After decades of Elemental Invasions, the once flourishing Kingdom of Forra has been reduced to ruins. A band of survivors pulls together in one last attempt to defend their homes and families as the Elementals make a push to wipe them out completely.
Stoic Militia Captain Karvir and his ardent brother, Ketyl, lead a skeleton force against the Fiery Horde. Everything–their families, their home, their very world–hangs on their success against impossible odds. Meanwhile across the wilderness, young Brode and his pregnant stepmother flee, hoping to find safety near the sea.
As the Elementals pour through the portals, a sacrificial act gives hope for peace, but is it sustainable? Can the human race fight back from the edge of extinction? And could the key to their survival lie in a child?
“All the protagonists were interesting, nuanced, flawed, and understandable yet not predictable. I got really attached to all the characters, and there were some moments where I audibly squeaked as I was reading because the suspense was so high for them!”
After decades of Elemental War, humans are rebuilding their civilization from the ground up. Empathic healer, Quill, lives on an isolated farm, hiding from her family’s turbulent, war torn past. However, when the voices of Water Elementals force their way into her thoughts, Quill fears she will bring destruction upon those she loves.
Help arrives from an unlikely source, her mother’s estranged father. Eanan hasn’t seen his daughter since she eloped with Quill’s dad. Now, in spite of the inherent danger of Elementals, Eanan seeks the Evermirror, a mythical gateway to the Water Realm. Quill’s only hope for safety and sanity may be casting her lot with her grandfather. Running away will break her mother’s heart, but unless Quill learns to commune peacefully with the Elementals, their powers may tear her apart from the inside.
Call of Water is a great follow-up to Lands of Ash. Burke expands the scope of her world, introducing us to the Water and Earth Elementals and illuminating the history of her world. It is a fast-paced story with plenty of action and youthful romance.
Author note: I personally like to call it Lord of the Rings meets Avatar: The Last Airbender. There’s a sense of epic “save the world” high stakes and strong heroes, but very much driven by the characters and their relationships. Plus each book has an Elemental theme, so that also fights in with Avatar … Though I actually hadn’t seen that show yet when I started writing the book. I had the outline all written out, and I said, “I need to get my daughter a new and exciting cartoon to buy me some more writing time.” I picked Avatar, and a few episodes in I’m like, “Dang, this has a lot of similar themes to my book…” But it’s a great show, so I’ll roll with that.
The book is devoted to military spouses. My husband is in the US Marine Corp, and having him be overseas when our first daughter was born or even when we were just dating and knowing he was in combat … sometimes it was so frightening, trying to go about my day, not knowing if he was safe in that moment or when I’d hear from him again. Then to have him come home and there are still emotional scars that sometimes I didn’t know how to deal with. I remember him waking up in starts after he got back, and just knowing he was carrying things I couldn’t even imagine in my head, I wanted to help him but didn’t know how. I remember telling him, “I wish I could reach into your brain and push all the bad things out” and he told me that he wouldn’t want me anywhere near my brain, that he wanted to keep me as far away from the things he saw in Iraq as possible. He wanted to protect me from that, and I gave that sense of “I’m doing this to protect the people I love, to keep the bad away from them” to Karvir, and then I made Willa, his wife, empathic with magical healing abilities to help him as sort of wish fulfillment for myself, to do for Karvir what part of me still longs to do for Matt even if it isn’t possible.