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A Trial of Sorcerers #1

A Trial of Sorcerers

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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 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.

This is the first book in a young adult, epic fantasy that's a tale of competition, coming of age, distant lands, elemental magic, and romance. It's perfect for fans of the Legend of Korra, Truthwitch, and A Sorcery of Thorns.

355 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 4, 2021

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About the author

Elise Kova

38 books11.7k followers
Join Elise's mailing list to never miss a giveaway, release, sale, and more: https://elisekova.com/subscribe/

ELISE KOVA is a USA Today bestselling author. She enjoys telling stories of fantasy worlds filled with magic and deep emotions. She lives in Florida and, when not writing, can be found playing video games, drawing, chatting with readers on social media, or daydreaming about her next story.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 762 reviews
Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
396 reviews2,067 followers
May 18, 2021
That was actually a lot better than I expected especially after the mess that was A Deal with the Elf King

And I actually guessed all the plot twists for once omg I'm a *genius*

I really loved Air Awakens , but found Vortex Visions (at least the first book) a disappointment, so I was pretty skeptical to read A Trial of Sorcerers. Still, that cover was gorgeous and I missed the world of Solaris, so I thought to give it a shot.

And thank god I did because I adored this.

My emotions were all over the place. I would laugh at the certain ridiculous scenes, rage at how messed up certain people were, or laughing like a maniac at the certain things that happened to certain beings.

i should stop using 'certain'

"You have to move on eventually. Throw your hat in the ring. Fight to be a competitor."

It's been 3 years since Eira's unfortunate accident in killing someone. Everyone around Eira fears these powers she possesses and constantly think of her as a murderer. And so, she's lived in her older brother's shadow, always silent and trying to go unnoticed.

Until one day, the elfin delegation from across the continent, Meru, arrives and announces a tournament to be taking place in the near future with only the strongest sorcerers. All her life, Eira's been put down by everyone, so here's an opportunity to prove herself and most importantly, her parents. Little does she know that there's more this tournament than it seems...

"She was the one in charge of her own destiny; and, now that she knew this feeling, Eira would never let anyone take it from her again."

Eira was definitely not was I was expecting and I found it really nice. Literally almost everyone around her was such a jerk and wow, was she actually mature with some of the situations she faced. I don't know how she remained calm when so many accusations were thrown at her. I would've lost it and fought these people.

Although obviously she did lose it at times, but I mean, makes sense when you see what was happening. I seriously hated so many characters in this book. I didn't even think it was possible to despise Fritz, the guy I loved in Air Awakens, but it happened.

Many others I despised, however there was this certain person that I seriously wanted to murder and I won't say who it is, but they had it coming and I did not feel bad at all. Call me cruel, but I literally laughed when it happened. wow, i really am cruel *cough* no regrets *cough* I'm curious to see how this'll change things in the next book though.

“Kiss me and we’ll both make it out of this unscathed.”

You know what I love?

When two characters are sneaking around in an area they're not supposed to be in and are about to get caught, so they have a "pretend" make-out session as an excuse to get out of the situation, telling the other that it's 'fake'-

I cannot.
Those are literally one of my fav scenes.

From that moment, I started shipping Eira and this certain person so hard, especially with the many scenes they had together after.🥺 And it's hilarious considering how I despised said person. I legit wanted to kill them and throw them into a volcano, but now- *swooon*

So I guess, you could say this was an enemies-to-lovers for me😏

Also, shout-out to Alyss for being an amazing best friend to Eira. She was true family UNLIKE CERTAIN PEOPLE. *rage*


🛑This part isn't really a spoiler, although it may be considered a spoiler to some, so here's a warning in case.🛑

Okay, but something that didn't make sense is that the synopsis mentions how candidates weren't expecting to not make it out with their lives--

But like that part doesn't even happen until close to the end of the book, so it's pretty weird that they included that in the synopsis. You'd think that because it was there, it'd play a big role in the plot but it didn't really?? I mean, it's not a big deal for me, just confused as to why they'd showcase this book as kind of involving murders happening during the tournament when that didn't even happen until the end? Hmm strange, very strange indeed.


I honestly still can't believe I got all the plot twists. Like that literally never happens, so I feel very accomplished right now.

Anyways, overall I really enjoyed this and am so looking forward to the next book. Especially for more romance. I want more angsty moments and steamy scenes. Although, this is going to be 5 books and said to be slow-burn so I may have to wait awhile :' )

"The walls could talk, and they had secrets."

