Book Review: Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1)

Author: A.C. Gaughen

Publication (of my edition): January 30th, 2018 by Bloomsbury U.S.

Purchase details: Received an Advanced Reading Copy from Bloomsbury U.S.

Blurb:  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.

The Bengali Nomad's Rant

** A huge thanks to Bloomsbury U.S. for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book**.

 This story was well written. I'd like to think that it had some particularly unique characters. If you're looking for another defiant heroine like Katniss Everdeen, then Shalia can't give you that. Her philosophy is rather different. Remember that scene in Captain America: Civil War where Sharon Carter gives a speech at Peggy Carter's funeral? (if you've seen the movie that is. If not, check out this link) There, she relays an important piece of advice from her aunt Peggy.

"Compromise where you can. And where you can't, don't." 

Shalia's approach towards her situation is similar to what Peggy Carter had told her niece Sharon. Her (Shalia's) timidness towards the beginning made me want to gnaw my nails out. But as the story progressed, I realized that she was being strong in her own way. It made me think about what strength actually is, and how we have come to perceive it. Just because someone isn't outright defiant doesn't mean that they aren't strong. Being able to compromise and make sacrifices are also signs of strength. And in Shalia's case, it is a sacrifice being made for entire groups of people. If that in itself isn't a sure sign of strength then I don't know what else is. 

The overall novel revolves around much heavier themes; themes like domestic abuse, child marriage and marital rape. At times, it was emotionally frustrating for I was expecting a more lighthearted story. And I hated the fact that all this was happening while she still had her seemingly protective brother near her as guardian. So yes, while this is a well written story, it is also an emotionally frustrating one. This is also one of the very few novels for which I'd recommend that people read the Acknowledgements section. It will help you see the story from a new light. During the process of getting this book published, the author, much like the protagonist, was fighting her own battles. And instead of adorning herself with defiance, she, like Shalia, decided to pick up another weapon of strength: resilience. 

Reign the Earth, this amazing yet terrifyingly eye opening YA fantasy novel, hits the shelves on January 30th, 2018.

The Bengali Nomad's Rating: 3.5/5 Palanquins


  1. Thank you for the review! This author is new to me

  2. I agree with you.In YA we usually see defiant female protagonists.theyre all strong in the obvious way.But what about the nice girls and the ones who have no choice to play by the rules. The ones that resemble us normal girls.

    1. Exactly! And while some may argue with me on this, one does not have to channel the image of the defiant feminist protesting in rallies to actually prove herself strong. Endurance and compromise is also a sign of strength, and people forget that far too often.

  3. Thanks for the review. I was looking for something new to read and I found it here. So I decided to get eBooks download online and read the whole story.


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