Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Title: The Waking Land
Author: Callie Bates
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Del Rey Books


Lady Elanna Valtai 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.


I was gifted a copy of this book after dragging Maui across the ocean to restore the heart of Te Fiti because I am Moana. (You're welcome.) I thought it would be rather rude to not read the book gifted to me by a goddess, so once I found my way back home to the island, I told everybody to leave me alone so I could read it, figuring it held some special kernels of wisdom for me about being a way finder. It didn't, I don't think, but Maui was a pretty good teacher I guess. In fact, this book was a lot more like my life BEFORE I set off to return the heart than anything. 

I really related to Elanna's inner conflict about battling the kingdom that she called home for so many years. I mean I couldn't wait to get off the island that my parents swore was the best and safest place for me, but if I didn't go against their wishes, I know we all would have died so I had to do what I had to do, just like Elanna and her rebellion. I was lucky that I had Grandmother and the Ocean in my corner, otherwise I probably never would have succeeded. Elanna was not so lucky, although if her adoptive father hadn't been murdered she probably wouldn't have had to fight against the kingdom in the first place. 

I guess maybe this book was just a way for Te Fiti to say thanks for going against my family's wishes and persisting in my goal to give her heart back, and an acknowledgement on her part of just what I went through to do that. I suppose it's an acceptable thank you. Also, my island is no longer dying, and that's a major plus. 

I give this book 4 1/2 shiny magic hooks. 

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About the Author

Callie Bates is a writer, harpist and certified harp therapist, sometimes artist, and nature nerd. When she’s not creating, she’s hitting the trails or streets and exploring new places. She lives in the Upper Midwest. The Waking Land is her debut fantasy novel.

Alternate Reviews

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