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Harmonies of War

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Thousands of years ago, the Ancients bestowed Nine Energies of Magic to a small group of humans known as Descendants. Now, at a time when Descendants have become widely feared, many of them choose a false sanctuary fighting for the evil King Zagan of Sharnin. With the Queen of Thurnadan poisoning her husband's mind in a quest to prove her crown, the sudden threat of her kingdom falling to King Zagan has her in severe turmoil.

There is only one Descendant who could be the key to ending Zagan’s rampage of terror: Aurora, the scarlet haired Descendant foretold in an Ancient Prophecy, more powerful than ever thought possible.

‘Harmonies of War’ is a snapshot of the Temperate Lands. It is your guide to the series ‘Descendants of War’, which follows the Descendants’ daunting journey of survival. Will the evil side of magic completely wipe the Descendants off the face of the earth? Or can they find redemption? Follow them as they battle The Jinx, a disease like you've never imagined, discover a hidden reserve of blood, and face the curse of eternal life, as evil attempts to destroy them.

Make sure you hold on tight as the legends from thousands of years ago claw their way out of extinction and threaten to breathe fiery life once more.

218 pages, Paperback

Published June 27, 2017

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About the author

Ruby Fitzgerald

5 books63 followers
Ruby Fitzgerald is unapologetically bold and fearless in her writing style. Short dialogue, sudden changes, and a villain as the lead sets the stage for a tumultuous series.

The characters in the series are manifestations of depression. Silvia is sorrow and hopelessness, Xenos- isolation, Jestin- addiction, Eleanor- irrationality, Malcolm- denial, and so on. Each person embodies a piece of the mental workings of someone suffering and fighting toward health and stability. The magic, the fantasy, the adventure... that's the life and reality the characters reside in, but not the focus of series. The series demands insecurities be acknowledged as part of personality, evil as part of humanity, and desolation as the root of hope. The series stares depression straight in the face.

Fitzgerald didn't write a happy ending. She wrote a hard life.

'Descendants of War' explores the darker side of magic in The Temperate Lands. Where The Jinx- a deadly virus- has infiltrated the lands. Aurora and her companions have only clues of Ancient Prophecy to try and slow the destruction while Eleanor is running her Queendom into the ground.

Is it fate and prophecies that form the future? or do we make our own choices and find our own strength?

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 43 reviews
Profile Image for Andreea Daniela.
21 reviews11 followers
July 21, 2017
I received an ARC of “Harmonies of war” from the author, but that will not affect my thoughts on the book.

First of all, I would like to say that this is a debut novel. I always have this feeling that even though the description might be epic, regarding debut authors, the writing style and logic of the story might lack due to experience. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not the case with this book.

If you like Throne of Glass, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones I can guarantee you will love this book. It has all of the elements of an epic story: a fantasy kingdom, badass magic and an ancient prophecy to shake the world. The world building is amazing for such a short book, it’s one of my favourite parts of the story. The world is consistent and I love the slight throwbacks of the past. The characters are interesting and really easy to get to love, with a story of their own and their own convictions. They are not just thrown in the story to fill an empty space.

I loved the descriptions in this book, and the fact that most things have a backstory and explanation. I like to know everything about the world I am about to dive in and the author provided just the right amount of details too tell enough and not bore the reader with numerous insignificant details.

The writing style of this book is really beautiful. And mixed with the beautiful descriptions, it just envelops the reader in the setting of this fantasy world. I can tell the author loved writing the book and fell in love with the story she plotted. Authors should really love their stories more in order for others to love them too.

One of the things I didn’t enjoy that much is that the story is more interesting in the beginning than towards the end, but I still liked it a lot. And also, for such an epic journey, is really short.

I did not like the cover whatsoever, it’s really dull and basic. If I saw the book on a shelf, based only on cover, not story… I would not buy it. Sorry. Such an epic story deserves a more interesting cover, so people would be drawn to it. But I enjoyed the map inside. It would’ve been really interesting to see some artwork inside the book.

My final thought is that people should really give this book a try. It’s a gem of a story that needs to be read by all fantasy lovers. I really hope it will have a sequel.

Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews185 followers
July 16, 2020

I received a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Harmonies of War is the prequel to Descendants of War: Magic's Demise, and I figured it would be the best approach to read this first. Also it's shorter than book 1 lmao. The premise of this story is mostly a world-building and magic guide. Thurnadan is threatened by an evil King, and only a Descendant blessed with all Nine Energies can stop him, or doom the world trying. The prestigious Achlese Academy students have been massacred, and only one survives. Starting 72 hours prior to Zagan's attack on Thurnadan, Harmonies of War takes us through the events preceding, up to and after that fateful battle.

