My name is Larkspur, and I am an Elemental.
My people use the power of the earth to sustain life and defy our enemies. I am the half-breed bastard child of a king. I was not meant to survive the trials cast my way. Yet, here I stand.
The world has deteriorated in the years I was banished. The Elemental families are rife with deception, violence, and madness more than ever before.
A voice I know all too well calls me to do her bidding. A voice I no longer wish to hear. The mother goddess begs me to save the four families, and stop my nemesis. To do it, I must face each of the Elemental leaders and take from them the power they hold close: the stones I once entrusted to them.
Now, the secrets I unearth as I pursue the stones shatter everything I know about my world, and everything I was taught.
Yet, I am not the naïve girl I once was. If I am to see this through, I must completely embrace the new reality of my life and all its obstacles while forging ahead.
Four stones abused.
Four families broken.
A half-breed princess as their only hope.
Through it all, the one I love waits for me to find him. When I do, will he, like everything else in my world, not be what he once was?
“I am my own hero. I will slay the dragons. I need no one to save me.”
Holy time jump! Rootbound takes place a full twenty-five years after the end of Windburn. I expected a time jump, I didn’t expect that. We actually skip all the way across the timeline until after the events of Blood of the Lost in the Rylee Adamson series. Which is annoying, because unless you read that series you will be extremely confused for the first part of Rootbound.
To be fair to Shannon Mayer, nothing about the events in the Rylee Adamson series really are necessary to know for this book. The events of this do not hinge on the events of that. But, with the time jump you’re just going to be left reeling without the knowledge of the events. I highly, highly recommend reading the novella Elementally Priceless. It takes place during the events that are skipped. If nothing else, you’ll be less confused why Lark is punished again, which you only get told about in passing here and may leave readers confused.
The plot of Rootbound felt like it was working the series backwards. We took all the progress we had made through Windburn, and then just go and undo it. Apparently, everything we’ve strived for so far has been “Whoops, I shouldn’t have done that!” Which is really, really frustrating. I mean, I know I’ve complained about this series continuously making it so nothing sticks but…. to erase all progress like that because apparently it was a “bad thing” is just annoying.
On top of that, the entirely of Rootbound was basically a game of running around collecting power ups. I don’t really like reading about characters running around collecting things. It reminds me of children’s books. And also bad memories of MMOs. Turns out, handing those gems out to everyone was a bad idea. With bad consequences. And everyone has gone crazy with power again because of them. Who knew? Fantastic.
Larkspur is being pulled in a bunch of directions by just about everyone in this series. It is actually impossible to figure out who is enemy and who is ally. Mostly because enemies end up being “allies” and allies, and allies end up being enemies. It is a huge mess. I’m actually not certain why I’m supposed to care about pretty much anyone in this series when everything is just going to change in a hundred pages anyway.
The best part of Rootbound was Peta’s verbal bitchslap of Cactus. And also of Lark telling him to fuck off. Cactus being the character everyone told wasn’t right for Larkspur and he started to go off the handle about it. Cactus is such a selfish dick. He doesn’t give a shit but for his possession of Lark. He wants to own her. I love Peta right now.
Peta didn’t move, but a long low growl slipped out of her. “Prick, you push too far. Just like you always do because you are a selfish shit. She tells you the truth and you ignore her. Demand that she change her mind. Try to ply her with the emotions she does have for you. That is not love. That is manipulation and an attempt to control her.”
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Elemental series page!