Talise can manipulate the elements with ease; water, air, earth, and fire all bend to her will. As a citizen of the Storm—a crime-laden land where death is the only constant—her only chance for a better life is to become Master Shaper.
A competition for the position takes place at the end of her training years. If she wins, she would live in the palace, work for the emperor, and escape her inevitable death in the Storm. But she’s not the only one with a chance to win.
Aaden is another talented student. As a citizen of the Crown, he was born with unlimited privilege and resources. When someone from the Crown wants to win, they do. End of story. And his shaping is unlike anything Talise has ever seen.
Complicating matters, Talise’s loved one in the Storm gives her reason to abandon the competition altogether, forcing her to make an impossible choice.
Torn between duty and freedom, she must learn that clinging to the past, might destroy her future.
For fans of Red Queen, the Grishaverse, and Avatar the Last Airbender, this desperate fantasy world has elemental magic and tension you could cut with a knife.
Received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
My Rating- 3.5/5.0
The story is set in a magical land of Kamdaria where the city was divided into 3 main parts The Crown, the Gate and the Storm. It is in the story that Talise a young girl of 7 lived along with her Marmie. The Crown was the place for the royal family and other residents of the kingdom. Common people lived in the Gate. The criminals, thieves and sinners of the kingdom are sent to a secluded island as punishment. Not only were the culprits sent but their future families where forever bound to live a life of imprisonment in The Storm where there was a scarcity of food water please and life was a disaster.
“It has always been obvious that we care for our children better than we care for ourselves. It is only fitting then, that our punishments should pass to our children as well.”
Some people of this kingdom had a special ability to shape elements namely fire, water, earth and air. Children showing signs of shaping any one of these elements at a young age were taken in admission in an Academy where they were taught to shape all the four elements. But Talise was special. She had a unique ability to shape all elements even before she started training.
Marie saved some money to go to the Academy to that Talise could get an education there. At the end of 10 years of rigorous training. Each student of the Academy would get a respectable job. However, people from The Storm had no such luck. They could only escape the horrible and miserable life at the Storm if and only if they were chosen to be the Master Shaper after graduating class by Emperor Flarius. And with Talise’s talent, everyone had no doubt that she would be chosen.
Until Aeden came along, a boy from the Crown with this accurate and precise fire shaping, one that was as good as Talise and anyone if from the Crown wanted to win they usually did. If she lost and could not be the Master Shaper she would have to return to the Storm to her Marmie.
Talise was a very beautiful character throughout. Her insecurities, fears were very relatable. She was a strong female lead with great courage and she loved with a fearful passion. Marmie was a loving figure to Talise and a kind sweetheart and strict when needed. She did not leave any stone unturned to help Talise achieve her ambition. But how Marmie was related to Talise remained a mystery as it was not revealed in the story. Aeden was someone whose personality was not much revealed in the story.
The story was beautifully written. The expressions and metaphor used resonated with me. The author made the characters lifelike through her writing skills. The way she described the way Talise shaped her elements and her emotions are truly worth mentioning.
However, the thing that didn’t much amuse me was how the pace of the book was too slow. It just goes on in a nonchalant kind of way without any suspense. It is not a novel in its own and cannot be much understood unless you read the next novels in the series. This was a big disappointment as I expect a book to be self satisfactory. I know in a series every book has to be read to know the full story but every book should be a character of its own and this book has no such role except just an introduction for the next novels. The story did end in suspense which I liked very much.