In this world, the Nine Energies is different types of magic: Fire Sculptor, Water Weaver, Wind Whisperer, Earth Grounder, Seer, Mind Handler, Shape Shifter, Healer and Spell Spinner. A Descendant is any person with at least one of these abilities. Our story opens on the King Malcolm, finding Aurora almost dead in the remains of a battle field. He takes her to his castle in order to help her heal. Aurora is a Descendant and has all Nine Energies. When she arrives at the castle, she finds something off about Queen Eleanor and that Zagan may have spies this close to the castle. Aurora must convince the King & Queen to prepare for all out war.

In the beginning, I was a bit slow to connect all the events in the guide. It also took me a while to warm up to the characters, especially Queen Eleanor. She did so many strange things and for no good reason, it was very peculiar. There was quite the amount of betrayal in this book. Like you can not trust anyone because all of them are hiding something.

I really came to like Aurora, and was constantly in awe of her powers. It was a bit hard to believe Zagan was as powerful as her when she had so many more abilities. The fight scenes were really fun and I loved those the best. The ending wrapped up almost all the loose ends, but still has plenty of room to expand. I'm really curious to see what will happen in Book 1.
Profile Image for Beth McCallum.
241 reviews198 followers
July 10, 2017
Thank you to Ruby for sending me an ARC copy of this.

I was really excited to start this book. The concept sounded awesome! However, I quickly knew this wasn't the book for me.

My main issue was the writing style and it bothered me from the first page. Throughout the book it is very dry. Fitzgerald is always telling you what's happening, rather than showing. This led to a lack of drama and intrigue in the novel which was sad because I thought the plot deserved that.

The writing continued to annoy me as I noticed how blunt the sentences were. There were rarely clauses; nothing really linked together. There's a noticeable lack of 'then', 'and', 'because', etc... There's not much cause and effect. It's usually, 'This happened. That happened. She went there. He did this.' It doesn't flow very well.

Finally, there are an abundance of errors, whether that is formatting, grammar, typos or just general writing style. I'm not sure if I received a VERY early copy but I do hope that these errors were fixed for the final book because it made the story read like a first draft.

As for characters, I didn't feel like I knew any. There are a LOT of characters for this story and hardly any of them are given the spotlight for a long enough period of time for me to get to know them. The story is not narrated by one, or even a handful, of characters. Rather, it is an omniscient narrator that jumps from person to person within a couple of sentences at times. This didn't allow me to ever get inside the head of any character or see what their inner monologue, thoughts or feelings were.

A lot happened in this book. People died. People fought. People found out deep dark secrets. But none of them seemed to really mind. A secret would be revealed, there would be a short exchange of dialogue and the characters would essentially be like 'Oh well, moving on...' They didn't feel like real people.

Regarding the romance in this book, it also was very dry and instant. I didn't feel invested.

Overall, the book jumped around too much for me. I didn't get invested in any one character or even aspect of the plot. New subplots were introduced all the time, devoting 1-2 pages for it, leaving me with no investment or understanding of that aspect of the novel. There is a huge war at the end which is over pretty quickly leaving a lot of characters in devastating situations, yet none of them seem that devastated.

I am sorry that I didn't like this book and that my review has been so negative. I wish the book much success and I hope it will fall into the hands of readers who are more suited to it!

Profile Image for Linn.
59 reviews8 followers
July 8, 2017
3,5 🌟
I received a review-copy of this book from the author, but that doesnt affect my thoughts and feelings about the book.

I really really liked it though! It was magical and thrilling, and also felt very refreshing in the way the world and the characters were created and written! And so many badass women, and men of course! One of the things I loved the most about it was that the Queen was the one with power, and the one ruling her Queendom! I want more Queendoms instead of Kingdoms in fiction now please!

I really liked the worldbuilding and the characters a lot, and I liked how magic played its part in the story! And I will definitely be interested in reading the next book to see where this is going!

The reason it gets 3,5 stars from me, and not more though, is because I felt it was a little bit too short for such a big cast of characters and such a big fantasy-world. Because it was so short, some parts felt really rushed in the book, and the characters didnt get enough attention for me to really connect with them. But the story has soo much promise, and Im still excited to read more.

Another thing that didnt affect my rating, but still made me a little sad, is the cover of the book. Its way too simple and "boring" for such a great fantasy-novel! The book deserves a cover that will make people want to pick up the book, and unfortunately this cover will just blend in among the masses of other fantasy-covers.

