Air Awakens #3
by Elise Kova
Published on February 11, 2016 by Silver Wing Press
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.
Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.
After the end of Fire Falling, I flailed a bit waiting for the next book…to load because my Kindle decided to be obnoxiously slow. So it wasn’t a dreadful long time, thank goodness; I don’t want to imagine what the wait must have been like for those who read it when the book released.
Of all the Air Awakens books so far, I think Earth’s End had to be the most action packed. I had an idea of how it started after reading Tales from the Front (a novella between books 2 and 3). But I wasn’t prepared for this book AT ALL. Everything I loved about the first two was amplified in the third of the series. The action, the tension, the risks, the ROMANCE (y’all don’t know how much I ship Vhalla and Aldrik…it’s bad, real bad).
It’s really hard to talk about a book in the middle of a series without spoiling too much from the previous books. But one thing that remains consistent is Vhalla. As the heroine, she could have gone one of two ways: not changing at all or changing so much that you lose what was amazing about her to begin with. Kova found the middle and Vhalla not only grows as a person but also keeps that relatable factor. She struggles. She is challenged. She must make tough decisions without knowing the outcome. Nothing is guaranteed.
Since this book is where the team has reached the warfront after spending the last book on the march, things are tough. Kova didn’t skimp on the world-building as she creates a place where the Northern culture clashes with the Southern army camp. Death isn’t uncommon and it’s never an easy decision to make. That Vhalla goes through this and you really see her thought process made everything so much more real.
She’s not the only one. The characters aren’t spared just because it’s their story. You really see a new side to them. While Earth’s End features all my favorites from previous books, it also brings in a new set of supporting characters who are by no means easily cast off. Especially Jax.
I am SO excited he has his own prequel series because he quickly became one of my favorite characters. Him and the Golden Guard are amazing as a team, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Plus Baldair is part of them and while Aldrik is great, is younger brother isn’t half bad either. 😉
Okay, so far I’ve managed to keep from talking about my new favorite ship but let’s chat quick about Vhalla and Aldrik. The end of Fire Falling is a MASSIVE cliffhanger and if you ship these two I HIGHLY recommend having this book ready to go because you’re going to need it. What I love about these two is that they give me that romance I crave in the books I read while also keeping it grounded within the story. I never felt like the plot suffered so that these two could spend pages upon pages lusting after each other. Their relationship fits within the world, within the story, and is as integral as any other part.
It made my heart break a bit at the end but at the same time, I was comfortable with Vhalla’s decision. It struck me as staying true to her character and the changes she’s made over the course of the series. Plus, I have a feeling it’s not over just yet. After all, there are two more books!
Now that I’ve sufficiently gushed about this book (definitely the best of the series so far), you can all go out and buy it so you can suffer with me.