ALSO, THERE WAS BARELY ANY ALDRIK *sobs* I mean, I shouldn't have expected much but still :(


Buddy read with my demon bestie, Mashiee <33 loved our convos omg they were golden👌 especially our rage over certain characters


Pre-read Review:

honestly, im mostly reading this to hopefully be reunited with Aldrik🥺
Profile Image for jessica.
2,481 reviews29.8k followers
September 5, 2021
finally! i have been waiting for the day when i could pick this up! the cover reminded me of ‘sorcery of thorns’ and the synopsis made me think of the benders from avatar competing in the tri-wizard tournament, so was super excited to read this when i first heard about it. but this just one of many series already set in the air awakens world, so its been on the back-burner until i could read the previous books.

and the wait was worth it! as with EKs other books, the pacing is quick, the stakes are high, the magic is fabulous, and the characters are readable. while the other books set in the air awakens world focus on war and court politics, i like that this pivots to a competition. it allows for some fun moments between the characters and good displays of magic. some key points were super predictable, but it didnt lessen my enjoyment one bit.

overall, an excellent addition to the long list of interconnected books/series. cant wait to see how the story continues!

note: while this technically can be read without having picked up any of EKs other series set in the air awakens universe, i would highly reading those books first (at least ‘the air awakens’) to get a fuller world-building context, as many of the key characters are present and events are referred to in this.

4 stars
Profile Image for Paige ♠.
280 reviews747 followers
March 2, 2021
This book surprised me with how much I enjoyed it! I was nervous going in because I thought it might be a little too YA for my tastes lately, but even though it’s definitely YA, I was still able to really enjoy it.

I ALWAYS LOVE TOURNAMENT plot lines and this was no exception. The drama between contestants and watching the characters complete tasks is just always so fun to read about

🆗 EVEN THOUGH THE STORY WAS PREDICTABLE I still enjoyed it. I knew the twist was coming because there was a little too much foreshadowing, but I didn’t know how everything would come together so there was still a feeling of suspense about the end. Overall, the ending was more intense and sad than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise for a YA book

EIRA’S FAMILY ISSUES and her corresponding emotions were written really well. Even though I couldn’t personally relate to her situation because my family has always been very supportive, I was still able to sympathize and understand her feelings. I felt so bad for her situation and wanted to punch her family members for being so overbearing (even Fritz, who I never thought I could dislike!)

I ENJOYED SEEING CHARACTERS from Air Awakens and Vortex Visions. You definitely don’t need to read these two series to enjoy this book - it’s more just an added bonus if you already have. I especially liked the evil sorceress that made an appearance and her involvement in the plot. I am super excited to see how this develops in the next book!

🆗 THE ROMANCE was only okay, but I expected this going in. Elise has said there will be five books in this series and the romance will be a very slow burn, so I’ll just have to suck it up and wait it out 😆 There was sort of a love triangle, and a very minimal amount of kissing, but the main relationship is forming in a realistic and natural way so I’m excited to see how it progresses in the later books!

THE SISTERLY FRIENDSHIP between Eira and Alyss was well written and one of my favorite things about the story. Since Eira couldn’t rely on her family for support, Alyss stepped in and was always the one there to keep Eira motivated and laughing

Overall, I think I will like this series better than Vortex Visions, which was a little disappointing to me. I recommend this if you're looking for a fun world full of elemental magic that looks like it's going to be a promising and long series. I can’t wait to read the next one!

Thank you so much Elise Kova for sharing an arc with me. I would gladly review any book you write 😁
Profile Image for Elise Kova.
Author 38 books11.7k followers
March 4, 2021
Per usual, I'm taking this review space to add some notes and thoughts about the book...

A TRIAL OF SORCERERS felt like a return to everything I loved about young adult fantasy. There's so much I love about Eira as a character and the journey I've set her on in this book. She's a character that starts out somewhat gray and throughout the series I intend to push her to the limits. While I know not every book is for everyone... I hope you're willing to give A TRIAL OF SORCERERS a shot and, if you do, I hope you enjoy it.

Some housekeeping/Book FAQ...

You can see all retailer links on my website: https://elisekova.com/a-trial-of-sorc...

Also, if you want to read an exclusive, free sample of chapters 1-3, you can do so by subscribing to my newsletter: https://elisekova.com/subscribe/

A TRIAL OF SORCERERS is the first book in a series that I'm expecting to be between 3-5 books (I'll know how long the story needs to be when I tuck into writing book 3).

