Jan 23, 2018

ARC review--Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

I received this ARC from the publisher for a voluntary and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Reign the Earth is my first book by A.C. Gaughen and I must say it was quite the powerful read! I love me a good fantasy read! Ones filled with magic of the mystical kind and a good romance on the side doesn’t hurt either! Reign the Earth had all that and more! It continued to amaze me with every page I turned!

Shalia is marrying a king in order to help end the strife between her people and his. Shalia comes from a clan who have a different set of beliefs than the king, Calix does. There are also Elementae about in the world, they are ones, as you can imagine, who can control an element such as Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. But despite all the hardships they’ve had, a truce has been made. Shalia isn’t too keen on an arranged marriage, but as her parents told her, love can still come from such things for their marriage was an arranged sort.

Off the bat, you can kind of already tell that Calix isn’t going to be our hero to swoon over. There’s this coldness to him that’s sort of off-putting. Shalia is new to romance and such things and when it comes time to consummate their marriage, she’s afraid and while Calix isn’t yelling and berating, he isn’t 100% kind and gentle either.

Soon queenly life moves on for Shalia though there is still unease in the kingdom. Shalia knows that her brother Rian is said to be leading a Resistance group against the king who is against all Elementae. He wants them all eradicated while Rian and his group are for allowing them to live peacefully. You can pretty much see where things are going.

Then we have Galen, Calix’s brother and captain of the guards. There is a sort of connection buzzing between him and Shalia, if the description of the book is anything to go by. Though it’s a slow and gradual thing. And even though Shalia is technically married, it doesn’t really come off as the sleazy cheating scenario. Calix, as you will see, is a cold and selfish sort. I mean I was really rooting for his demise far sooner than necessary it would seem! Lol! Calix is searching for an elixir of some kind that is said to remove the powers from an Elementa. He wants the Elementae exterminated to put it bluntly, hence the reason for the Resistance group.

The pacing to this one was a touch on the slow side, but in a way, I’m kind of used to that when it comes to fantasies. Fantasy world-building takes time and A.C. does this gradually, but not in a way where you feel like giving up on the book entirely. There’s a lot of secrets going about with the characters. Not so much in a mystery sort of way, but just carefully guarded secrets that take time to reveal.

It’s truly the characters that kept me reading! I grew to love Shalia as she’s the type of heroine I love most! A strong-willed young woman who wants to do what is right and protect those she loves. There’s great friendships building throughout this book as well and the ending is one that will leave you reeling! I was positively shocked! And this really comes about in the last ¼ of the book or so! So early shock factor geared towards that ending!

There is still a lot left unsaid, mostly wondering about certain people or things. Nothing majorly killer in the cliffhanger territory. I will definitely be looking forward to the sequel!

Reign the Earth is a magically exciting kind of read that will leave you breathless! It has the right kind of energy for a fantasy read that sweeps you off to a mystical world that you will long to return to! Counting down the days to the next one and this one hasn’t even released yet! I’m in way over my head here! Lol!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Reign the Earth releases January 30, 2018 


  1. This sounds like a really great read--and I love the cover! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I didn't like this one as much as you did, I think it was because of the romance and the weird pacing.

  3. This one's my current read! I'm about a quarter in and excited to see where things go :D

  4. Well, I'm still trying to decide about this one. The author is doing an event here, but I've already spent a lot of money on books this month. A lot.

    I'm glad you liked it though.

  5. I've heard some not-so-great things about Calix but I am glad that in spite of that, you were still able to enjoy the book. I am glad that Shalia proves to be a worthy character and I also definitely enjoy a good fantasy novel!

    Thanks for sharing, Jessica! :)

  6. Sorry it was a bit slow, but yay for amazing characters! They sound awesome.
    Glad you enjoyed the book overall :)

  7. Thanks for the review. I'm hoping to pick this up this year. I love the cover. I'm so happy that even though the pacing was off, the characters were so good.


Comments are an award all on their own! So my blog is an award free one! Thanks for any consideration though!