Elementals is the first book of the Arula Series written by Michael S. Anstead.
Denise is a simple barmaid from Terra. When she is arrested by the Guardians of the Empire for a crime she doesn’t know about, she has no choice but to trust the man who saved her, the man she only knows as the Storyteller.
The Storyteller, whose name Denise eventually learned to be Simon, takes her to safety and introduces her to an old woman Denise believes to be a Witch. They are soon joined by another woman, Sofia, Simon’s younger sister.
It seems like Simon and Sofia are part of an ancient plan to reunite the Twelve Kingdoms of Arula by reinstating the Council of the Circle. Twelve members of the council are said to be Masters of magical orbs while twelve are mortals elected by the people. The Council of the Circle ruled Arula for over two thousand years until a war broke out within the council. Arula was divided into twelve kingdoms which one by one fell to the Empire of the South.
Besides the steady and consistent pace, this book offers a great plot in addition to remarkable characters. The concept of magical orbs which include the elementals: air, water, fire, earth and the Lost Orb, is intriguing and certainly will pique the interest of the fantasy genre enthusiasts. The author successfully wrote vivid descriptions of the kingdoms and keenly portrayed fighting scenes.
Moreover, the author created formidable characters. My favorite, however, was Denise. Not only was she smart, but she was also patient, diligent and obedient. She practiced her skills with passion and performed whatever task assigned to her. She knew when and what to ask, and knew when to keep quiet. She was also very observant thus she learned fast and learned well.
However, I had a problem with the ending of the book. Though I understand the necessity of not revealing much in preparation for the succeeding books in the series, I would have preferred more enlightenment. Still, this is one great book (with a fantastic cover!) and I would love to read the other books in the series.
Congratulations to Michael S. Anstead (@ArulaNovel) on such an amazing book!