It is set in the Air Awakens universe, but you don't need to read any of the Air Awakens books. New readers can start here!

The standard hardcover has designs under the dust jacket. There are currently (As of release on March 4, 2021) no special editions of this book.

The cover illustrator is Marie Magny. Her art station is: https://www.artstation.com/skyzocat

Character Card Illustrations were done by Sutthiwat Dechakamphu: https://www.artstation.com/sutthiwat

Thank you for your interest in my work, and happy reading!
159 reviews78 followers
Want to read
February 25, 2021
Hi, I shamelessly added this because of the cover
Profile Image for Lucie V..
982 reviews1,527 followers
Want to read
January 2, 2022
Question for those who have already read the book: Do I need to read the whole Vortex Vision series before I read this one or no? Because I read the first book last year and I was not impressed... but this one looks really good and I bought the Kindle because it was on sale! 😕

I am always amazed by the covers of Elise Kova's books. I just hope this book will be better than Vortex Visions.

Profile Image for Madison.
412 reviews4,283 followers
May 11, 2022
Full Rating: 4.5 Stars

"She was the one in charge of her own destiny; and, now that she knew this feeling, Eira would never let anyone take it from her again."

A beautiful beginning to a high-stakes fantasy series that will have you rooting for the heroine from the very first page.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author for review but all thoughts are my own*

I flew through this book in two sittings, it was utterly addictive and easy to follow. I did give this book 4.5 stars because the "villain" of book 1 was quite obvious and I felt like a certain event did not get enough emotional attention from our MC.

This was my first Elise Kova book and I am kicking myself for not picking up the copy of Air Awakens currently sitting on my shelf first. No, you do not need to read that series before this one. However, the MC from that book is the current Empress in this one and we do get to see a fair amount of her - I can only imagine how much more exciting it would be if I had read her journey. If you can, pick up the Air Awakens series first. If you can't, no worries.

I fell in love with the magic system in this book. I am always a sucker for elemental magic, and when it is done right my heart sings. Kova has an interesting take on elemental magic and the different depths a sorcerer can delve into with their well of magic. The magic system is laced with an underlying hint that if a person is pushed too far their magic is something to truly fear. I grasped on to the mechanics of Eira's waterrunner magic quite quickly but I only understand the basics of the other three systems - something that I think the previous series would've helped fill.

I adored Eira (pronounced AYE-rah). From the moment I met her I was in her corner as a cheerleader. She has immense power for a waterrunner and is able to hear voices of the past. In the beginning of the book you see how much she wants to embrace her power, but how scared she is of it at the same time. She carries the guilt of accidentally killing a fellow sorcerer when her magic ran rampant three-years prior, and has tried to remain on on the straight-and-narrow ever since. But the people around her seem hell-bent on keeping her tied down and sheltered from ever becoming more. Eira is deeply hurt by the people she trusts and builds up walls around her heart, literally and figuratively. This first book is about Eira learning that she shouldn't be ashamed of her power and that she has the right to forge her own future. I am really interested to see how her character will continue to develop because she has begun to take a dip into the darker side of magic and vengeance.

I loved the little teasers we got to the slow-burn romance that will be taking place over this five-book series. I am definitely shipping the two of them and think that they compliment one-another beautifully. This first book is very PG in the romance, and though Kova has revealed that it will become more mature as the series progresses it will never be explicit.

The female-friendship between Eira and her bestfriend Alyss was wonderful. I loved how they not only understood one-another without words, but that we got scenes of them hanging out in amicable silence while reading. They were fiercely loyal and loving and it made me really happy. I do think their friendship took a backseat in the later half of the novel, but it made sense with the urgency of the plot.

Like I said earlier, I never trusted the person who was the villain from the start. I always had this inkling that there was something wrong with them and their motives. However, I only took off a quarter of a star for that predictability.

The last quarter of a star I took off was because

Overall, I am even more excited to go back and read Air Awakens now and cannot believe I have to wait for the sequel to come out. This series is only getting started and I know it will only become more epic from here out.
Profile Image for Mango.
191 reviews304 followers
Want to read
June 6, 2021
That cover is...GORGEOUS. Omg when I get this, I will be staring at the cover for half an hour straight before getting to the actual story. Excited to read this one!
Profile Image for ☆she's book obsessed☆.
425 reviews145 followers
September 14, 2021
A Trial of Sorcerers

Trigger warnings:

Why do I listen to booktok, every time this happens I get disappointed.

