5 Spectacular Fantasy Books About Controlling the Elements


Fantasy books about controlling the elements have the potential to dazzle us with their primal, awe-inspiring powers. Are you curious what stories are out there, featuring a magic system like this?

If so, this post will have a novel for you.

Here are 5 spectacular fantasy books about controlling the elements:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each one of these fantasy novels. 

On the other hand, here’s a comparison chart if you’d prefer a quick summary.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Description

Kell is one of the last Antari — magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes — Red London — and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.09

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books about controlling the elements is A Darker Shade of Magic. This novel grabbed readers’ attention with its characters and their sparklingly vibrant relationships with one another.

Fans praised the character cast, whose members all had different aspects to them that they liked. For instance, while many mentioned liking Rhy because of her fierceness, several readers remarked on how much they bonded to Kell.

Along the same vein, watching these characters they loved interacting and coming to trust each other was a treat for these readers. Whether it was the dynamic between Lila and Kell or Rhy and Kell, fans described their relationships as beautiful.

Negative Comments

No book is without its critics, so why didn’t these readers like A Darker Shade of Magic?

In general, these readers said the story didn’t evoke emotions in them. Some said that this was due to the writing style, while others said that they couldn’t get a clear picture of who the characters were. As a result, they couldn’t connect with them and get invested in the story.


New Moon by Midori Snyder

Description

Since the Burning, Oran has bled under the heel of the Sileans. But there are rumors that four have escaped – four who have the ancient powers of Earth, Fire, Air and Water. And though they are young, they have allies – allies whose sign is scrawled on tavern walls–the blood-red, blade-thin New Moon.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.94

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

The next entry on our list of fantasy books about controlling the elements is New Moon. What did readers say about this novel? Well, they praised it for its characterization and its fascinating world-building.

Many of them mentioned how rich the culture, history and mythology of New Moon’s world was. Because of this, the quest for political freedom had resonance for them.

Aside from that however, fans remarked that the characters came across as multidimensional and grew throughout the book and its series. Seeing their interactions with each other was a delight.

Negative Comments

As for critics, these readers tending to say that New Moon was its pacing. Several mentioned that the beginning of the book starts off slow and doesn’t introduce the main characters until later.


Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

Description

Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king’s fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river. 

It’s there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right.

But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood and the secrets of the royal family she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.01

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books about controlling the elements is Troubled Waters. This novel enchanted readers primarily through Zoe, it’s protagonist, and the authentic romance between her and her love interest.

Fans described Zoe as a refreshing heroine, one that starts off in a vulnerable state but grows into a strong and self-possessed individual. Her journey moved these readers, who found her relatable and appreciated that she wasn’t the hyper-competent protagonist type.

In addition, others said that Troubled Water’s romance caught their attention. They contrasted it with romances in other fantasy books, which they said tended to say relied on ‘love at first sight’ with little substance behind it. Not so with this novel, which fans praised as having two strong characters who have gain trust and mutual respect for each other. These readers praised it as heartwarming.

Negative Comments

What did critics say about Troubled Waters? Well, they tended to focus on either Zoe as a protagonist or the story’s means of characterizing its cast.

For the former, these readers described Zoe as overly favored by the story. For example, some of them said she adapted too easily to the changes around her while others said she’d make frustrating decisions but face no consequences for it. As a result, these readers found her unlikeable.

In terms of the latter, critics said that the book tended to characterize its cast by astrology descriptions rather than showing those traits in action.

On the other hand, other readers didn’t mind being told about a character’s traits, but didn’t like how frequently those traits were attributed to the character’s astrological sign. This group of readers started to feel that the astrological signs dominated characters instead of informing about them.


Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Description

Where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. Criminal mastermind Kelsier teaches Allomancy, the magic of metals, to another Mistborn, urchin Vin 16.

The unlikely heroine is distracted by rich Venture heir Elend. Can Kelsier’s thieving crew take on the tyrant Lord Ruler and bring back color to their world?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.45

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of fantasy books about controlling the elements is Mistborn: The Final Empire. Readers described this novel as having elements of and an air of mystery to it that they found delightful.

Moreover, Brandon Sanderson has a reputation for unique magic systems, and this story features just that. The refreshing allomancy magic system delighted fans, many of whom praised how thoroughly it was developed.

Other readers raved about Vin’s exciting journey from distrusting and quiet street urchin to confident and ferocious assassin. They described her growth as authentic and compelling, while also praising her well fleshed-out character along the way.

On a similar note, readers also thoroughly enjoyed Vin and Kelsier’s mentor/mentee relationship. He and Vin’s interactions, fans said, were one of the highlights of the story.

Negative Comments

Not everyone enjoyed Mistborn: The Final Empire. These readers said that while the world-building impressed them, they thought the story was slow. The crew’s plans proceed in a rather straightforward manner, while critics hoped for more conflict or complications.

Others expressed disappointment that more female characters didn’t feature in the crew or take part in the revolution overall. While these readers appreciated Vin as the main character, it struck them as unrealistic.


The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Description

In a world where magic is tightly controlled, the most powerful man in history must choose between his kingdom and his son in the first book in the epic NYT bestselling Lightbringer series.

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.24

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Our last fantasy book about controlling the elements is The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. There’s very little that fans didn’t praise about this novel: they lauded the characters, the unique magic system, the constant action, and humor.

However, if I have to narrow it down to the two main aspects readers enjoyed the most, it would be the characters and the magic system. The novel is told in multiple point of views with varied characters whom all have different backgrounds, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Some inspired their sympathy and others impress them, but all invoked emotions. Fans were enthralled by all of them.

As for the magic system, readers were delighted by the story’s color and light-based powers. Not only did it strike them as unique, but it was easy to understand and used in unexpected and innovative ways.

Negative Comments

What reasons did readers give for disliking this novel? Overall, critics tended to say that The Black Prism’s crude humor graded on them.

Sometimes they said this came through in the characters, such as the teenage Kip, who struck them as immature and prone to whining. At others, the characters might explicitly lust after each other during moments that seemed totally bewildering to critics.


5 Spectacular Fantasy Books About Controlling the Elements

How Do These Fantasy Novels Compare?



5 Spectacular Fantasy Books About Controlling the Elements


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