I hadn’t planned on reviewing this novel, as I already reviewed the first two in this series quite favorably. But the final installment dropped in December and I thought I would check in to see if it’s worth going through three long books to get to that big finale.
TL;DR – Of course it is!
For everyone else:
When we last left our heroes, they had scored a partial victory, but at great cost. Now, they are back on the run from the remnants of Nathair’s army; Nathair himself is coming to grips with his true role in the grand scheme; on the other side of the land, Princess Edana looks for a way to win back her kingdom; and Lykos tries to maintain his slippery grip on Tenebral.
Once again, Ruin builds seamlessly on the closing events of the previous book (Valor) without the need for long exposition or jumps in time. It keeps up the continuous narrative. Characters continue to grow, but now more in terms of their relationships with others. Corban is a bona fide leader, Maquin discovers a new reason to live, and Edana establishes her authority (as best she can). Some minor characters also receive welcome character building, specifically Fidele, who becomes something more than a well-bred queen whose strings are pulled like a puppet’s by every advisor and ally.
For those of you looking to satiate your appetite for fantasy war, you’ll find plenty of action here, as armies collide across the banished lands. As usual, not everyone will live. The violence is brutal and unforgiving; the battles are varied and interesting.
And if that’s not enough, expect several revelations and a serious cliffhanger.
On the flip side to all this happiness, Ruin does suffer a little in the overall narrative. I thought it slaved to the plot more than the first two novels, as several twists and turns feel forced to get this part of the story to its climactic conclusion. Part of it is, I felt early on where it would end up and, sure enough, it went there.
However, if you’ve been enjoying this series, I don’t think this will bother you. It’s still a compelling read and the most fun I’ve had in the Fantasy genre in a long time.
There you go. Short and to the point, which is rare on MojoFiction and will be investigated.
Now get out there and read!