Elemental Conflict

Independence: the price of survival

Fiction - Science Fiction
313 Pages
Reviewed on 12/14/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in Gibraltar and raised on a yacht around the coasts of the Atlantic, I’m a writer, martial artist and introvert. In between the necessary making of money to allow the writing of more books, I can usually be found halfway to the further galaxy.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite

In Elemental Conflict: Independence by JC Steel, Khyria and Anst leave Corina so they can discover a way to hide their Ability bond without drawing attention. While travelling through deep space, Khyria has a blackout. The band placed around her wrist by the Priestess is calling her back to the cult of the Elemental Order, and it’s only going to get stronger. Anst and Khyria head to the planet in search of answers and a solution. Knowing that they’re heading into a trap doesn’t make it any easier to endure what follows. The Warleader of the Golden Valleys finds himself forced into an uncomfortable alliance with his cousin, the Lady of the Crescent Lake, in an effort to prevent the Order from harming Khyria. Alara, High Priestess of Water, will do anything to see the prophecy fulfilled.

This is the fourth book in JC Steel’s Cortii series and although Steel does include relevant details, it’s best not to try to read this as a standalone novel. Khyria and Anst have a fascinating relationship. Both characters are deeply practical and independent, and while they both distrust the effects of the bond, they never take it out on each other. While there is a romantic aspect to Anst and Khyria’s relationship, Steel avoids the trope of characters falling in lust because they share a mystical bond. I did find it a little strange that the Cortii Abilities share such a strong similarity with the Elemental Order’s powers since these are two different races from different planets. However, an evocative writing style and intriguing character development keep the reader hooked, in spite of several confusing plot decisions in Elemental Conflict: Independence.

Melinda Hills

Cortii commander Khyria Ilan is looking forward to six months of leave, but it is not going to be a chance to rest. In Elemental Conflict: Independence (The Cortii series Book 4) by JC Steel, Khyria is drawn back to her last planetary assignment where the Elemental Priestess of Water placed a bind on Khyria to study and understand her powers. Unfortunately, whatever the Priestess had done to Khyria in Book 3 boosted some of her elemental abilities which rubbed off on Anst, the Cortii’s fifth in command, so that they have begun to share a link opening their abilities and emotions to one another.

Khyria signs out a ship and, with Anst, returns to the planet to find the Elemental Order and get to the bottom of what was done to her. She and Anst are quickly taken prisoner, in spite of their combined abilities, and subjected to torturous testing which nearly brings them to insanity. Anst is forced to accept the bind that has troubled Khyria and the question is whether they will survive the final test or ever be able to return to the Cortiian base.

Great story, with a smooth transition from the previous story. JC Steel has continued her series with a simple flow; that being said, this is not a book to pick up without reading the previous volumes. Elemental Conflict: Independence is certainly well written and full of action, excitement and emotion, but an understanding of the characters and their personalities and issues provides much greater enjoyment of the story. All the books in the series are well worth the read and capping them off with Elemental Conflict: Independence will make you want to read the rest to come! Great job and I can't wait for what comes next.

Ray Simmons

I liked Elemental Conflict: Independence by J.C. Steel. I like stories about war and warriors. I also like stories about mental powers. Some believe that the potential for these powers is real, that they are the next step in human evolution and we are going to have to learn to deal with them. J.C. Steel has created a novel that explores some of the problems and possibilities these problems represent. Elemental Conflict: Independence is a story about two people caught in an involuntary mental bond. They are not enemies, in fact they are comrades, yet the bond is not one they chose but are trying to deal with and master. The tension is real, as is the possibility for disaster. The universe or future shown in this novel is fascinating. The portrait of politics and religion shown is one of the best parts of the novel and displays how these two important segments of society may grow and change as man evolves.

I liked Khyria and Anst an Nabat. There are a lot of interesting characters in Elemental Conflict: Independence, but these two characters made this future world human and interesting to me. Mental powers and involuntary meld aside, they are, at their most basic, a man and a woman. Two warriors trying to make this situation work. First, they need to survive, then they must win. The plot is great. The setting is well drawn, and this future is painted beautifully. All the elements of a successful novel are present in Elemental Conflict: Independence and J.C. Steel puts them together like a master.