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by Katie L. Carroll
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Tags: Young Adult, YA, fantasy, adventure, romance, quest, magic, immortality
Release: August 31, 2012
Editor: Rosalie Skinner
Line Editor: Sarah Champoux
Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek
Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone. It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.
Snowflakes swept across the southern tip of the Great Peninsula and covered Faway Forest. The heavy flakes weighed branches down on their trunks, like limbs of a predator closing in around a victim. A white shroud always blanketed the more northern Blanchardwood, but Faway had escaped the winter weather for hundreds of years. A storm like this usually bore a message, though deciphering it could prove difficult.
On the outskirts of the forest in the small town of Tussar, Katora Kase stood among the essenberry vines growing along neat lines in the field behind her house. She marveled at the strange precipitation. None of the living Tussarians—even the elderyears—had ever seen snow before. Katora smiled as the flakes tickled her face and melted.
Down the aisle, Katora’s younger sister, Kylene, twirled in the swirling snow. With arms straight out, face to the sky, the girl’s long blond hair fanned out around her. This weather suited Kylene; Katora identified with the rain, deliberate and relentless. In the snow, Katora almost forgot she was a primeyear woman about to take over her family’s farm. She envied the carefree way her sister danced with the flakes.
A snowball flew out of the vines and thumped Kylene in the chest. Bhar, the youngest Kase sibling, laughed as his tall figure squeezed between the rows. Although the oldest of the three, Katora was the shortest, her athletic body somewhere between Bhar’s bulky build and Kylene’s willowy figure. Kylene’s white-blond hair looked bright against the snowy backdrop, while Bhar’s golden hair, which matched Katora’s, looked dull and wet.
Kylene grabbed her own snowball. Soon a friendly battle consumed Bhar and the younger sister. Confident no one paid her any attention, Katora stuck out her tongue and caught a big flake. A pinprick of ice froze the tip and disappeared in an instant. Katora’s smile lasted about as long when she realized what snow meant for the first crop of the year.
Kase Farm had faced hardships in the past, but not since before Katora was born. The Kases used essenberries to make essence, a popular but rare beverage the family fermented to capture the mood of the growing season in a bottle. Over the years, Katora learned how to grow the essenberries and turn them into essence. A bad first crop meant less essence to sell, which meant less profit, which meant—well, Katora wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. She sighed. Given that she didn’t know as much about the business end of the farm, it was yet another thing she must learn.
Katora plucked a tiny essenberry from the vines and squeezed. Frozen solid. She tossed it in her mouth and let the warmth release the sour juices of the unripe fruit. If only she could eat all the frozen essenberries so they didn’t go to waste. Like any good farmer, Katora hated waste.
A snowball smacked her in the back of the head interrupting her inspection of the vines. She turned to see Bhar’s fiendish grin. Bhar’s age put him barely in his primeyears, but he often acted like a youngeryear.
“You dirty little—” Katora yelled as she grabbed snow and threw it at him.
She wasn’t really annoyed; the distraction brought her some relief. Although it would have been fun to join the fray, Katora knew she must tell Pop about the ruined crop. She sprinted away, snowballs chasing her every step. She slowed to catch her breath when she neared the house and spotted Pop in the window. Deep lines etched his brow. She caught his gaze and smiled. His return grin warmed the wrinkles off his forehead. He met her at the back door.
“Don’t worry about the essenberries.”
Pop could always read her mind when it came to the farm. “It’s early in the season, and we’ll be able to make up for what we lose today.”
She brushed the snow from her clothes. “How?”
The corner of his eye pinched together. “I said you needn’t worry about it.”
The casual tone didn’t match his pensive face. Kase Farm was the only source of essenberries in the Great Peninsula. Each vintage produced a unique flavor. Memories vanished with even one harvest’s failure.
Katora worked every day to capture in a bottle the triumphs and tragedies of the year. To forget a season was to forget her own past. Pop pounded this lesson into her brain over and over, and now he instructed her not to worry.
