Gaughen weaves big concepts into the action-filled story. . . . Powerful young women who have hope and agency to change the world: What could be more timely?” Kirkus Reviews
“Aspasia is a bold, complex heroine. . . . A deliciously satisfying romance of mutual support and dedication to hope, joy, and art as essential components of resistance.” BCCB
“Gaughen once again delivers vivid, complex characters, immersive worldbuilding, and a thrilling plot.” Booklist
“A fast-paced story full of magical power, seafaring bravery, and tender romance.” School Library Journal
“A series opener with depth. . . . Gaughen delivers an emotionally resonant tale full of magic so powerful it can move the earth; rich writing and worldbuilding will appeal to readers seeking complex characters, palace intrigue, and weighty questions of power and loyalty.” Starred review, Publishers Weekly on REIGN THE EARTH
“A tale of staggering magic, cutthroat royalty, and lethal intrigue. . . . Gaughen weaves a compelling feminist fantasy. Shalia is a refreshingly strong heroine with a voice that leaps off the page. Her story will both break readers' hearts and urge them onward, anxious to know how Shalia grapples with her destiny.” Booklist on REIGN THE EARTH
“A manifesto of female strength. . . . The readers who flock to this will find more than they expected, and Shalia's strength will give them something truly worth swooning over.” Kirkus Reviews on REIGN THE EARTH
“Another fantasy romance in the vein of books by Sabaa Tahir, Renee Ahdieh, and Sarah Maas, this volume will have teens clamoring for a sequel. Shaila matures from a frightened girl in a foreign land to a woman unwilling to allow her destiny or desires to be controlled by the men around her.” School Library Journal on REIGN THE EARTH
“The intense action scenes and Shalia's strong narrative voice keep the reader on edge and engaged.” School Library Connection on REIGN THE EARTH
“Shalia's story unfolds slowly, smoldering before it rages into an enormous fire. It builds in a powerful way, drawing the reader into a larger plot than they ever expected. . . . Reign the Earth is sure to inspire a dedicated fan base eager for the next tale.” Foreword Reviews on REIGN THE EARTH
“With a clever, strong-willed heroine, a downright terrifying villain, and complex relationships that leap off the page, Reign the Earth is the feminist fantasy I didn't know I needed. I will be thinking about Shalia's strength and fearlessness (and swooning over the slow-burn romance) as I anxiously await book two!” Erin Bowman, author of VENGEANCE ROAD on REIGN THE EARTH
The nature of power, the strength of family: Gaughen (Reign the Earth, 2018, etc.) weaves big concepts into the action-filled story.
Here, the action moves across the sea to powerful air Elementa Aspasia, picking up shortly after the first volume's conclusion. Captain, freedom fighter, slaver, and slave, Asp crews a motley collection of children and teens, all formerly enslaved, many with powers, who come from all the races and nations of Asp's world (characters have a range of skin tones; race is not analogous to our world). Heavy topics are explored, some overtly—the psychic toll of having been enslaved, the complex dynamics of power—and some implicitly; sexual abuse of enslaved girls is subtly hinted at. The plot veers between the personal, as Aspasia searches for the siblings she lost seven years ago and falls in love with new crew member Kairos (the brother of the Tri Queen leading the resistance), and the political, as Asp and her crew work to harry slavers and find themselves instrumental in the growing war. While the balance is sometimes uneasy—there's a lot of kissing and also a fair amount of bloodshed—the pacing keeps things moving. The final battle, when characters from both volumes come together, sets the scene for the explosive conflict to come. Gritty and dark despite tender moments.
Powerful young women who have hope and agency to change the world: What could be more timely? (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)