This is the first book in a young adult, epic fantasy that’s a tale of competition, coming of age, distant lands, elemental magic, and romance. It’s perfect for fans of the Legend of Korra, Truthwitch, and A Sorcery of Thorns.
Ice is in her blood.
Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.
Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.
But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.
Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.
A Trial of Sorcerers is the first book in a new series by Elise Kova, and part of an inter-connected world with some of her other series. I was a bit nervous going in as I haven’t read the other series within the same world; however, there was absolutely no issue in needing to know any previous details and it was a brilliant read for any new readers to start with!
I’ll admit it did take me a few extra pages to get into the story but that was simply because I don’t often read fantasy or YA anymore, and this story was both. But once I did get into a reading rhythm with this story, I was hooked. The world building is very intricate and well-developed, the characters are complex and multi-dimensional and the storyline is intriguing and full of action and suspense.
I should point out that as I’m primarily a romance reader, the romance in this is very minimal and slow. But, it is the first book in a series that will be approx 3-5 books, so I’m full prepared and eager to watch the romance develop further over the series.
This is the second book I’ve read by Elise (the other being A Deal with the Elf King) and I have mention that her writing is utterly addictive. She weaves such beautiful tales with her words and makes fantasy stories very easy to read for people like myself who don’t read fantasy often. I enjoyed being able to just dive straight into the story and pick up certain aspects of the world’s history and characters as needed (rather than info dumped which usually leaves me confused).
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys high fantasy, young adult, or stories involving elemental magic. It was the perfect change of pace for my usual reading tastes and I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of the series!
Disclaimer: Thank you to the author for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
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A Deal with the Elf King – Elise Kova
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