Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Tags: Young Adult, YA, fantasy, adventure, romance, quest, magic, immortality
Release: August 31, 2012
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 really enjoyed this book. Right from the beginning you knew that there were going to things happening throughout the book and the author definitely kept you on the edge of your seat. There were witches, spirts of sorts, dwarfs (or Tilli’s which I think are a lot smaller than dwarfs). It seems like something happened around every corner and this events made Katora question why she is doing this and if she really wants to be the guardian of the elixir. Oh and we can’t forget that there is just a little hint of romance in the novel. I definitely would recommend this book to people to read as you will not be disappointed!! Goodreads reader review 4 stars
This book could easily be the next big, popular book everyone’s reading. It has such great potential and I think once people get wind of it, it’ll be a huge seller. Right away, I adored Katora. She is a respectful, level headed, thoughtful and selfless young woman. She experienced discouragement, disappointment, pride and joy. It was easy to understand and read her emotions. I love her relationship with her father; it’s nice to see a normal, healthy father-daughter relationship. And I think Katora is a great heroine! Goodreads reader review 4 stars
The author Katie Carroll has a real winner hear. It is a different book with the style of writing, but it is different in a great way. She tells this story with such finesse, with the character's and the scenery just popping out visually in my head. I really enjoyed reading every page and felt a part of the book and that it was so hard to stop reading, but I had to get to real life. 5 star Amazon reader review
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
"This book was very interesting to me. Not only that but it was very well written. I found myself going on the journey with the Kase family. I felt what she felt mostly even though she had to make that conflicting decision which her choice was kind of unexpected to me since it seemed like her thought were going the other way. Over all I thoroughly enjoyed this book!" Goodreads 5 star review