Search Results for: The Waking Land

REVIEW: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Read: June 25-27, 2017

Format: ARC Ebook

My Book Rating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Random House, Del Rey Books

Release Date: June 27, 2017

Genre: YA / NA Fantasy

Pages: 400

Reading Challenge(s): Flights of Fantasy



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.


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


First of all, can we look at this cover? How cool is this cover! And it’s entirely appropriate for this book. Like, I can’t think of any cooler cover for this book. It perfectly sums up the story and the character Elanna.

So, as far as I can tell this is a stand alone fantasy novel. It’s billed as YA, but it’s really more upper YA into NA due to one steamy scene. I hope this becomes a series though, because I was blown away. I’m just not sure what is left of the story to tell… but I’d still read it!

This world and magic system is so cool. Basically, El lives in a country where magic is outlawed. If someone is suspected of magic, the Witch Hunters are called, and it’s a death sentence. So El doesn’t tell anyone that plants come alive around her – one touch of her finger and she can make them grow. She has big plans of going off for further training to be a botanist. Of course, the king might have other plans, like an arranged marriage.

No worries about that whole arranged marriage by the king thing though, because the king is murdered. Oh, and El is one of the prime suspects. And aside from taking her away from her parents and homeland at five years old to become a political prisoner—due to her father leading a rebellion, she actually kind of liked the guy. So begins her tale. She goes through a lot of changes of heart in this book, starting with not wanting anything to do with her parents. Not wanting to accept her magic. Wanting things to stay the same for her in King Antoine’s court.

El’s journey is a long one. Like, this book could have been broken into like, at least a trilogy, but it wasn’t, and I’m glad the author chose to keep it as one book. It meant no wait time to finish this journey!

The magic in this book is so cool. The land is literally alive and that power lives inside Elanna. There’s a lot of talk of the ancestors and ancient magics and so on. I loved it.

The romance? I don’t know if I was just in the mood for this kind of romance or what, but I immediately fell under Jahan’s charms. His personality was just so… charming! And he’s got secrets of his own. He was very easy going and had a nice sense of humor.

This review does this book no justice. Seriously, none. I can’t even describe all the feels. I can say this though, I did not want to put this book down. Most times I have my specific reading times and I stick to them. With this book? That went out the window. I read and read, and then I read some more. Until I’d devoured this entire thing in 3 days time—which is pretty quick for me for a book this long.

So, long story short: fans of YA fantasy tales with really cool and unique magic systems and a swoon worthy love interest will enjoy this story.

Get the Book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

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It’s been fourteen years, last night. Fourteen year since King Antoine took me hostage; fourteen years since I’ve seen or heard from my parents.


I’m supposed to be safe here, safe to taunt myself with a magic I am not supposed to possess. A magic I still don’t understand.


I have no power but the king’s mercurial affection, which would vanish as soon as anyone named me a witch.


For a moment, I forget to be afraid. I just want to listen. I want to understand what the plants are saying.


“Jahan what?” I demand. “And I’ll thank you to state your intentions as well!”

A snort escapes him: He’s definitely trying not to laugh. “Jahan Korakides, at your service, demoiselle. I swear to you, my intentions are nothing but honorable.”

“Indeed?” I say. “A man takes a woman—by magic—and knocks her senseless, and she comes to on a horse in the middle of the night, and she’s supposed to assume his intentions are honorable?”


But I won’t use my magic to help them. It’s too dangerous, and it gives others ideas. It makes them think I might be what they want me to be.


“But you never came for me,” I say. “You left me there. You left me—”

“No,” she says fiercely. “I was always with you. Every day. Every moment. I am your mother, and I was with you.”


There’s a story in which Wildegarde makes an entire forest grow overnight; the next morning, the trees rip their roots from the ground and walk.


“…The Ereni had to fight their way through shifting forests and hills; they drowned in streams that appeared out of nowhere and valleys that seemed never to end. So by the time they reached Barrony, they wanted more than conquest. They were half mad. They wanted blood.”


The earth knew what I wanted. It did as I asked.


“So you trust me now?” His breath touches my face; his fingertips linger on my neck.

“Maybe,” I say with a laugh that catches in my throat.


Deja Revu – July 3, 2017

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.






General Fiction



Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic


General Fiction















Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic






Science Fiction


Women’s Fiction



2017 Reading Challenges

So many challenges to choose from! Last year was my first and a learning experience. We’ll see how this year goes!



Bonsai – Read 12,000 pages
Shrub – Read 24,000 pages
Dwarf Peach – Read 36,000 pages
Apple Tree – Read  48,000 pages
Oak – Read 60,000 pages
Douglas Fir – Read 72,000 pages
Sequoia – Read 84,000 pages
Redwood – Read 84,001+ pages

I’m sure I can hit Bonsai level – 12,000 pages
I’m shooting for Shrub, 24,000 pages

2017 Retellings Challenge

Hashtag #RetellingsRC2017

The Challenge:

  • For readers to read retellings of stories we know well from their chosen level in 2016:
    • Easy: 1-4 retellings
    • Medium: 5-8 retellings
    • Hard: 9-12 retellings
    • Difficult: 12+ retellings


I’m not sure how many more retellings are left for me to read, but I’m looking forward to this!

  1. Snow White’s Revenge by Casey Lane (SNOW WHITE)
  2. Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland #0) by K. R. Thompson (PETER PAN)
  3. Alice In Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter (ALICE IN WONDERLAND)
  4. Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST)
  5. It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (CINDERELLA)
  6. Tell The Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan (A TALE OF TWO CITIES)



1. Mortality by Kellie Sheridan
2. Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead
3. Snow White’s Revenge by Casey Lane
4. Amp’d by Ken Pisani
5. Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland #0) by K. R. Thompson
6. Some Boys by Patty Blount
7. Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch
8. More Than Friends (Friends #2) by Monica Murphy
9. Alice In Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter
10. Leaving Yesterday (Laurel Falls #1) by Zoe Dawson
11. Secret Vampire (Night World #1) by L. J. Smith
12. My Delicate Destruction (Wolfgang #1) by Jillian Ashe
13. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
14. The Haunted Heist (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #3) by Angie Fox
15. Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
16. Her Darkest Nightmare (Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #1) by Brenda Novak
17. Cure for the Common Breakup (Black Dog Bay #1) by Beth Kendrick
18. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (republished)
19. Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan: Storm Born Volume 1
20. Paper Hearts by Ali Novak (The Heartbreakers #2) (republished)
21. Live Fast, Die Young by Vanessa Barneveld
22. Pucked by Rachel Walter




Guideline: Read one book of at least 100 pages.

Requirement: Book should have a main character or significant secondary character that fits one of the LGBTQI or A requirements.

  1. 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac

THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it’s supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic
France – Cure for the Common Breakup (Black Dog Bay #1) by Beth Kendrick
Italy – Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Republic of Macedonia
San Marino
United Kingdom – The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
Vatican City

Hashtag #flightsoffantasy

My goal is 10 fantasy reads for 2017. I’m thinking I might be setting the bar low though, so I may come back and reassess at a later date.


  1. Snow White’s Revenge by Casey Lane
  2. Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland #0) by K. R. Thompson
  3. Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch
  4. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  5. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
  6. Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
  7. The Waking Land by Callie Bates
  8. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  9. Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan: Storm Born Volume 1
  10. Windwitch by (The Witchlands #2) Susan Dennard
  11. Waters of Salt and Sin (Uncommon World #1) by Alisha Klapheke
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Deja Revu: February 13th, 2017

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.