{Review/Giveaway} THREATS OF SKY AND SEA by Jennifer Ellision

Follow the Tour!

August 17 - Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours - Kick Off
August 17 - YA Book Madness 
August 19 - Wishful Endings with Interview
August 20 - Coffee Book Mom
August 21 - A Backwards Story with Interview
August 22 - J.R.'s Book Reviews
August 23 - Kelly Smith Reviews with Guest Post
August 24 - Mama Reads, Hazel Reads 
August 26 - The Book Dragon with Interview
August 27 - Bibliobibuli Book Blog 
August 28 - The Fake Steph with Interview
August 28 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up

Check out today's interview with Jennifer Ellision!

Be sure to also visit Jen's guest post
on the Top Ten Things to Know About Elementals and the Elements from last year's tour stop!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  I AM ALREADY FROZEN WHEN THE scream reaches me.
  The air bites my ears and numbs my hands. Seeking warmth, I burrow into the coat I'm wearing. The forest is still around me, the dead wood asleep. The distant river plays a lullaby.
  I thought I was alone.
(page 7, US ebook edition)

This review was first posted on A Backwards Story on June 16, 2014.

Stop back next week for my review of the brand-new novel in the series, RIOT OF STORM AND SMOKE!

I've had a soft spot for books and movies that feature elemental magic since I was a child, one that's never faded over the years. In fact, with each new, amazing series, my love for the sub-genre only grows stronger. When I heard that Jennifer Ellision, who blogs on The Bevy Bibliothèque, was coming out, not just with a novel featuring princes and princesses, but one about elemental magic, I wanted it. When I saw the cover, I wanted it even more. With the e-book sitting at $3.99, a fraction of the paperback's price, it's a no-brainer. 

Breena thought she was an ordinary girl. Her and her father own a bar, and Bree helps out as a barmaid. But when Adepts, or Elementals, come sniffing around her village, she realizes that her dad is more than he appears. He's been lying to her about her entire past. He was once the Egrian King's Rider, his best friend...and is now a traitor to the Crown. By association, so is Bree, and this not-so-benevolent king decides to behead her before throwing her father in jail...until his son, Prince Caden, steps in. He doesn't agree with his fathers iron rule and seeks out justice. Bree--now Lady Breena and heir to her father's duchy, has to learn about the society she's been forced into. The king hates his son for putting him on the spot, and hates Bree for her very existence. She's constantly watched and spied upon, as well as experimented on by the king and his "tutors" to see if she has any latent elemental magic of her own. With the King intent on war with another country in order to add to his lands, will he notice his son plotting against him beneath his nose, or will Caden and Bree be able to overthrow him before violence ensues?

Reading THREATS OF SKY AND SEA reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender--in a good way. Depending on the type of land a kingdom held (landlocked, island, etc.), the land's people were prone to have one elemental ability over another. There was also special terminology used for each type of elemental, and Adepts were skilled at one type of element. The book is also nothing like the series in many ways, but if you're a fan of the TV show, you'll love this book featuring elemental magic and a power-crazed king. It's also a great series for fans of Brigid Kemmerer's popular Elemental series, albeit with less romance (So far. We're only in book one, after all!) I really liked the way Ellision has begun building her world, and can't wait for more details and development on the various types of elemental magic going forward.  

Bree is a strong female protagonist, which we're seeing more and more of in today's YA fantasy (And I approve!). She's grown so much as a character and, additionally, she doesn't wait for a guy to save her. She knows how to punch and kick and jab when it counts! I also liked the introduction to Prince Caden, the king's ward Princess Aleta, and an Adept named Tregle. Together with Bree, this foursome has a strong core dedicated to doing good in the world. There wasn't nearly enough of Caden, but with the king's Rider Lady Katerine always listening in, this makes sense. Princess Aleta was prickly and unlikable at first, but she really grew on my by the novel's end. And I was also back and forth on Tregle for a while, if only because I didn't know where his loyalties were. He may not necessarily be a good person, since darkness touches him, but his intentions are good, and that's what counts. 

I'm already looking forward to reading the novella SISTERS OF WIND AND FLAME, even though it's from the despicable Lady Katerine's POV as well as the sequel, RIOT OF STORM AND SMOKE.

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( mild kissing )
Language: PG ( "one use of "hell" that I noticed )
Violence: PG ( non-graphic fantasy death )
Other: --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Her short hair!
And that pretty, pretty font. Those S's, mmm!

...is there anything I don't like?
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Jennifer Ellision
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: Jennifer Ellision
Find It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

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