Blog Tour: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Today I am taking part in The Waking Land blog tour with a review, to celebrate the release of the paperback edition. I read the book a few months ago and honestly loved it. 

Thanks to the guys at Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour. It's much appreciated.

The Waking Land by Callie Bates
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Released 29th June
400 Pages

It's been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father's rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she's come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again... but this time by her father's mysterious righthand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna's veins. Now she must decide which side she's on, and whether she'll use her powers for mercy... or revenge.


I have really been in YA Fantasy at the moment, it may be due to the fact I am writing a fiction piece in the genre for my Masters Final Project but yeah. The Waking Land is a book that I knew I would like from the first moment I found out about it and when I received a copy I was so excited to start reading, I literally couldn't wait. 

Fourteen years ago Elanna was taken hostage by King Antoine after her father's rebellion failed. Four the last fourteen years she has been raised by a man she has grown to love as a father. Now at the age of 20, she is about to taken hostage again but this time by her father's righthand man. Her father wants to start up his rebellion again and this time using Elanna as a figurehead. Elanna has earth magic which could make the whole earth tremble. Elanna is torn between what side to be and if she will use her strong powers for revenge or mercy.

I'll admit it did take me a while to get to grips with the story and the plot as there were so many elements to take in and it did get a bit confusing. For the first 100 or so pages a lot of world-building takes place and it makes you wonder if the story is really going to get going. This may cause some people to give up but did I? Of course not! Soon enough my perseverance paid off and I was soon engrossed in the amazing story.

Elanna's earth magic really intrigued me and I was immersed in the details of how she came to possess it and her love for it that I didn't want to stop reading about it. Seeing her come to grips with her powers and learning to accept them was something that really did touch me. Towards the end she was at one with her magic and was proud of it. For that I say good for her! I also loved her growth as a character. It's always good when there's good character development in fiction and with Elanna it certainly showed. She was a true heroine. 

With regards to characters I felt drawn to each and everyone for different reasons. I especially loved Jahan, Finn and Sophy. These were the ones that stood out the most to be, as well as Elanna..obviously. There is one moment regarding one of these characters that shocked me to the core, I didn't see it happening and my prediction of what would happen to this certain character was most certainly wrong. I love when that happens.

There were a few points in the story that were pretty predictable, especially when it came to romance. I just knew who Elanna was going to fall in love with at the very beginning. You don't need to have romance in YA and it can be seen as a bit of a cliche but with this particular one I felt like it was needed to move the story in the direction it was headed. 

The Waking Land despite it's shaky start turned out to be an amazing, magical, action packed read that kept me hooked. I was thinking about it long after I turned the last page. For a debut it's outstanding and I for one cannot wait to read the next book in the series.


Author Bio

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 and first in a planned trilogy.
She occasionally writes nonfiction. Her essays have appeared in Shambhala SunThe Best Buddhist Writing 2012All Things Girl and online journals.

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