Anyway, I will definitely recommend this book to people who loves fantasy-books and want something fresh and new! Because even though I wish it was longer and a little more developed, I still really really liked it!
Profile Image for Kärt.
150 reviews22 followers
October 10, 2018
First of all, thank you again Soldier Bear Entertainment for sending this to me!

I gave it three stars, simply because i would have loved it if it were longer and the events had been more developed, as well as characters. It seemed rushed. But I did really enjoy it as I love magical books!

The character about whom I'd love to read about more would be Donovan, I adore bad boys like that!

There were a few things that bothered me somewhat, one thing being Silvia just leaving her mother to burn alive. Why not carry her outside? Is burning alive better than being killed by one of the Descendants or soldiers? I wouldn't think so!

Also, Argus's accent seemed somewhat strange. Is he supposed to be Scottish? As Angus is a Scottish name which is very similar. It didn't seem fully evolved and wasn't consistent. The Silvia and Argus storyline could've been talked about more as well... One second they were both dying, the next Argus was alive and well. But maybe that was intentional, who knows!

I guess most of my concerns with this book really are because I wish there was more of it. So I'm really looking forward to reading Descendants of War as I've heard it's even better.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rhianwen.Reads.
16 reviews14 followers
June 27, 2017
(This review is spoiler free)

I received this book from the author for an honest review. This review contains my honest opinion.

An enchanting and brilliantly crafted novel, following the war of rivalling kingdoms, an ancient prophecy and the darker side of magic.

This novel has an amazing concept that's well crafted, being both familiar to the fantasy genres expectations', while also delivering a unique and fresh spin.
Ruby Fitzgerald keeps a fast pace flow throughout the novel and doesn't waste a word of page time. Each addictively written word has a purpose.

The world building and character development was expertly done. I could actually see the world coming together as if I was there, and the characters felt as though they could come alive off the pages.
All of these components are put together with unexpected plot twists and an ending that leaves you satisfied but also wanting more.
Profile Image for sanne_reads.
264 reviews
August 4, 2017
A big thank you to Ruby Fitzgerald (the author) for providing me with an ARC of this book for an honest review. I enjoyed reading Harmonies of War. There were some interesting characters and an intriguing storyline. I do think there was happening too much in such a short novel, which made it hard to get invested. I also really don't like the cover art (sorry!).
There's definitely potential there for an epic series.
Profile Image for Paige.
1,719 reviews76 followers
January 17, 2018
Rating: 3/5

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (sex, violence, brutal deaths)

Pages: 287

Author: Ruby Fitzgerald


I was asked to promote the sequel to this book: Descendants of War: Magic’s Demise by the author. All opinions are my own.

Harmonies of War follows a Queendom's twisted path of epic war and treacherous betrayal, fueled by magic. At a time when those who possess magic, the Descendants, are wildly feared and corrupted by an evil King on an unstoppable quest for power, the only thing that can save them is a true-hearted woman foretold in an Ancient Prophecy. When a young, red haired Descendant is discovered barely alive, with more magical abilities than has ever been recorded, is it possible she is The One to fulfill the Prophecy? – Amazon.com

I’m not a huge reader of political books, but when mixed with a bit of magic I feel like exceptions can be made and Harmonies of War was the book that fit this specific category. This book was an action-packed adventure that made you keep turning the pages. The plot was really interesting and the pacing wasn’t too slow or too fast. The characters were also very interesting, as the author used a lot of older characters and not just teen characters.

However, the characters weren’t very well developed. The story starts so suddenly and ends so suddenly that it’s really hard to get your bearings straight. So when the characters are introduced we’re not given much of a backstory, which could make for a frustrating read for some readers. The book was also not descriptive and told the readers the actions rather than show it. While this wasn’t that big of a deal to me, it might be for others. The book is also told in multiple POV, so watch out for that if you’re not into that sort of narrative.

Verdict: I feel that the book was a solid start to a good series and I’m interested to see if we’ll have the same characters in the next book or if we’ll have the “descendants” of our heroes in this next installment. If you’re a fan of action-adventure books with magical elements in it, give this series a try!
Profile Image for Ryley (Ryley Reads).
971 reviews76 followers
July 2, 2017
Thanks so much to the author for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Going into this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. It's been a while since I picked up a good ole fantasy and this one seemed to promise an interesting take with the addition of different magical elements.