She tried a different angle. “But won’t this create a financial hardship on the farm? I have to know these things if I’m going to run it.”
“You’ll learn all these things in time. One lost crop won’t bankrupt us.”
Pop rubbed the stubble on his face. Most of the whiskers were the same dark brown as the hair on his head. For the first time, Katora noticed a few gray ones poking out of his chin. Pop stroked his beard only when he worried. He remained silent.
Never one to let someone brush her off, Katora persisted.
“If that’s true, then why were you frowning?”
“I don’t like this weather.” The next part he muttered to himself so Katora almost missed what he said. “Weather like this means a short sleep before an inevitable disturbance.”
I've been on a strong heroine kick lately and Elixir Bound definitely filled this role. I really loved Katora, and enjoyed reading about her struggles and travels. I highly recommend this one! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED...READ FULL REVIEW AT WRITE STUFF
Well faway forest is definitely full of creatures and the unknown it doesn't take long before trouble finds Katora and her companions, it seems she is not the only one looking for the ingredients of the Elixir. There is a love story between Katora and Hirsten that grows throughout the story. The story is fast paced with action and adventure it never slows and we get to meet a witch, demick creatures, and so much more. I would recommend this book as a good read. GOOD READ...AOIFESHERI
Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel. 5 Stars Goodreads Reader Review
My favorite character was Katora because she was strong willed, and wanted to do what was best for everyone. She even put love on hold just so that she could complete her quest for everyone else. I also surprisingly liked her indecisiveness because I would have been the same way, and I love when I can relate to the main character. I also loved Kylene because she was just so sweet. This novel really benefited from her personality. -OWLNESTLY BOOKS REVIEWS...READ FULL REVIEW
About the Author
Katie Carroll began writing after her 16-year-old sister unexpectedly passed away. Writing was a way for Katie to help her sister live on in the pages of a story. It also made her realize that she wanted to pursue writing as a career. In addition to penning novels for teens and kids, she edits puzzle magazines, plays soccer, and collects signed copies of books. Katie lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.
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Customer Reviews:MaryW (Thursday, 25 April 2013)
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Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this very charming and witty book to read on the skytrain. But I have to say it was kind of embarrassing. I couldn't stop giggling out loud at Maggie Lyon's humour. People kept looking at me, and I tried my hardest to hold in the laughter, but it was impossible. What a delightful story! What child wouldn't love this. It's a story for 6-10 year olds. It's a great book to read to your children when they're young or by themselves when they're older. If your child likes Geronimo Stilton, they'll fall in love with Dewie the little dragon and his friend Jones the toad. I hope Maggie Lyons will turn this into a series.
Joy Smith pulled me into the story on the very first pages. Fast moving, first I hated Victor, than I love him, than I hated until I loved him. And Marisol with her guarded heart had me hoping throughout that she'd open it again to love.
I loved her descriptions. They created such visuals, I felt I was traveling and discovering Colombia with Victor.
Ms. Smith writes believable, flawed characters that I wound up cheering and caring for on each page. I can't wait to read her next book. Goodreads Reader Review - Five Stars
"...murder, mystery and intrigue..plus did I mention our hero is a witch? Tex and his best friend Olivia are brilliant characters, really well written and I love tex's dad. Can't wait to read more about tex in the future! -Amazon Reader Review
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot of this novel. From Annabelle putting her life in danger when running away from Boarding School where she has lived since the age of five to her tenacious pursuit in finding clues as to her origins.
She is rescued by Roland, who is too much of a gentleman not to help the intriguing young lady. I relished the suspense of the reciprocal desire between Roland and Belle which is thwarted by misunderstanding after misunderstanding and prevents them achieving mutual fulfilment. The reader yearns for the truth to replace the false pretences and for Roland and Belle to overcome each other's prejudices.
Rosemary Morris' major and minor characters spring to life. I sympathised with Annabelle and found Roland charming. Apart from this, Rosemary's great attention to every aspect of the Regency era is impressive.
False Pretences is a ripping read and I look forward to reading this author's next novel. - F.Way- Amazon Review