Title: Fire Falling
Series: Air Awakening #2
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: November 19, 2015
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Romance
Format: Purchased eBook
Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?
Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?
This book was a fantastic sequel and it furthered the progression of Vhalla and how she has become the crown’s property.
As this is the second book, this review may contain spoilers.
In this book the plot became much more intricate not only in how the war itself would progress, but it also showed the progression of romance and love – of multiple kinds of love – as well as bloodshed, loss, and heartbreak. I had so many emotions reading this book from excitement to anger to sadness. Honestly, I think this was better than the first.
Vhalla has become a bit stronger in this book physically and emotionally, learning not only from Aldrik, but also from Larel, Fritz, and others. She makes deep connections with Larel and a soldier, Daniel, who is from the East like she is, and I think that those relationships really helped to shape and mold her more as this book progressed. She relied heavily on Larel for emotional support, even when she felt ashamed for it, but I think that how Larel loved Vhalla unconditionally like a sister was so important and so beautiful. Not only that, but she learned more about her friends and who they are as people, and I think most important was that she learned a lot more about Aldrik and his past and thoughts.
Though at times I was confused by her emotions, I understood the rawness of them in the moments that they happened: when she felt sad or heartbroken or confused or lost. It was hard for her to overcome a lot of those harder emotions, but when she did is when I think she shined the most.
Also, when she trained she showed that not only is she definitely the Windwalker, but she’s also a solider and I know that’s definitely because of Aldrik. The Bond they have with one another really fuels Vhalla’s magic and I think that didn’t take away from her as a character, but enhances her because she didn’t understand magic and didn’t want to at one point, and now she’s able to draw from a very strong source.
As time progressed through the book I really felt that Vhalla grew more as a character, slowly but surely. She understands her place in the world, even if she’s down about it a lot. I’m really interested to see where she is in the next book.
Aldrik was ever an enigma at the beginning and such a toddler with his temper tantrums. I didn’t understand why he’d storm off sometimes or ignore Vhalla other times or be sweet to her even other times. No sense! But I think as he opened up more to Vhalla and we got to see more of his past that I understood why he was the way he was. I was very skeptical of his feelings toward her throughout large portions of this book because of that, but once a certain scene happened I was like, “Well, never mind then!” I think that his protectiveness over Vhalla didn’t come from a place of greed but rather from a place of love, and I think that that’s a strong attribute for him to have given his characteristics of a stoic, brooding, very-easy-to-piss-off self.
I think that Aldrik really proved himself to Vhalla as someone who does care, but he also proved himself as a soldier and wielder of fire because wow, I really enjoyed reading about the magic powers in this one.
As for the plot there was so much that happened from start to finish that I don’t even know where to begin! There was bloodshed, nightmares, backstory, romance, feelings, fighting – so much! I think that the story progressed in a natural way and it had me wanting to turn the page over and over again. We got more of a look into the political side of this world through dreams that Vhalla had, which I think were key parts to remember. Not only that, but there were also times where I was unsure of what would happen next. I think it was executed well.
The romance! Oh man, the romance set my heart all pitter-pattering and I loved it. It was sweet and beautiful and it gave just enough to be enough, but to also want more. I think that this was handled greatly and that it was well worth the tension, for sure.
I thought that there were going to be triangles forming, or quadrangles, or something, but I’m not entirely sure that they will. It honestly didn’t bother me too much because I saw the natural progression of it and the fact that no one really acted upon it.
Oh! One thing I highly enjoyed when it came to any form of romance or something along those lines: there were consensual questions asked every time. No one forced anything upon anyone and I think that that was SO important in this book. Thank you, Elise Kova, for not forcing something upon a character because wow, I found myself loving that so much.
There were so many feels and heartbreaking moments in this book in particular I almost cried at the end. I feel like I’m becoming more attached to these characters as I go and I need to know what happens next. I’m untrusting of the Emperor, I’m confused as to where I stand with Prince Bladair, and I want to see more of Daniel and Craig and Fritz, for sure. Even Elicia, who was a mystery for a lot of the book before we were told her identity.
My only gripe with this book was that there were A LOT more typos than the last. I don’t get how so much was missed, but it didn’t really take away from the story; it was a minor distraction that I was able to quickly remedy in my mind to continue forward. Other than that, I highly enjoyed this book.
Overall, I highly recommend this book if you’ve read the first.
I give this book 4.5/5 stars.