The story follows a few characters but they all basically revolve around one storyline that features Aurora, who is unique because she has all nine types of magic. Most of those with magic, called Descendants, only have one type of magic. As two rival kingdoms come head to head, it seems as though Aurora might be the answer they are looking for, the one who will fulfill the Ancient Prophecy.

Firstly, let's talk about the magic aspect of this book. Now, I usually find that magic is one of those things that authors struggle with. Either they explain every little detail about it to the point where it is no longer interesting or they don't really explain how it came to be and hope for the best. I think Fitzgerald did a great job with the magic element of this book. She gives enough backstory to explain why people have it, but not so much that I was bored. There are a couple of smaller things that could be explained a bit more, mainly revolving around why some people have magic and others don't, but because of the way the story is told, details like that aren't really that important.

I also really liked the way the story was told. It is narrated in third-person with alternating perspectives and I think this is another thing that was done quite well. It's easy to lose track of characters and lose the individual voices with this type of narration, but Fitzgerald is able to keep them separate while still keeping them all on track with telling the story.

I don't know if I really connected with any of the characters on a deeper level, but that is, unfortunately, usually a side effect of the third-person narrative.

For a novel that is just over 200 pages, I applaud the world-building. There is a map at the beginning to refer to throughout but because of the length of the novel, I knew going in the development of an in-depth world probably wasn't going to happen. I think if the book was a little longer, perhaps more could be spent on the world but I think for the size it is, I can accept the amount I got.

I found it interesting that this book was so short, especially for the genre it is. Most fantasy books I've read have been longer and I think this book could have benefited from a bit more length to explain and expand things out a bit.

The ending, specifically, felt a little rushed to me. I won't say too much to spoil anything but I just felt like there was a lot of build-up, a battle and then everything just kind of worked out. I was expecting more deaths, more harshness. Maybe that says something about me as a person/reader or maybe that says something about the fantasy genre, but I just felt we were missing something.

Despite the few issues I had, I did still enjoy this book. I really liked some of the characters, specifically Argus and Aurora. And even the characters I didn't like, I still appreciated where they were coming from. I think one of Fitzgerald's strong suits is creating unique and interesting characters. I also really enjoyed the dynamic between King Malcolm and Queen Eleanor. Despite her trickery, they seemed to have a really great relationship, something you don't see a lot of in fantasy novels. Usually, the King and Queen were forced to marry and can't stand each other. Their relationship in this book was really refreshing.

I'm not sure if this book will have a sequel or not. The ending makes one possible but not necessary so we'll see.

Overall, an interesting and refreshing take on the fantasy genre.
Profile Image for Jay.
358 reviews21 followers
June 30, 2017
I received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review, this does not my opinion in anyway and all of the following are my own words.

3.5 stars

I sort of struggled to decide what to rate this. It wasn't a bad book, but iy wasn't great. Some good characters, some not so much, fairly unique plot that was excuted alright. Writing was good, a couple little issues that will be presumably be fixed in the final copy. Sadly there just wasn't anything that made it stand out as incredible. I would still reccomend the book as the writing is perfectly good, and I do love how magic is incorporated into it with a different take on control of different powers.

There was a lot to the plot, and a large cast of characters so maybe it was just too ambitious for such a short book. It was like there was just a bit too much happening for the details to be fully fleshed out to make it an amazing book so it was just good. Of the book was slightly longer and potentially reduced number of characters or just fewer of their perspectives being prominent I think t would have been easier to be engaged. I did like the writing and would read more from this author, as I can definitely see where the writing can be developed to make stand out characters and plot.
Profile Image for Nargis  Kalani.
401 reviews87 followers
January 17, 2019
"The Scarlet Prophecy tells of a young woman, hair as red as flames, who will be chosen to receive all nine gifts of energy. And with all gifts, she will be more powerful than even the ancients were."

At first, i thought this book is the sequel to descendents of war: magic's demise but when I started reading, I discovered its the prequel to the book.

It was very slow paced in the beginning and I kinda forgot about it for a while because of the excitement of starting other books. Then I remembered I left this one after reading half of it :p
This happens with me rarely though.

Since its the prequel, i got to understand the characters even more through this book. I discovered that my dislike for queen Eleanor was right because omg! the games she played to do the right thing....
Ahh! well not giving spoilers. I really enjoyed reading this prequel, it was actually very compelling. The events of the war of venom were unfolded in this prequel. I loved how the author brought forward the origin of the characters.
Thank you again to Ruby Fitzgerald for entrusting me with her books and letting me to read and review them.
Profile Image for Kayleigh.
310 reviews46 followers
October 11, 2018
I was kindly sent a copy of this book for review.

