Book: Air Awakens
Author: Elise Kova
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ALL OF THE STARS
The world was alive around her, and each gust of air was like the whisper of a lover upon silk.
Let’s do this!
Air Awakens… Where to start…
This follows the life of Vhalla Yarl, a seventeen-year-old library apprentice who has been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers and all of those who belonged in it, and she’d been happy to oblige and keep to the quiet of her books. But when she unknowingly saves the life of Crown Prince Aldrik Solaris, which is to say, one of the most powerful sorcerers of all, her life takes a drastic turn, and she’s forced to decide to embrace her true nature and leave all that she’s ever known, or ignoring this newfound part of herself, as she discovers that she herself has a power of her own; the rare elemental magic of a Windwalker.
This book was great. So, so, so great.
The World and the Magic Within Its Pages:
I love the way this world and the magic in it has been built. How, while having its own unique complexity like most Fantasy books, it keeps a certain type of simplicity that allows readers to take it all in and grasp every concept quickly, creating a bond between the reader, the book and the author from a very early stage in the reading experience with this book, and thus allowing this bond to get stronger and stronger as the pages turn, as well as facilitating the establishment of a stronger connection to the characters.
The world in this book works in the way of a compass. It is divided by four regions, North, South, East and West, and each region means a specific affinity for every sorcerer. The people of the North tend to have an affinity with Earth, the people of the South tend have an affinity with Water, those of the West generally have an affinity with Fire, and finally, those of the East, like Vhalla, tend to have an affinity with Air.
That means that Waterruners are most likely to be Southerners, Firebearers are almost always Westerners, Northerners tend to be Groundbreakers and Easterners tend to be Windwalkers.
Learning about this world was a pleasant experience; I learned along with Vhalla and Aldrik was as much my teacher as he was Vhalla’s.
Vhalla Yarl is a very human character.
You see, when presented with the fact that she had this amazing, unique ability and the chance to learn more about it, to nurture it, and to train to become a skilled Windwalker, Vhalla… Refused. She refused and she hesitated again and again, and she wouldn’t accept not being given a choice. And this, I feel, is a very human characteristic.
We, humans, don’t like being used, don’t like being controlled, and we don’t like being told that we’re wrong. We don’t like to be faced with facts that are a complete contradiction to everything we’ve known, and thus it takes us time to grasp and accept these facts, or we just don’t accept them, no matter how much truth they may hold. In addition to this, it affects us greatly when we extend our trust towards towards someone that ultimately ends up abusing of it, and losing it.
It felt completely real, Vhalla’s reluctance to trust the Tower of Sorcerers because 1) she’d been taught to fear these people, and to stay as far from sorcery as possible, thus the possibility of anything good coming out of it seemed scarce, and 2) because she extended her trust to “her Phantom,” and he didn’t value it enough to keep it the first time around.
Ultimately, Vhalla was looking out for herself. She was smart, and strong, and brave, because throughout all of it, she thought of herself. She learned to embrace herself as a sorcerer and as someone who has the power to make a difference, and she made sure that this was her choice.
Crown Prince Aldrik Solaris, an Outcast on the Spotlight:
How do I even form coherent thoughts about my dear, fiery,
Yeeeeah, about that…
Prince Aldrik is misunderstood, and I’m glad we got a main character who could see that, and understand that (even if it took her, and me, a while), regardless of the perceptions of him that next to everyone had embedded into her mind.
Aldrik is what you could call… An outcast on the spotlight.
It’s hard to be a sorcerer in a world in which these are outcasts, but it’s even harder to be a sorcerer when you’re constantly on the spotlight. And even harder, you might say, when you happen to be the Crown Prince.
It’s quite an odd combination.
It was little more than the corners of his mouth curling up, but it lit his eyes in a way that Vhalla had yet to see. It made her wonder if she had ever really seen him before. It made her wonder if anyone had ever really seen him before.
That, right there, is one of my favorite quotes from this book. Just like Vhalla, I admit I failed to understand Aldrik at the beginning of this book, to see him, and it was little details like these that allowed me to truly see him, and to grow fonder and fonder of him.
A little too fond, you might say. Hehee.
At first, I thought he was a complete asshole.
Then I understood why.
Then, I learned that he cares for those of his kind and those he loves, even if it’s in his own way. I learned that he’s passionate, and feels very deeply and very strongly. I learned that he’s simply a misfit under a microscope whose reputation has already been decided without reasoning, and is constantly reminded of this shallow, false perception that follows him around, wherever he goes, inevitably.
The rest is history.
Vhalla and Aldrik, the definition of OTP:
Look, I don’t have much to say about Vhalla and Aldrik’s relationship except, I SHIP IT.
Supporting Characters That Added a Little Something More to This Story:
Roan and Sareem:
I think… That the presence of these two characters in Vhalla’s life made it clearer for me to see how lonely the life of a sorcerer could be. They were a nice asset to the story, presenting a stark contrast between Vhalla’s past as a library apprentice, and Vhalla’s future as a sorcerer.
Sareem was kinda giving me some Gale vibes though, trying to escape the friend-zone and all. I loved him as her best friend, and he truly was sweet towards Vhalla, if a tad bit cheesy, but I’m kind of glad their relationship ended the way it did. I couldn’t take him as a love interest, and even less after his reaction to Vhalla’s sorcery.
Larel holds a dear place in my heart. She was the constant that Vhalla needed in the midst of the mess that her life had become. She didn’t pressure Vhalla into making a decision, she simply presented her with facts, with the truth, and more importantly, she was there. Vhalla needed a friend and a guide, and Larel provided her with her friendship and guidance without asking for anything in return.
I genuinely feel that there is a lot more depth to her character than we get to see in this book, and I do hope I get to see more of her in the next books.
Fritz is, and I’m quoting Elise on this one, “such a cinnamon roll. Too Precious. Too pure.”
Even though he didn’t appear in this book as often as I’d liked him to, he gave me so many Kenji vibes (I’m a sucker for Kenji), and I just… *struggles for words*
FRITZNANGLE MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS, OKAY?
Oh, Prince Baldair, why must you be so charming?
I admit I thought I would strongly dislike Baldair, since he’s such a flirt and all. I was wrong.
There’s something so disarmingly good-natured and easy-going about his character, and he’s so sweet too, how could anyone not like him?
It was as though the golden prince wore everything on his sleeves, and his cerulean eyes promised nothing but the truth.
Do you wanna know how I imagined Master Mohned?
Are you sure?
Well, you asked for it.
The Magic of Simplicity in Writing:
I talked a little about this on my last reading update, and I mentioned it earlier on this post, but I really, really enjoyed the simplicity in the way this book was written. I enjoyed it a lot. It allowed me to quickly fly through it, and it almost made me feel as if I was being presented with some sort of reality, instead of a fragment of fiction.
I’d most definitely recommend this book to any new reader, or non-reader (or avid reader), as the way this book is written allows readers to get a full grasp of this world fairly quickly, and thus keeping you at the edge of your seat.
Props to Elise Kova for being such a fabulous writer.
This. Book. Was. Phenomenal.
I loved every single part of it and, quite frankly, it’s going right up on my favorites shelf. The world was flawlessly put together, the characters were rich and believable, the romance was just right, the story was so simply, and yet intricately, carefully woven, and the ending was fantastic, giving way for this series to grow into something far, far greater.
I 100% recommend that EVERYONE give this book a try aaaaand that concludes this review.
I hope you enjoyed it, and that it made you want to pick this book up.