I thought there would be more romance because someone said it was academic rivals enemies to lovers. But let me tell you something; there was barely ANYTHING.

It was fairly easy to guess the plot twists, it has been awhile since I’ve read fantasy but this was too easy not gonna lie-

Sorcery of Thorns was AMAZING, this book couldn’t even begin to compare to one of my faves. It was better than A Deal with The Elf King though.

I read this whole book for her to reject him. No thank you.

I’ll need to read some reviews of the second book before I consider reading it, because right now I’m NOT interested in the least.

I have to add that the world building and the book as a whole was really solid!
Profile Image for VICTORIA EDWARDS.
308 reviews95 followers
April 3, 2022
I absolutely adore Elise and I feel like of all her newest content this series is the one most up my alley! I loved the new protagonist, Eira was amazing and I can’t wait to learn more about her! I definitely enjoyed the setting and the nostalgia that it brought out! I can’t wait to get to know Meru and everyone else! I will have to withhold anymore judgment because this is just the first book but definitely a strong start !!
Profile Image for Naia Pard.
535 reviews81 followers
March 13, 2021
I stopped having high expectations from this author. I still enjoy her books, but I got accustomed to the idea that they would be more inclined to conform to the trend than pay attention to its plot or characters` development.

This is the story of a girl that has magical powers. She has an affinity with water (I had to kind of guess that, because for the most part she doesn`t do anything with water, the only bizarre thing that happens with her is that she can hear voices—I pegged her for an air-something).

She is a sorceress and her big brother is a sorcerer and they both have a place in the Tower of sorcerers. They are good students. They are talented. They are specials. Nothing mysterious there, we are deep in the trope.

The conflict of the book is centered around this trail that they have to take in order to compete in an even bigger trailer. This prospective tired me. Just to thing that I have to stand by and follow not just one trial but more than one!? I would better participate in those trials myself!

“Look, he’s going to try.” A young apprentice walked forward, hesitating at the edge of the flames. He had the capped sleeves of a Firebearer. Yet, apprehension radiated off of him. He looked like he was barely fifteen.”

Needless to say that this brought strong Harry Potter flashbacks. I almost expected that boy to have a discussion with Dumbledore in the back room.

There were parts that I enjoyed, of course. I liked that the heroine wouldn`t let herself be downplayed. I liked that she had powers. I liked that she had dreams. I liked that she kissed.

However, there were so many buffs. There were so many parts with which I struggled. I get that you`d build a book on easy-to-sell tropes, but I would have liked that at least those tropes that have become already too expired to be plucked out. For example, let`s take the instance of the moment the heroine is invited to the ball.
Of course that a dress is brought to her. She doesn`t even have the time to get anxious that she doesn`t have something to wear for the ball, that she has already received the dress on her bed.

“Her usual hems were looser-fitting pieces that actually gave her room to move. This clung to her frame, giving her shapes that Eira hadn’t realized were there.
Ah, the illusions that could be wrought with good tailoring.
The door on the Tower side of the hall opened, finally, and Cullen strode through in all his court finery. He came to a sudden stop, as if walking into an invisible wall, and just stared. Eira’s feet halted as she did the same.”

a bit tired of the trope "going to ball". I don't like it anymore. The guy always sends the girl a gown--god knows how HE got tailors in his pockets, to spring gowns here and there. It is creepy that he knows her exact measurements. Also, there are these little tableaus of jealousy wrought into the material of the trope, i.e. there is usually a lady that comes to flirt with the main guy while our gal is still present. The lady will be, unavoidably, described as an obnoxious man-stealer.

“It’s not common for you to bring a lady with you. What should we think of this development?” Allora adjusted the furs around her shoulders with a serpentine grin.”

Was serpentine-grin necessary?

“Kiss me and we’ll both make it out of this unscathed.”

or the necessity of kissing as a way to extricate themselves from a dangerous situation.

It is a reasonably good book, but nothing above appropriate-average.