From reading what the book is about I thought it sounded very much like something I would enjoy. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

Although the premise of the story is interesting and has great potential, the writing felt stilted and was more about telling us what was happening rather than showing us. It didn’t really flow together and so didn’t hold my attention.

A lot was going on in a short amount of time and the constant switch from character to character was a little off putting and didn’t allow any time to feel a connection to any of them. Which then means that I wasn’t particularly invested in any of the characters or their storylines.

I liked the concept of the magic and what they could do with it but even that wasn’t described or talked about in a way that made it easy to visualise.

I’m sure there will be people who enjoy this book but it just didn’t do a lot for me personally.
Profile Image for Lunabookaddict.
327 reviews585 followers
September 5, 2017
My review will be in french.

J'ai bien aimé ma lecture, et on va dire que j'ai passé un bon moment cela m'a même rappelé Falling Kingdom de Morgan Rhodes/ GOT (même si je n'ai jamais regardé. On avait énormément de choses qui s'en rapprochait). Le roman est un mélanger de personnages plutôt badasse, avec une pointe de fantasy et magie. Comment ne pas aimer j'ai envie de dire?

"I know there's magic. And magic can't hide from me."

Je pense que ce qui m'a le plus charmé dans cette histoire ce sont les personnages qui sont tous plus badasse que les autres. On a de la chance d'avoir des femmes qui prennent les choses en main et qui savent ce qu'elles veulent. Je parle par exemple de Eleanor et Aurore. J'avais tellement envie de détesté Eleanor au début et j'étais en admiration sur le culot de Aurore. Mais j'ai adoré ses deux femmes. Hors les femmes badassent, on a quand même à faire à des hommes aussi charismatique, sauf Malcom que j'ai trouvé tellement passive (mais logique en même temps haha) . En bref, moi je suis une grande amoureuse des personnages si vous l'avez toujours pas compris.

"Embrace the wind, do not be frightened."

La chose par contre qui m'a dérangé, est l'écriture. Je sais que c'est le premier roman de Ruby et je suis impressionnée car l'histoire est bien ficelé mais j'aurais voulu un peu plus de contenance, un peu plus de rallonge. J'ai eu cette impression que ce n'était pas fini et trop court pour moi? Quand je suis arrivée à la fin de l'histoire, j'étais "mais comment...? quoi c'est fini? mais non". Cela laisse présagé qu'il y aura une suite à cette histoire? du moins je l'espère !

"Battle after battle, threat after threat. i watched everyone I knew and love die and It killed me inside."

Pour finir, je suis plutôt contente de cette lecture en règle général. J'espère que ça vous donnera envie de le lire ou de lui donner sa chance. Je remercie encore l'auteure pour l'envoie ! ^^
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jen  Sutton.
101 reviews4 followers
March 30, 2022

I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the writing style of this book, Fitzgerald has a wonderfully descriptive way with words. I also enjoyed the story but I felt it blended in with a lot of other fantasy stories on the market.

Though enjoyable, I'm not sure I will be continuing on with this series.
Profile Image for Rosy Tandean.
121 reviews11 followers
August 12, 2017
I can't say I love this book, but as a debut novel Ruby's writing is great. There's a lot happening in this short book and I wish it were longer.
Profile Image for Kayla❤️.
20 reviews1 follower
June 28, 2017
I loved the entire story line of this book. It was a new and exciting world. An adventurous fantasy story with plenty of magic mixed in.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
94 reviews17 followers
September 22, 2017
Spoiler Free Review

Thank you Ruby (author) for sending me copy of your ARC in exchange for an honest review…. please note this does not alter or influence the way in which I write or grade my reviews

Here we go!
It took a few solid pages to really understand the storyline and what was actually happening and why, but once I did the book was very easy to read and follow. This book reminded me a lot of the cartoon series Avatar…. you know with the fire, water, earth and air benders? If you enjoy fantasy novels where some have abilities this is definitely a book for you! Fantasy is my element, I find it hard to read something with the characteristics of this genre and not enjoy it. This book, (as the title states) features a lot of fighting, battles, death and triumph as these are themes of war.

I did struggle with the writing style of this book. I felt that at times it was almost to easy to follow as I felt the reader was being told what was happening so specifically, that I couldn’t really challenge myself. I wanted to be shown more of what was happening, rather than simply being told what was happening if that makes sense? While the book did jump around quite a bit (changing focalisation and changing setting) it was easy to get lost and have to re-read certain passages to get caught up to speed, however I was able to connect with the characters regardless of this hiccup.

