Elemental by Alyce Lewis
(The Rare Sisterhood Series, Book 1)
Publisher: Lycaon Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (235 pages )
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen
The world of Rare Root is about to be forever plunged into darkness, overtaken by a shadowy force, and the last hope for peace comes in the form of eighteen-year-old quadruplets Anila, Terra, Aydan, and Yara. Born of magic and created as a weapon, the Sprites must use their elemental powers to hunt down and vanquish the evil. When the sisters realize their powers are not yet strong enough, they seek out allies. Aided by an Elf prince and a Fairy queen, they face perilous obstacles, traitorous enemies, and prepare for the most epic battle of their lives.
But there’s no training manual for love, and when Anila starts to fall for the prince, it forces a rift between the sisters. In order to destroy the threat and restore Rare Root, the four Sprites will need to rally together as one.
Because in a world of darkness, unity is elemental.
Being born fully grown and eighteen years old would be a shock to anyone. Being born as quadruplets just as their mother died was heart-breaking and yet the girls, Anila, Terra, Aydan, and Yara, knew they had been brought into the world of Rare Root for one purpose and that was to destroy the evil known as the Rot. Finding that their first task was to bury their mother and then all the villagers in a neighboring town meant that they had no time to discover who they were. They had to hit the deck running and learn as they went.
Alyce Lewis has crafted an excellent story filled with diverse and well-defined characters. The plot moves along swiftly as the girls discover their elemental powers and grow into their fullness as Sprites. It is captivating to see them mature as they train. While they were born with fully functional young adult bodies, their emotional age seemed far younger at the beginning. Lewis does an excellent job of showing how each of the four Sprites masters her own element, fire, air, water, or earth, and learns to wield appropriate weapons in the fight against the Rot, while at the same time, maturing into a fully functional adult. The quadruplets are definitely individuals and their different voices and personalities are clearly shown and developed.
The Sprites are also forced to learn about the nature of love and friendship. They make mistakes, and they have to learn to see themselves as individuals, but ultimately they mature into a strong team with the ability to work together. They discover that while each of them is powerful in her own right, together they make a team which has a power beyond the linking of their individual gifts.
The book was most enjoyable even though the plot was a bit predictable. While there were no major surprises, Lewis keeps her readers engaged. I did feel that the love scenes between King Luster and Lady Harte were more sensual than sweet. For this reason, I rated the book for 14+ even though most of the book would be fine for younger readers. I also felt that this added sensuality felt jarring and out-of-place, given the tone of the rest of the novel.
The interactions between different species was handled with great sensitivity and clarity. It was easy to see the scenes between sirens and fairies, for instance, and the descriptions of the world of Rare Root were vivid and colorful. Rare Root is a consistent,well-crafted. believable world.
This is the first in a series and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series about the adventures in Rare Root and the battle between Light and Dark.