Instagram\\my Blog\\

February 28, 2021
꧁ 3.5 stars ꧂

as a newbie to the air awakens universe, i was introduced to the magic system super quickly! i loved the worldbuilding and the range of characters, and i think the pacing was great!

short synopsis with no spoilers: eira landan is 18 years old, she is an apprentice at the tower of sorcerers, and she has an older brother, marcus, who is the "star child" but he takes care of eira a lot because eira accidentally did something bad three years prior. so the main plot is: there is a trial of sorts, to pick the best sorcerers to go to this competition in the neighbouring country, meru. eira really really wants to go, but everyone else is telling her to not do the trials and let her brother win the trials. and there's a romance subplot!

what i loved
- HUSBANDS!! H U S B A N D S!! i live for the mlm representation, and it was incorporated so smoothly and had none of the "token diversity" vibes! i get so excited when i see queer representation where queerness is accepted in the world, and this one made me so happy!
- eira and marcus are such great siblings, i really related to all their sibling issues.
- i really loved cullen ok he is my sweet bby i want to give him a big hug
- the plot was compelling, and i was motivated to keep reading the book

what i didn't love
- there are many tropes used in this book that bring me back to 2015 wattpad...
- some parts of the plot went too fast, and other parts went on for longer than expected.
- i don't know why, but the ambassador keeps giving me middle-aged businessman vibes. even though he really isn't, i just couldn't get it out of my head?
- I PREDICTED THE PLOT TWIST,,, FROM THE BEGINNING? i'm lowkey salty about that, but i guess i'm just too much of a critical reader to let the plot resolve itself.

overall, i did enjoy this book a lot! i just didn't really like ferro, which took away from my experience with this book. but cullen, i loved. FDHKGFDJH I LOVE CULLEN WITH MY WHOLE HEART, THIS BOYO JUST NEEDS A HUGGG

thank you book of matches media and elise kova for my ARC! all opinions are my own :)

꧁ find me at my socials ꧂
insta | tiktok | twitter | blog
Profile Image for cassberrie.
382 reviews8 followers
February 9, 2021
Devoured this in one day. This book is such a welcome treat to all Air Awakens fans, and I'm thankful to have received an ARC!

Eira Landan has been an outcast amongst the sorcerers of the Tower for years after she lost control of her powers and accidentally killed a fellow student. She longs to see the mysterious continent of Meru that has only recently begun to foster relations with the Solaris Empire. So when the royal family announces an international competition, where each nation will send representatives to compete in a magic tournament to take place on Meru itself, Eira leaps at the opportunity.

Having read 13 other books that take place within the Air Awakens universe, the fact that Elise is still able to add additional layers of worldbuilding and intrigue is just incredible. This book feels like both a callback to the first Air Awakens novel and a new venture entirely, with the very familiar setting of Solarin plus the less familiar post-Vortex Chronicles world.

Eira is a very different protagonist from both Vhalla and Vi, despite being another case of a "girl with abnormal magic". Eira is moody and sullen, suffocated by overprotective relatives and ostracized by her peers. The trials to determine which sorcerers will represent the Empire are an excellent way for Eira to showcase her wit and skills, and I foresee her becoming a powerhouse later down the line. That being said, as clever and determined as she is, she is also tempestuous and almost antiheroic, and I'm left to wonder where the dice will land with her, especially after the events of this first novel. This little bit of uncertainty has me especially excited.

As for the other characters, I enjoyed Alyss's cheery companionship, especially in contrast to Eira's moodiness. I was left torn on Marcus, as he walked that line between being frustrating yet sympathetic because of how he comes into conflict with Eira's own goals. And Cullen is wonderful. The Prince of the Tower has many layers that I look forward to uncovering with the rest of the series. Oh, and the elfin ambassador, Ferro, is a lot of fun.

And of course, I cannot emphasize enough how much I LOVED seeing the OG cast. There's a little part of the trials that calls back to this lovely moment in Crystal Crowned that had me squealing. A certain someone from Vortex Chronicles popped up, along with a few name-drops of some Very Important People who, unfortunately, did not appear in this installment.

The little stirrings of romance were unexpected yet charming. Elise Kova has never disappointed with her romances, so I'm eager to see how this develops!

All in all, this is an excellent first installment of this new series in the Air Awakens universe. It's got character development, tension, action, and rich magic. While Elise did write this to be accessible to first-time readers, I do highly recommend that people start from the beginning, just so you can savor the little details. I'm so ready for the next book <3
Profile Image for Charlotte.
156 reviews204 followers
March 6, 2021
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!
Profile Image for Christine Manzari.
Author 12 books1,060 followers
February 21, 2021
I loved being back in the world of Solaris with new characters and new types of magic. I love stories with tournaments and can’t wait to discover all of the secrets some of the characters are still keeping.
Profile Image for Ashlee » libraryinthecountry.
768 reviews610 followers
January 15, 2022
Wow! This one consumed me, totally sucked me right in. If you’re a fan of Sorcery of Thorns or the Witchlands series, and love yourself a magical competition, this one is right up your alley.