You read multiple points of views.
I struggled in reading certain scenes mainly because of the quick changes and shifts in setting but if you enjoy books where the focalisation changes this book uses and explores this well. Focalisation refers to the perception changing through a third person narrator, so you never get a first person perspective in reading this. I find I enjoy books that are written this way as you tend to get to know multiple characters.

I loved some characters, while completely loathing others which is what you want in a good story. The female characters in this book were very strong willed, determined characters and whenever reading characters like that I always find myself enjoying reading their scenes. I believe there were three main storylines that ultimately merge but as this book had so many characters - it was very hard to keep up!

Please don’t read this and assume this is going to be a love story. While there are very minimal instances of romance in this book it isn’t the central focus or really explored in this book. I actually enjoyed this book more so because of this. I enjoyed reading a book for the first time that focused more on the destruction and repercussions of war, rather than a war love story.

a few little grammar hiccups…
I tend to not focus to much on grammar errors of authors firsts works. These are their babies and I try not to speak so harshly about books that people have put so much thought and care into. It is undeniable that there were a few grammar errors, words left out, however this didn’t stop me or drastically prevent me from being able to progress in the story. I wasn’t detached and I was very much present in the events of the book.

Overall I really did enjoy this book.
I may not have absolutely fallen in love with the book but I enjoyed the characters and their journeys throughout this tale.

3.5/5 Stars!

Profile Image for Jude.
10 reviews4 followers
August 4, 2017

(I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review. This fact does not affect my review and opinions in any way.)

Truthfully, Harmonies of War surprised me in a good way! I have to admit, when I first saw the book I thought the cover was too plain and boring, and the title itself, although quite clever, did not appeal to me as a fantasy-filled book at all, so I wasn't really too enthusiastic to read it. The only thing that drew me to it was the synopsis, which I thought was very interesting. And when I finally started the prologue, I was bombarded with a lot of typos, unnecessary/missing punctuation marks and grammatical errors (e. g. "knocking her to her to the..., being drug away") so I'm not sure if I got an uncorrected proof of the book. (But I'm glad the errors noticeably and drastically died down after the prologue.) These things gave me a not-so-good first impression of the book and made me have low expectations for it but as I continued, it grew better and better! The writing itself was beautiful and vivid, but it didn't feel like it was "too much," which was amazing. The writing style was enchanting but did not steer away too much from what's really happening. I'm glad the author got to achieve that balance.

Right off the bat, the book gave me major "Avatar: The Last Airbender" vibes because the "Descendants" the synopsis is talking about are basically like benders (they each possess one of nine different magical powers) + one of the characters has control over all of them. And if you know me, you'll know that I'm a complete sucker for ATLA, so right then and there I was hooked! So if you're looking for magic in this book, you surely won't be disappointed! Harmonies of War is brimming with magic. I just wished the source of this magic (the "Ancients", as they called them) were talked about or elaborated/explained more, because I found all the magic to be quite vague. But if the book isn't a standalone (because I'm not quite sure if it is) it could probably be done in the next books.

One more thing I loved about this book was the pacing. It did not make me feel exhausted when I was reading it, unlike other fantasy books I've read before which are usually so densely-written because of all the world-building and other details. With this one I just wanted to keep on turning the page and find out what happens next. The book also had multiple POVs (written in third person), and that can usually be a hit-or-miss for a lot of books but I thought it was utilized pretty well in this one. The plot itself was well-crafted, with twists and turns that blended seamlessly into the story.

With all that said and disregarding the "typos issue", I could have easily given Harmonies of War 4 stars, but the main issue I faced about this book was that the characters felt detached to me. I wasn't feeling for most of them at all. They were all well-written but I wasn't able to connect with them that much. Like if they died on the spot, I wouldn't feel that sad. I mean sure, the characters did show some emotions in the book, but to me they were written to just be seen rather than to be felt. They were all very interesting, though, and I loved how there were lots of amazing strong female characters in this book. The setting itself was a "Queendom" rather than the usual kingdom, and I think we need more queendoms in literature!

All in all I could say that although Harmonies of War wasn't really that mindblowing, I still liked and enjoyed it a lot. It definitely exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed reading every magical page and I would definitely pick up the sequel if there's ever going to be one!
August 2, 2017
I was really excited when Ruby reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in reading her new book Harmonies of War (or HoW for short) The story follows the path of a number of characters as they pick sides, double deal and switch alliances during the war of all wars.

