Wow! What an amazing story! The Elements of the Crown includes the first four novellas in The Elements of Kamdaria series: Ice Crown, Wind Crown, Dust Crown, and Flame Crown. A young-adult fantasy series, the story follows Talise on her journey to become Master Shaper, one of the most prestigious titles one can possess.
A Master Shaper has the innate ability to manipulate the four elements. I loved this element of the story! It is original, fascinating, and impressive. Many of the characters, including Talise and her friends, the emperor, and the guards, have the ability to manipulate the elements. Very cool!
Sidenote: I love to garden and would totally want to control earth. That would be so fun to plan!
Talise can control all four elements. She far surpasses all of her peers, except one, and she is the only person who can successfully manipulate ice. The powers that many characters have and the ways in which they manipulate the elements are described so vividly that I could easily imagine their exciting powers. From Aaden sculpting cherry blossom trees out of fire to Wendy teaching Talise how to manipulate wind for more accurate dagger throwing, the element shaping is spectacular!
The vivid world-building is also worth mentioning. Moody has created a fascinating dystopian society rife with harsh punishments, societal inequities, and rebellion. The setting heightens the suspense and aids in progressing the plot in an interesting and unique way.
Another highlight of the book is the slow-burning, enemies-to-love-interest romance. The relationship between Talise and Aaden is so complicated. At the start of the series, he is an arrogant and hurtful young man. I never thought he would become one of the most likable characters in the series. There is a depth to both Talise and Aaden that I appreciate. I found myself rooting for these two, both individually and as a couple.
One of my favorite parts sums up the way they feel about each other perfectly:
Her name rolled out of his mouth as if he’d been holding onto it for several days. As if he’d considered it, treasured it, and now he was just trying it out, seeing how it felt out in the open.
It felt amazing.
She hated herself for feeling like that, but she did. She wanted to hear him say it again."
Talise and Aaden both struggle with their past, with letting people in, and with learning to trust others. On top of that, they are each other’s fiercest competition, which adds an interesting layer to the story. Even with theses obstacles, there is an undeniable connection between them. I’m interested to see how their relationship progresses in future books.
This is an action-packed novel with well-developed characters and an interesting plot with a ton of twists and turns. I found it hard to put down. I want to know more about Talise and her journey and can’t wait to read more of this entertaining series.
I loved this book. It is divided into sections and each one is like a separate short book, which would provide nice stopping points for things like sleeping for those who have better self control than I do. I am intrigued by Talise and read this book straight through. It is told from the point of view of a female teenager from a fantasy kingdom made up of 3 concentric rings forming 3 castes. This series of 4 shorter books within one larger book takes place in the ring closest to the palace, the Crown. Talise grows up in the lowest level, an area worse than the slums, then is admitted to an academy in the upper level for children who are able to “shape” elements. Her skill is unmatched until a boy, Aaden, from the neighboring academy joins their class near their final months. They all compete for a position in the palace as Master Shaper, the one who can best shape all of the four elements. If Talise does not win, she is banished back to certain death in the Storm. Aaden has a burning desire to win as well. A bit of Airbender, a bit of Hunger Games. Some crazy plot twists I was not expecting but made sense when I looked back. I like it when you can step back and see the whole picture and not just a random, disconnected change of direction. I’m really enjoying Moody’s writing style. Moving on to the next in the series!
Book 1 (Ice Crown): This book is easily one of my new favorites- and I'm horrible at choosing favorites! Kay has earned a reader for life. The way she describes things- like emotions- is so unique and amazing! Not too mention the STORY itself is sooooo captivating! I actually read the short story version of this by being on her newsletter, and I couldn't stop thinking about how much I loved it. So when I saw it as a full book, I was more excited than a kid going to Disneyland! I ADORE this book and cannot wait for the rest of the series!!! I'll be waiting with baited breath!!! 😍 I cannot recommend it enough!
Book 2 (Wind Crown): This was even better than book 1!!! Though I was really upset when I reached the end on a huge cliffhanger. I startled my husband with my cry of despair... and it's 1 am lol. Oops.
This book had me hanging onto every page like no other. I adore it. The building romance is awesome, the characters are exceptional, and the story is easily one of my favorites. I'm absolutely DYING to read book 3.
I have a feeling I'm going to be putting my life on hold to binge it in one sitting the instant I get it!!
Book 3 (Dust Crown): I finished this at 1 am. I couldn't fall asleep until 5 am. The plot twist made my brain just go and go and it wouldn't turn off! Don't finish this right before bed lol. But honestly, holy crap. I adore these books. I never buy paperbacks anymore, but once these are available as a paperback, I'm going to leap at the chance. Dust crown did an especially good job of showing Talise's character growth. Everything is just getting more and more intense as I go... and I thought waiting for book 3 was hard! Waiting for book 4 is absolute torture!! (Of the best kind, obviously!)
Kay L Moody is a masterful storyteller. I can't believe these just keep getting better!
Book 4 (Flame Crown): I adore these books. They're just too short!! That is, of course, my ONLY complaint. I adore the main characters, the newfound depth in the bad guys, and how everything is just plain ramping up in Flame Crown. I am, as always, anxious for the next book. I read this one in 1-2 hours when I should have been sleeping because I just cannot stay away! I'm happy to hear there will be 12 books in the series, because these are just too short. I'm in no way finished with Talise and Kamdaria!!
Just one thing... brace yourself for the ending. Gosh, I hope that gets resolved how I want it to...
I was unsure at first if I would like the book. The second chapter is what hooked me. I got more information on how it would turn out. The friendships and the competition is great. Then there was a secret. I never would have guessed it. I probably should have but when it was revealed my mouth fell open in shock. Then the taking and rescuing. And the betrayal. Just heart wrenching. I was crying for her. On the second book and already feeling her emotions. Highly recommend.