Set in the Air Awakens world, this book absolutely delivered. There’s a bit of everything in this, too. Epic fantasy world building, an action packed tournament, forbidden romance, a mystery to solve, court politics, meaningful and complex friendships, as well as downright hilarious moments and witty banter.

Eira is a sorcerer apprentice, but she’s been shunned by the others in the Tower of Sorcerers after a tragic accident years before, when she lost control of her power. She’s handled with kid gloves, and has her training stifled by those who think they know better. She dreams of visiting Meru, the Crescent Continent, and discovering more of the world beyond the Tower. Seeing it as an opportunity to visit Meru, and show that she isn’t weak or unpredictable, she enters the Trial of Sorcerers, for a chance to compete in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

But, not everything may be as it seems.

What ensues is a tournament that kept me on the edge of my seat. I love these storylines, but many of them tend to be repetitive or blend together. Not this one. You can see the care and thought Elise took in planning and writing the trials. This book is a nonstop page turner.

One of the plot twists in this was a bit predictable, but I actually didn’t mind it at all, because I liked having information before Eira did, it had me invested and made the way that storyline played out even more interesting.

If you’ve read Air Awakens or Vortex Visions, you’ll get cameos of those characters, but I don’t feel it’s necessary to read either before reading this—though there would, obviously, be some spoilers.

Nonetheless: a million times, yes! on this one … can’t wait to see what happens next!
Profile Image for ShannaBanana✨.
479 reviews29 followers
March 7, 2021
I’m hooked. I knew it! From the start. Ferro was a weirdo from the moment he was introduced and I feel it was made too obvious. I didn’t like him at all. Give me Cullen any day of the week. I love him and hope he will be ok in the next installment.

Marcus. I feel like someone took a hammer to my heart. That’s as absolutely heartbreaking. Please don’t make me wait a year for the next book!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Celia.
Author 6 books470 followers
March 6, 2021
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I jumped into this book completely blind. All I saw was the gorgeous cover, the author's name, and I knew I had to request being part of the street team. I have only read two books of the Air Awakens series, but the good thing about this book is that you don't have to have read the entire series to enjoy this. Although I know there are some name drops I didn't get that others will.

What sets this book apart is that it does not follow the typical YA story-lines and assault us with cookie-cutter romance and plot twists that we see coming a mile away. The character development is not notch. I loved the friend and family relationships so much I was so afraid of something happening to them. That's a good sign. I cared about the characters enough to nibble my lower lip in anxiety during the trials.

Let's talk romance because this romance was sort of enemies to lovers with a SLOOOOW BURN. UGH I was fanning myself at that one scene when he did that and she was like (I can't say but it involves a kiss to "distract the guards" and I LOVE THAT MINI TROPE so much!

The ending was fantastic and has me yearning for book two. I know Kova will expand the world so much, and with Eira's newfound strength, I have a feeling it's going to be amazing.
Profile Image for Bhavya .
476 reviews821 followers
Shelved as 'kindle-unlimited-tbr'
May 16, 2021
That cover is so pretty ♥️🥰
Profile Image for Basma.
133 reviews
March 4, 2021
Actual Rating: 4.5

This was a FANTASTIC read. I've been meaning to read one of Elise Kova's books for a while, since I have so many on my TBR. This book is set in the Air Awakens universe, but it can be read without any prior knowledge (this was the case for me).

My favorite part of this book was the characters and their development. The main character, Eira, starts off as a self-conscious and alienated, but grows into a complex, strong individual, and it was a joy to read. The side characters were as equally as interesting, and I absolutely adored the sisterly bond between Alyss and Eira. Eira has a lot of issues with her family, and her family honestly made my blood boil at times. The disputes were well written, and I'm looking forward to continuing to explore these characters throughout the series .

I'm a sucker for good world building, and I thoroughly enjoyed the world and the magic system. Not to mention, this book has a TOURNAMENT plot line??? Sign me up. The competition was a lot of fun to read, and it was cool to see the magic system develop as Eira grew into her powers. I'm actually pleased that this book was not super romance heavy, since we will see these characters again throughout the series, and I want a slow burn. But the bits we do get in this book are super cute and I absolutely loved it.