To make things even more interesting a handful of people are blessed (or cursed as some see it) with extra gifts. Gifts that allow them to heal, shape shift, control the elements, see the future, or even manipulate the minds of others. These magic wilding people are called Descendants, and they are met with extreme prejudice by ordinary people who fear the power they wield.

However the people are forced to come to terms with the Descendants living in secret among them, as a war lord wielding magic of his own starts tearing across the country leveling everything in his path for conquest. Who do the people turn to and who will save them when only wicked wield magic.

All in all I liked this book. There were multiple perspectives and as expected I found myself drawn to some more than others (like the bad a** warrior woman Silvia, and the sly dark prince Donovan.) I also really like having alliances shift as people gleaned new information and there were a handful of characters that I never felt like I knew who's side they were on... I guess they were mostly on their own side and looking out for themselves, which felt authentic to me.

There were also a couple of characters I wanted to punch... Mostly the queen for being so hot and cold and such a sniveling mess when I felt like all she needed to do was stand up strait and start ordering people around for all of her hopes and dreams to come true.

However the banter and dark teasing of Donovan kept things fun, and Silvia kept things moving.

Final takeaways: I think there were a few too many perspectives for me to latch deeply onto a certain character, but I loved that there were so many strong females and the queendom perspective felt fresh to me. I also liked seeing war from a more female perspective. The magic wielders, being both needed and feared gave the book a bit of a Shadow and Bones feel, and I really appreciated how the whole story tied up at the end. There is certainly room for a sequel, but I also feel comfortable with how the story ended (in my mind there are not enough standalones in the world.) If you're looking for an interesting read with constant intrigue and jostling for power this might be a good choice for you.
13 reviews18 followers
August 11, 2017
*won from giveaway*

I have given this book 3 stars because there were both positive and negative aspects to this novel. I'll start off with the negatives and end with the positives.

The writing style is very blunt and doesn't flow well at all.
There were a lot of typos or strangely worded sentences; a couple of sentences didn't make any sense at all.
The narrator often changed within a couple of sentences or a paragraph. Writing from multiple perspectives is great, but these perspectives were not broken up. One minute it was the perspective of one character and then the next sentence the author had suddenly moved to another character.
Events moved really quickly and it felt like it was rushed at times for me.
Character inconsistencies e.g. one minute, two characters were mistrustful of each other and then the next moment, they acted as if they trusted each other.
Characters came to conclusions that I would not have expected them to come to. It felt like the author was forcing them to come to these conclusions in order to comply with the plot and move forward with the next event.
Some characters acted just plain stupidly at times. E.g. (spoiler) Eleanor confused King Malcolm's mind with magic and yet didn't expect anyone to realise it was her doing; this was despite the fact that she was the only person he had seen during the night?

I liked the concept and the world that had been built, as well as the various magical abilities.
It gave me a Game of Thrones-y feel (and I love Game of Thrones!) although nowhere near as complex nor well written.
I came to really like some of the characters e.g. Aurora and Silvia.
There were some plot twists that I didn't expect (e.g. spoiler: Bridget being a spy).
I particularly liked the love between Silvia and Argus.

Overall, I think this book has a lot of potential but, to me, it still gives me a "first draft" kind of feel, like it is unfinished. The ideas are there, the plot is there, the characters are there, but the wording needs to be sorted, typos need to go, and the characters need to be made more consistent. More time also needed to be spent building up the plot instead of giving it a rushed feel.
Profile Image for Anais (atrailofpages) .
483 reviews11 followers
February 20, 2022
This is a great start to the series. This book slowly builds and leads up to the Battle of Venom. You meet all the main characters, protagonists, and antagonists. You learn about the world, the magic system, and a bit about the history of the world.

This is a very plot focused book. It's hard to connect with any of the characters, honestly. That made it a bit hard for me to enjoy the book in full since I like to connect with the characters in my books. That being said, I really liked the world, the story and the magic system. It kept me at the edge of my seat wondering how this was going to all go down.

The magic system is really neat. In this world there are non-magic humans, and humans who use magic called Descendants(which I think means they are considered descendants of their gods called the Ancient Ones). When a person comes into their powers, an Inking appears on their skin identifying what type they are. There are those who can control minds, or ones who can control elements, etc. Aurora turns out to be someone who has almost all 9 Inkings making her a very powerful Descendant. It sounds like there are quite a bit of prejudice against those Descendants, and so the main antagonist King Zagan, takes it upon himself to take over the lands and allow magic to rule over everyone, but with him in control by using his Mind powers, and using a poison called Indigo Venom that dampens the powers in other Descendants.

