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The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land (edition 2017)

by Callie Bates (Author)

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398292,072 (4.11)1
Title:The Waking Land
Authors:Callie Bates (Author)
Info:Del Rey (2017), 400 pages
Collections:2017, Reviewed, Kindle, Read but unowned, March
Tags:Review, Epic Fantasy, YA, NetGalley, Kindle

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The Waking Land by Callie Bates



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THE WAKING LANDS was a great fantasy novel filled with action and excitement. It begins with a five-year-old girl taken hostage by a king as a guarantee of her parents good behavior. Then fourteen years pass and Elanna has been thoroughly brainwashed into her captor's point of view and even thinks of him as a foster father which incites the jealousy and spitefulness of his daughter Loyce.

When the king is poisoned by a tainted mushroom, Elanna is the first suspect. She needs to flee to save her life but she doesn't know where to go. Some of her father's loyal people are urging her to return home to Caeris but she wants to go anywhere else. She would like to go to Ida and study botany and a representative of the emperor who is something of a double agent is willing to help with her plans.

However, she finds herself going to Caeris and learning more about the magic that she has been denying all her life since use of magic is forbidden by the emperor. Elanna changes greatly in this story as she learns that what she knew about her foster father was mostly lies and what he told her about her home and family was lies too.

There are battles, betrayals, false friends and real ones. There is an intriguing magic that Elanna must learn to use to save her country. There is a romantic triangle with Elanna torn between the prince she was betrothed to as a child and the sorcerer from the empire that she might or might not be able to trust.

Fans of epic fantasy will enjoy this richly drawn story filled with intriguing characters and great world building. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jun 19, 2017 |
Fantastic nature centered magical adventure with interesting characters topped with action.
What a bang this author made with this her debut book. The details, abilities, personal and political drams so complex, so visually written. I hope her work only gets better from here.
Ellana was kidnapped when very young by a king that raised and treated her well, by him but she was never allowed to be who she was or see her family. The kings daughter, well she's not so kind toward his ward. Having been raise in this kingdom she becomes part of their culture, absorbing their beliefs and customs. When a death/murder happens and she forced to face her old home and family the culture clash and old hurts scar everything for this young woman.
Faced with who she really is she explores her nature, her magic that she has always hidden. This is really a fantastic part of the book. She is part of the earth, part of the ancestors souls, connected to the world. Her magic is at the center of a political war, her power coveted. She resents and relishes this at the same time.
Why wasn't it a 5 star read for me:
The romance is slow and frustraiting at times. They would separate, come together talk or not talk, ignore or cling. While I loved the love interests it bordered on obsession one chapter to disappearing in the next. I didn't love the courtship process, it felt jerky and without a natural flow.
It dragged on a bit too long on several sections, the mountain lessons, the traveling, the rehashing on the same thoughts. It needed so trimming for this reader. For a first book this was was amazing, it is rare to hit it out of the park with #1. Bravo Ms. Bates ( )
  TheYodamom | Jun 12, 2017 |
I would like to thank Del Rey /Penguin Random House, Goodreads and Callie Bates for the Advanced Reading Edition of "The Waking Land" by Callie Bates for my honest review. The genre for this book is Fantasy.

I would highly recommend "The Waking Land" for those readers who enjoy Fantasy and Magic.

Kudos to author Callie Bates for her amazing descriptions of the scenic location in the novel and her story-telling. I loved the adventure and twists and turns. I especially enjoyed the essence of magic and the land. There also is political discussions and debates about the rulers.

The characters were complex, complicated and confused. Lady Elena was kidnapped from her father's home when she was five years old by a man who becomes the new King. Elena has a love with plant live and the earth. After many years, she regards this King as her father. The King is poisoned and Elena is blamed.Elena is forced to look for her roots.

This story deals with betrayal, loyalty,power, magic and hope for peace. I enjoyed the suspense and thrilling action! ( )
  teachlz | Jun 9, 2017 |
Callie Bates first novel, The Waking Land is an exciting fantasy story that I can imagine becoming a good series. It has all the elements, a struggle for liberation from an oppressive regime, the awakening of lost knowledge, and the age-old struggle between magic and science all embodied by Elanna Valtai. She has been a hostage guaranteeing her father’s submission to the King for fourteen years, ever since she was five. Growing up among the Ereni, she identifies with them. She wants to be a botanist and has a fascination for science. But when the King is murdered and she is accused, she must flee, reluctantly, back to Caeris, her homeland that she has come to think of as backward and filled with superstition.

She is helped by Jahan, an ambassador from the Empire whom she instinctively trusts. It’s clear to readers before it’s clear to them that here is the love interest despite the complicating presence of Finn, the Young Pretender to the throne whom her father betrothed to her when she was five. The biggest complication, though maybe their salvation, is El’s growing magical power–power prohibited by the Empire that conquered their land over two hundred years ago. She has the power to manipulate the land and everything that comes from the land, wood, stones, and animals. Perhaps, if she could harness her power, they might have a chance.

I liked The Waking Land a lot. El’s magic is unique and fresh and when Bates writes about El’s union with the land it is lyrical and vivid. This is a new kind of magic and it’s exciting and imaginative. The internal struggle between science and magic is perhaps too easily resolved for Elanna, missing the opportunity to exploit her botanical expertise in employing her magical talent. Imagine if her interest in botany were not just a safe expression of her subsumed magical talent, but something she could use to enhance her talent.

I had to remind myself several times that El was just nineteen and that Stockholm Syndrome, whether named or not, clearly affected her worldview because her antipathy toward her homeland was extreme, to the point of endangering herself. After all, if you’re fleeing for your life, most of us would go with people associated with our family who are there to help rather than try to flee to third parties who could betray us. She also was troubled by secret guilt for her actions when she was five. I had no patience for that, a five year old does not have the awareness to be culpable in crimes of state.

Even with those few problems, The Waking Land is a strong fantasy story. It had a cadre of strong characters, some of them quite complicated, even inexplicably so. There is real hazard in this story and not all come through unscathed. The conceit of a land that can shift, trees that can not only sing in the breeze, but defend the land, and the magic that allows one to call the land into battle is fresh and lends itself to wonderfully descriptive passages with the land that were pure magic. While the story stands alone, it does seem primed for a sequel which I am already eagerly anticipating.

The Waking Land will be released June 27th. I received an e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley.

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/9780425284025/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Jun 6, 2017 |
This was a pretty enchanting and unique storyline in the fantasy genre with plenty of action, magic, love as well as an interesting introspective on human behavior.

The story is pretty intense with interesting characters she really tried to flesh out as the novel progressed making it one of those books you would want to reread in the future.

The pace was a little bit up and down so at times it seemed to drag then suddenly pick up at rollercoaster speed and there wasn’t enough detail in her world building as I felt there were still some holes when it came to the religious aspects of her story. The little bit of negative didn’t take away from the fact that ultimately this was a satisfying fantasy adventure with a strong female protagonist.
( )
  ttsheehan | Jun 5, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425284026, Hardcover)

In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

Advance praise for The Waking Land

“Callie Bates has written an exciting and involving first book, and she is clearly a writer of real talent.”—Terry Brooks

“A heartbreaking, enchanting, edge-of-the-seat read that held me captive from start to finish!”—Tamora Pierce

The Waking Land is all about rising to challenges, and it succeeds wonderfully.”—Charlaine Harris

“A simmering tale of magic that builds to a raging inferno, and hits like a cross between Brandon Sanderson and Pierce Brown.”—Scott Sigler

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 31 Jan 2017 09:31:06 -0500)

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