Daphne Unruh is a German author who started this series originally as an eBook and as a self-publisher. It was the original cover with the white frame around the blue flowers that caught my eye and made me curious. So it is kind of sad, that Loewe changed that. If you like a very opulent writing style in combination with a bit of a dry tone and sometimes awkward to read a language, especially out of the mouth of a teenage girl, then this is definitely your book. If not, well, guess I don´t have to say more.

by Daphne Unruh
Zauber Der Elemente #1
Published by Loewe on September 19, 2016
Genre Children 14+
Pages 495
Format Softcover
Source Publisher

Kira counts the last days of school. Soon she will be done! But then her life gets turned upside down: the new classmate Tim exerts an irresistible attraction on her and again she gets invested by fevers and eerie visions of dangerous shadow beings. Almost too late Kira recognizes that she has special powers and belongs into the magical world of the Academy of the Elements. Only there she is safe – so she thinks!
Kira starts her last year in school. Her university-entrance diploma is about to happen and a lot of learning, stress, and other things come along with that. Her fevers are among those things and the fact, that she always has them when the new classmate is around, doesn´t make life easier for her. But when she has to learn, that something is really not okay with her and her parents do something to her she´d never would´ve expected them to do, she goes by instinct and finds a world so strange and well known at the same time. A world full of magic, danger, and power she´d never thought would exist.

Himmelstiefe is written from Kira´s point of view and reads like she is sitting with you in a café and telling you what had happened till the present day. Daphne Unruh´s writing is a bit dull, she sometimes puts words into Kira´s mouth I´ve never heard from a real teenager and her fantasy is quite huge. The world where the Academy of the Elements is, is, on one hand, a beautiful and very attractive one, on the other a dangerous and kind of unrealistic place. Everything is more colorful and more intense. 

What kind of bothered me was the fact that the author gave throughout the ongoing plot her main figure not only a godlike look but from chapter to chapter she seemed to get one talent more than she had before. At some point, I felt that it was way too much for my taste. 

Delia, Kira´s mother started to annoy me right from the start. A former model, she does everything to keep her body safe and sound. Nothing against yogurt, but if that is all you are eating during the day, the week and the entire month, sorry, but that is not what I call a healthy “diet”. And she is so incredibly naïve. She measures the value of a human being by the amount of money he/she has on its account, she is blind when it comes to her surroundings and all that matters to her is when her next manicure appointment will be. Such a shallow person and a disaster as a mother. 

Kira, well Kira is something else. She kind of changes from the ugly dug to the beautiful swan. But it doesn´t stop at that, no. She starts with one talent, then another comes up and another and in the end, she is kind of a superwoman with incredible skills and the youngest person that ever made it into the council. For my taste, she was a bit too much of everything.

To be honest, the authors writing style is not really my thing. It is sad to say, but I was kind of happy when I was finished with it. Despite that, most parts of the story were quite entertaining and they were the reason why this novel got the stars I gave and could climb up to almost reading pleasure; at least in my eyes.

Happy reading
*This book was at the time of review only available in the German language. 

Daphne Unruh
Daphne Unruh ©Reyst

Daphne Unruh was born in Berlin and studied creative writing, art and script. Since then she illustrates books, shows her colorful Wimmelpictures in various exhibitions in Berlin and Brandenburg and invents fantastic stories. The idea for them she finds in Catlantis. That is a magical place in the real Märkischen Schweiz, where the author lives with her family and her red cat in a small house with a big green jungle garden.


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