This was a phenomenal adventure, and the end had me bawling. I can't wait to see where this series goes!

I received an ARC of this title from the author through Books of Matches Media in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Hetal.
728 reviews93 followers
March 17, 2021

Re-review. I don't think my old review did the book and my feelings justice.

I don't think I can ever get tired of this world Kova continues to build. (Also that cover is just stunning. Like just jaw-dropping, mouth watering, gorgeous). Eira is jaded and spunky- the way I imagine any adult to be after growing up the life she did. Not unhappy, exactly, but not fulfilled either. A mouse scurrying after the shadow of her brother. Eira is somewhat of an outcast. She's make mistakes that haunt her everyday. Little did she know she is followed by a cursed past.

In this book you'll find secret passages, A swoonworthy main lead in Cullen and that slow burn this author is famous for. In fact, I wouldn't even say it's a romance...yet, but don't worry there is very clearly romance and that hate-to-love trope we all love. Eira will get there, eventually.

The book is reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and I was giddy with excitement about that. I was slightly wary when I got to the actual trials- I'm so tired of the "3 trials" , "3 quests" , "3 battles" trope because so much of it just involves fighting. Kova manages to pull me into them though because there were no battles! not in the way you're thinking.

A Trial of Sorceres focuses heavily on the theme of family. More so in th is book than any other, I'd argue. Eira is Fritz and Gram's niece and her relation with them and her brother, Marcus, is pivitol to Eira's actions and emotions. All I'd like to say here is the author clearly likes tearing siblings apart in ways that leave me crying. That's 3 for 3 in the air awakens world Kova! 3 for 3! Stop it!!

This book, more than the Vortex Visions series (which follows Vhalla & Aldrik's daughter) is much more a return to the Air Awakens world- or so it felt to me. We got a lot more Vhalla in this book,and a lot more Fritz, who definitely is not the funcle in this book. I was pretty mad at him a lot of the time, actually. Even Denya is back and man I loved her in Vortex Visions, and she's still go that Devil-may-care attitude.

The betrayl and plot twist was predictable to me, but how it went down broke my heart. I'll say nothing else on that.

This can be read as a stand alone series, but the story will be vastly enriched by reading Vhalla and Vi's stories first. And if not Vhalla's story, at least Vi's in Vortex Vision. Not because the author doesn't do a great job building a new story in an old world, but because the magic system Kova built in past two series is just so amazing, you'll want that background in Vortex Visions. You don't need it, but trust me, you'll want it.

As usual- Kova does a good job of separating the series. If you're a fan of her other stories in the Air Awakens universe, Eira's story is one you won't want to miss!
Profile Image for Sydni.
475 reviews74 followers
March 4, 2021
so so fun!! i’m so happy to be back in this world it’s one of my favorites and i don’t know why this series is so underrated ??? anyways i’m looking forward to the next book since I finished this in one sitting <3
Profile Image for kamila &#x1f319;.
147 reviews12 followers
March 3, 2021
The Air Awakens series is one of my favorite series ever, so when I was given the chance to read A Trial of Sorcerers I was beyond excited and it didn’t disappoint!

This book checks all the boxes for me, elemental magic (my fav), a tournament, a budding romance, and a strong female friendship. I read this book in two sittings because I could not put it down.

It was so good being back in the Air Awakens world and seeing Fritz and Vhalla and Aldrik, *sigh* I’m still so obsessed with our OG cast, I missed them so much! And the references to the original series really tugged at my heart strings.

This time we’re following our main character Eira who is eager to prove herself in a tournament against her classmates while dealing with the guilt of her past. You really feel Eira’s emotions, I really felt connected to her and I absolutely loved seeing how much growth she achieved in just one book. Elise Kova did what she does best and she really makes you emotional. I felt for Eira just like I felt for Vhalla and it is unreal how connected I am to all of these characters. These books are the kind of books I think about daily because of the raw emotion I felt reading them and her writing is so ADDICTIVE and I already need more!

Also elemental magic? Need I say more? It’s so fun and hands down my favorite kind of magic to read about.

