Thank you so much to the author, Elise Kova, for sending me an ARC of this title!
Ice is in her blood.
Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.
Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira secretly meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.
But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.
Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.
A Trial of Sorcerers is the first book in a brand new, young adult, epic fantasy series intended for readers who love stories involving: sorcerer competitions, slow-burn romance, adventures to distant lands, and elemental magic.
A Trial of Sorcerers was my first Elise Kova book, and I really, really enjoyed it!
Eira, our main character, is a Waterrunner, someone who can control (you guessed it!) water, oftentimes in the form of ice. To my delight, Eira reminded me a lot of Elsa from Frozen (did you know that “Eira” means “snow” in Welsh?), and I was SO there for it! In the book, Eira struggles a lot when it comes to controlling her ice powers, largely because she has many emotional triggers linked to a traumatic event from her past that has left her with endless pain and guilt. Which leads me to my next point: Eira is such a layered, well written character who is very easy to root for and connect with. She’s someone who has been belittled and overlooked her entire life because of a mistake she made when she was young, so naturally, I had a lot of empathy for her and wanted to see her prove herself to the world. Overall, I just really loved Eira as a character! She’s stubborn, determined, and thirsty for knowledge, and I enjoyed getting to experience the story from her perspective.
Eira’s relationships with her friends and family were incredibly developed as well! For starters, her relationship with her older brother, Marcus, was so beautiful and heartwrenching… I couldn’t get enough of it. I also loved Eira’s budding romance with Cullen, a snarky, arrogant Windwalker (someone who can control wind). I love a good enemies-to-lovers arc (it’s easily my favorite trope ever), and this one was simply PERFECT! The banter between Eira and Cullen was EVERYTHING, and I loved the serious, emotional moments between them as well. This book ALSO contains the “Characters are about to get caught snooping around somewhere they shouldn’t be, so they start making out passionately as a cover-up” trope. So, if you’re into that (and honestly, why wouldn’t you be???), A Trial of Sorcerers is the book for you!
Now, enough about characters. Let’s talk about this book’s plot, which was fueled by constant mystery, political intrigue, and action! The story centers around a magical competition between sorcerers (hence the title, A Trial of Sorcerers), so, as one would expect, it was full of EPIC magical battles, trials, and obstacles courses! I could see all of the action sequences so vividly in my mind that it felt like I was watching a movie! I’m a firm believer that the best books are the ones that make you forget you’re reading, and that’s what this one did to me!
All in all, A Trial of Sorcerers was a phenomenal book that I had so much fun reading. I can hardly wait for book two, A Hunt of Shadows, to come out, but in the meantime, I’ll be exploring all of the other books set in the Air Awakens universe!
If you like fantasy books packed full of magic, secrets, competitions, and romance, A Trial of Sorcerers is definitely the book for you!