least that was the case for me.
It’s like, among all the chocolate candies out there, you choose to indulge in the cheap chocolate coins. It’s missing the richness of any Cadbury or Godiva out there, but you still eat it because, hey!, it’s chocolate. Who would say no to that kind of stuff? The chocolate coin is right in front of you, probably taken from some lame party that you went to last week, so you eat it. The book was right in front of me, laying in my Kindle for months now after seeing the hype all over Twitter, so I read it.
Like I said in the beginning of the review, there are four different elements that characters can have Affinities for, and the main character Vhalla is the only one with hers: air. Each Affinity stem from certain parts of the continent (North, South, East, and West) and the empire that the book takes place in is fighting with the North. I must confess, I skimmed over the info dump of the religion because it was pretty useless to know about for the story and I didn’t really care. Oops. I’m not too sure about the stance sorcerers have in the world. Apparently they are “feared,” having their own tower called the Tower of Sorcerers (thus being separated from the rest of people), but the crown prince is a sorcerer himself and nobody really cares. I’m not sure what to make of that – are they feared or are people just “meh” about them? The ambiguity and stale world just contributed to my overall apathy with the setting.
Basically take the majority of YA fantasy heroines and insert them into Vhalla, and you get them.
- “Oh I’m not pretty though” -> gets turned beautiful for a ball.
- “I’m not anyone special, just a meek library apprentice” -> the only person with a certain Affinity.
- “Seriously I’m not pretty tehee” -> the only males her age that are her acquaintances take an interest in her.
Also let’s talk about that cover! I’m laughing because Vhalla is described as having brown hair so I’m not sure why she’s blonde on the cover?
Anyway, Vhalla saves the crown’s prince’s life in the first chapter of the book and they find out she has sorcery, so the Minister of Sorcery tries to convince her to join up with them and cast crazy spells everywhere (more like because they need her for some special reason that was never explored in the book but since I don’t know, I’m just filling it in). She gets upset about it all and asks them to wait a month for her decision.
The characters were all quite funny to read about because of their tendency to vacillate towards one personality or the other. One minute the crown prince is sneering and cruel, and the next he’s sooo gentle and misunderstood. In one scene, Vhalla can’t stand to turn her best friend down for a date (thus giving him ideas) and in the next she’s all “I have to stand! up! for myself!” Vhalla’s friends are all pretty one-dimensional: a seemingly best friend that she doesn’t tell anything and a good-looking guy friend that pines after her. Can you understand why I was annoyed at them throughout the book?
Most of you must know about my disdain for love triangles, but in this one I couldn’t even muster enough energy to be upset about it. You obviously know who Vhalla likes and you obviously know that the other guy has no chance. Bah. I’m so sick of love interests that are constantly oscillating between “I love her though, she is my woRLd” and “I have DUTIESSS towards the crown.” That doesn’t mean you have to be hot and cold.
So Vhalla has a month to decide whether she wants to keep her magic and join the sorcerers or not, and she spends most of the time sneaking away with the prince. It turns out they have a Bond that “can never be broken” and “never be replaced” since she saved his life and I think I started snorting when I read that because could you NOT make the book more trite?
Anyways, I love
chocolate magic, so I didn’t mind reading it as much as it seems like I did in my review. I’d recommend it for the bored fantasy lover, and to head in with no other expectation other than to waste some reading time.
Also, I’m pretty sure these sentences don’t make sense. I won’t go over how each of them are wrong, but these are just the ones I highlighted after seeing so many of them. I’m not sure about you, but I kind of like having proper grammar in my books.
“Agony, her blood had been poured out and replaced with something cold and painful.”
“Vhalla did not know what she was looking for, she simply walked.”
“White sugar glaze on top, Vhalla coveted the spongy yellow sweet throughout the year.”
The prepositions are crying in agony because they’re being ignored.