Fire Falling by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #2
Rating: 5 stars
Rating: 5 stars
Published: November 15th 2015
Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?
Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?
Elise Kova, you've done it again. You've ripped out my heart with this sequel to Air Awakens and I was in such a shock the days after I finished Fire Falling. Did all of that just happen? I'm going to try to steer clear of all the spoilers, but this was how I felt after reading the ending.
I gave a copy of the book to my friend for her birthday too, and her reaction mimicked mine.
In Fire Falling, Vhalla is coping with everything that has happened in Air Awakens - her trial, the death of her friend, the loss of everything she once knew. By coping, I'd say the poor girl was a mess. I actually was confused by this, because after the epic final scenes of Air Awakens (when Vhalla cuts her hair and embraces her air powers and swears to become stronger), I thought that would happen in the sequel. But the way Elise Kova wrote out Vhalla's development made sense. Vhalla is human; after everything, she was bound to break down eventually.
That doesn't mean there was less of badass!Vhalla. All the crap she goes through for being a Windwalker, and this one quote in particular struck me -
"I am not your enemy," she whispered in a disturbingly calm voice. "So I cannot die this day. I will not die until you see the truth."
What I liked about Fire Falling was the focus on the relationships Vhalla has in the army. Her friendships strengthen immensely with Larel, Fritz, Daniel, Baldair, and Aldrik. Well, something more than friendship improves with Aldrik, if you catch my drift.
"If you want me to remove myself from your life, all you have to do is say the word." There was no levity to his declaration.
Vhalla quickly looked askance, saving them from impropriety and hiding the blush that had found its way to her cheeks at his apparent attentions.
"I think," she started softly, "that I like playing with fire."
She made the mistake of giving him her focus, and Aldrik's serious gaze consume it whole. "One day, I will be Emperor. I could make anything you pleased."Aldrik is one swoon-worthy guy and every time him and Vhalla interacted with each other -
"Why?" Vhalla whispered.
"Because..." He was at a momentary loss for words. Then the prince did something he had a reputation for avoiding. He met her gaze and showed her truth from which he spoke. "I would do it because it would please you."
For the others, I must say, I'm very happy we got more to see more Larel/Vhalla friendship development in Fire Falling. Larel is the older sister I never had, and she's the most patient and protective person, putting up with Vhalla's drama. Fritz, Larel, and Vhalla are like the three musketeers! If only I could draw the three of them...
Long story short, there was a whole lot of romance, a whole lot of friendship, and everything developed and progressed at a steady speed. Many of the characters that were briefly introduced in Air Awakens were developed more so and played a big role here! Looking at my favorite Firerunner Larel.
The ending of this book makes me extremely excited for Earth's End, which comes out in a month! One prediction I have? Vhalla will return stronger than ever, this time because she has no choice since there's no one to hold her up anymore.
What did you think of Fire Falling? I hope you loved it as much as I did!