Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer EllisionMy rating: Fantasy
Source: Publisher (via Netgalley)
Bree lives with her father in an unassuming country inn, far from the politics of Egria and the machinations of the royal court. Such things have nothing to do with her: her skills involve watering down beer and fending off drunken advances. So although she knows it's trouble when she happens upon a small group of elementals in the woods, she doesn't imagine that her life is about to change beyond recognition.
Elementals can call on the powers of an element, but whichever of the four talents you have, your fate is the same: the king commands you to join his army, to assist him in conquering the world. So far as I can tell, this is all he has ever cared about.
Bree is a great character, really down-to-earth, and so it's a shock to her when it turns out her father is a nobleman in hiding. Their journey back to the king's palace takes a substantial portion of the book, but once they're there, she manages to make some solid friends as well as the inevitable enemies. Caden, the crown prince, is much nicer than his father, but in a pleasing diversion from tradition the spark of attraction between him and Bree is kept to a minimum, as they're both preoccupied with loftier goals.
A solid start to a very promising series.