Published: March 4, 2021
Genre(s): fantasy, young adult, romance, magic
Read as: ebook, kindle unlimited
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. (Goodreads)
I am a self professed lover of YA fantasy romance and Elise Kova is one of the queens of the genre. Last year, I read her Air Awakens series and was swept up in the story. This series, A Trial of Sorcerers, takes place in the same world. While you would get more out of the story by reading Air Awakens first, it is not technically necessary. I have not read her Vortex Chronicles which takes place in the same world and did not find, having not read that, I was unable to understand or fully enjoy this book. Everything is able to be understood on its own although there are callbacks to Air Awakens. However, if you didn’t know to look for them it would not detract from the story.
Eira is everything I would expect out of an older teenaged character. She is learning about the wider world, who she can and cannot trust, and being a bit of an emotional wreck about the whole thing. She is also a passionate and very book smart character although her common sense is pretty much in the toilet which, again, is right on par for a late teen.
Her family dynamics are also very complicated and, at times, down right mentally and emotionally abusive. While I enjoyed the beginning of Eira’s journey as a character, the family aspects annoyed me to no end. Her family claimed to love her but at every turn they crushed her hopes and dreams claiming it was for the best. While love can sometimes be painful, those who claim to love you should lift you up, even in the hard times. Especially in the hard times. Not try to grind your joy and passion into dust.
Of course there is a love interest, a misunderstood bad boy, and a magical conundrum to overcome. Overall, the book was entertaining. It is an easy read that you can just sink into and it will sweep you away for a little while. I’m not looking for big, engrossing stories that you have to take notes to keep the details straight, I just want some escapism that lets my mind shut down for a little while. If that is something you like in fantasy, then I would recommend this book and this author with my whole heart.