I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Elements of the Crown by Kay L. Moody
Series: The Elements of Kamdaria
Published by Marten Press on 2019-12-03
Length: 450 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release Challenge
Talise has a gift that could save her life.
In an empire divided into three rings, seventeen-year-old Talise is from the outer ring. This dangerous and crime-laden land has one constant… death.
Her only chance for escape is to become Master Shaper—an honored position in the palace court and military. Each year, the emperor chooses one student to receive the title.
After ten years of training at an elite academy, Talise clearly has a gift for manipulating the elements of water, air, earth, and fire. But Aaden, a handsome student from the privileged inner ring, is poised to steal the title away from her.
When they come before the emperor, he is impressed with the great skill both Talise and Aaden possess. He presents them with a set of trials, and she knows this is the chance she needs to prove herself. As long as Aaden doesn’t ruin everything.
But secrets hide in every corner of the palace, masking a conflict far more dangerous than her previous home in the outer ring. Now, she must play along with the emperor’s lies and games, or else she will lose her life to an enemy she never expected.
This book includes novellas 1-4 of The Elements of Kamdaria:
Ice Crown, Wind Crown, Dust Crown, and Flame Crown.
The Elements of the Crown by Kay L. Moody is the first four novellas in The Elements of Kamdaria. Each novella is roughly 15 chapters and tells its own story within the series arc. If you enjoy serial series, I think you will enjoy this YA fantasy. Following the life of Talise as she strives to become a Master Shaper, The Elements of the Crown is a breathtaking adventure.
Talise is an interesting character. I had a hard time liking her at first. She is determined to become a Master Shaper, and the book begins as her time at the Elite Academy ends and the trials for Master Shaper begin. This is her escape from the outer ring of the kingdom. While her determination is admiring, her willingness to sacrifice others for it isn’t. She’s highly competitive and when someone transfers into the academy at the end, well she doesn’t welcome them kindly.
Aaden is the only person that could beat Talise in her quest to become Master Shaper. He is as adept as she is at shaping all the elements, and his control is the only one to match hers. Yet he pushes all attempts of friendship away. This creates an atmosphere between him and the other shapers. No one trusts him, and everyone questions his reason for being there. I felt bad for him, especially as things about his past are revealed.
The plot of this series is fantastic! I was surprised at every turn of the page. I wound up loving Talise, even when I wanted to smack her. Aaden is the same. I love him. The relationship that builds between Aaden and Talise is tenuous at best, though I’d wager he was more willing to have a friendship than her. She doesn’t trust him, and throughout the book he is earning her trust. The world-building is amazing. I really enjoyed learning about the different elements, the Master Shapers, and the empire.
Overall The Elements of the Crown is a great way to start the series. It follows Talise and Aaden as they journey through their trials as Master Shapers and introduces a rebellion brewing in the empire. The emperor’s role in the story is just as important as any soldier introduced. Don’t count anyone out! I can’t wait to continue reading more of Talise’s adventures.