I also really loved the friendships in this book. Both Eira and her brother care for their best friends so much which I think is so important. Eira’s best friend Alyss is such a delight, she’s the best friend that everyone wants and needs and seeing them together was one of my favorite aspects of the book. We of course have Cullen whom I love because I am a sucker for guys who are strong and snarky, what can I say I’m a simple gal. I seriously can’t wait to see more of him and learn about his past! I do however recommend that you start with The Air Awakens books if you’re interested in reading them because these books are set a few years in the future and you will be spoiled for the original books! With that being said, I do feel like these books and romance are on the PG side which is great if that’s what you are looking for! Overall I am so excited to be back in Solaris and I am patiently waiting for the next installment!

Thank you to Book of Matches Media and Elise Kova for the ARC.
Profile Image for Grüffeline.
1,026 reviews100 followers
April 8, 2021
Silence was often the best path forward in a noisy world.

First of all: Look at that cover! Beautiful!
Elise Kova is making her way onto my list of favorite authors. I really enjoyed this book from first to last page and I cannot wait for the sequel!
Eira is a wonderful character to follow and the people (the world basically) that surround her are amazing as well. Her "choice" in love interests is questionable but the story was great, though it was a bit slow at the start. The world building had me irritated sometimes but that might have been because I haven't read The Air Awakens (I will do that asap, though!). The writing blew me away and I was barely ever able to put this down!
I have to admit a huge issue with this book, though. The name Cullen. Everytime I read it, my mind went "sparkling, creepy vampires" which gave me flashbacks to reading hours I don't want to relive. 😂
Profile Image for Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen.
1,681 reviews594 followers
April 13, 2021
5 Stars

And again...Ms Kova writes a fantastic story still following the same world but a generation later. This book is about Eira who is a water runner and a total social outcast.

I was a bit skeptical at first because I stopped reading the Vortex Chronicles but with this new series, I've totally become invested again.
Profile Image for Laura.
679 reviews53 followers
December 1, 2022
This is the first in a new series in the Air Awakens universe but I've been told you can start here. Luckily for me I haven't read the others but I think I need to go back and read all of Elise's books. I have been trying to catch up with all the books I've missed in the past 5-10 years. Checks Goodreads she has 38 books! 🧙‍♀️ 

About the book..

Eira starts this journey as an annoying little sister type who grows into her powers which are so unique she's been teased about them her whole life.

There are some Elfin visitors that propose a Trial of sorcerers and an apprentice per element will win and get to visit their home, Meru.

Her brother Marcus wants to be the only one that competes in the trial and all the family agrees which is very unfair so Eira shows how badass she is by entering. 

So many fun secret rooms, mysterious lineages, a love triangle, betrayals, some slow burn, tricky competitions, and an awesome magic system! 

This is a fast paced action packed magical journey. Eira is a badass who isn't what she seems, she's so much stronger than everyone realizes (which is my favorite type of heroine)!

Definite 5⭐ from me! 

Thank you for @elise.kova and @bookofmatchesmedia letting me join you on this ARC book tour and for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.
Profile Image for Nofreeusernames Nofreeusernames.
Author 4 books1,280 followers
October 4, 2022
Ano, sérii A Trial of Sorcerers předchází série Air Awakens, ale mě tohle bavilo mnohem víc a úplně na pohodu se to dá číst i samostatně (jsou tam totiž úplně jiné postavy v hlavních rolích a odehrává se to o mnoho let později). Příběh Eiry Landan mi totiž připomněl Kouzla rodu Thornů, a to je za mě velký dobrý, takže bambilion plusových bodů jen za to.

Eira je čarodějnický učeň, ale protože svou magií kdysi zabila člověka, je vyvrhelem, žije ve stínu svého mocného bratra a snaží se proplouvat co nejvíc bez povšimnutí. Jenomže pak se stane šampionem v turnaji pěti království, je pozvána ke královskému dvoru, tajně se schází s elfím ambasadorem a začne prozkoumávat zakázanou magii.

Asi to není nejoriginálnější knížka, jakou jsem kdy četla, dala bych ji klidně do poličky nejen s Rogersonovou, ale klidně i se Skleněným trůnem nebo Ranhojičkou. A protože všichni víte, že všechny tyhle tři knížky jsou super oblíbené, tak je to dost kompliment. Něco jako když vyjdou další víly, ale vy máte rádi víly, a když jsou víly dobře napsané, budete číst víly klidně pořád dokola (tady teda víly nejsou, takže klid). Navíc, když vás tenhle svět bude bavit, máte toho hodně na čtení, protože Elise Kovu baví hodně.
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