This book gave me some serious Game of Thrones vibes with all the political intrigue, the backstabbing and betrayal. I mean it was actually hard for me to like any of the characters since they all had secrets and none seemed to want to share them even if it helped others or their own kind. There is also a lot of betrayal! Almost every character had a personal endgame and vendetta and tended to focus on themselves only not others. I did really like Aurora, basically the main character of the whole story, and I really liked Donavan. Donovan made it pretty great villain!

Overall, I give this 3.5/5 stars. I really liked the story and the magic system the most, I mean there is a lot of detail about the magic system and the world and I love that in a book. And I look forward to seeing how the story continues in the next book. Thank you to the author for sending me a free digital copy to read!
Profile Image for Erica Odell.
69 reviews5 followers
July 23, 2017
3.5 Stars Actually
Harmonies of War is a fantasy novel revolving around magic, fear, loyalty (or lack there of), and betrayal. A fantasy book that does does not disappoint, but rather surprises you, with twists and turns in a plot full of love and manipulation.
For me, I can see inspiration deriving from Avatar the Last Airbender and Game of Thrones. One there are Descendants who have the energies of magic. Fire Sculptor, Water Weaver, Earth Grounder etc. Second there is a kingdom in which people are fighting for, but be careful of who you trust.
One thing I liked about the story, was the lack of sex. I was actually able to read a novel without reading about someones constant sex life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude or anything, it was just a nice change of pace. Which is nice.
Like any book, there are characters that I loved, and others I could not stand. I'm interested in how the author will continue the story for these characters, especially Sylvia and Argus, as well as the King and Queen. I think the most interesting character was Queen Eleanor because she felt the most relatable to me (also the most flawed I believe). I won't spoil the book or her character growth for you, but I can understand how some actions may seem like they are rightly justified, but in the end you hurt people.
I gave the book 3.5 stars because the story seemed a little slow to me, but that could be just me. I was in one of those reading moods. Also I wished there was more back story revolving the queens mother and King Zagan. Some backstories for the other characters seemed kind of rushed and at the end as some pieces were being put together.
I'm excited to see how this story continues though. Definitely worth the read if you are fantasy lover or someone who looking for a book to change up the pace.
Profile Image for Raye Wilson.
2 reviews
January 18, 2019
I got on goodreads BECAUSE of this series, below is what I had to say about Magic’s Demise (first book in the series following this prequel). All I’ll add is, Fitzgerald’s got some great potential.

Soooo let me gush, just a little bit, but first- thank you to author Ruby Fitzgerald and Soldier Bear Entertainment for sending me an ebook copy of both Descendants and Harmonies of War! So generous! However, promise I’m not being paid, so yes, this review is entirely my own opinion. But... my opinion is awesome... or rather, that the books are awesom lol. Also, their request got me onto goodreads, so big bonus to me!

Ok, so I loved it, even with technically reading it out of order(?) If you read Magic’s Demise first like I did, a toooon of info gets dumped on you. Great characters, but it takes a little bit to get the vibe of who’s who and what they mean to each other, with that being said, read Harmonies first (it’s the prequel and will take you like, one day to read, so just do it haha) and you’ll get the full back story/set up for this aaawwesome series. Ok, so that’s out of the way. My opinions

Eleanor is a b*tch, Xenos is like that bad boy dreamy type, I loved Ryder and first and now he’s kinda just getting on my nerves, and Malcolm needs to err, excuse my language but uh - grow a pair. Hahaha. I was totally oblivious to the details of mental illness/depression until I checked the series out more on Fitzgerald’s website and got it pointed out to me. But! Once I read that the characters were supposed to like, show aspects of depression, I couldn’t unsee it. SOOO true. For instance, Donovan being consequence and Xenos being isolation??!?! Duh! Can’t believe I didn’t notice. So cool, how Fitzgerald like bridged the gap between this magical, fun read and real life problems, you know?

So looking forward to book three.
Profile Image for Rebecka Wahl.
9 reviews16 followers
May 22, 2019
I was given this book but that does not affect this review in any way.

Harmonies of war is a book about magical people living with ordinary humans. Magic is split into nine energies, and some humans (called descendants) have an energy they can control. Aurora is a descendant that has powers beyond the normal descendants. According to a prophecy, she is the key to defeating the evil king Zagan.

I’ve always liked fantasy. But the last few years I haven’t found Fantasy books that interesting anymore.

Still, I’m glad I gave this book a read. Not necessarily because It’s the best one I’ve ever read, but because it made me want to start reading fantasy again.

It covered all of the things that make up a good fantasy novel: magic, prophecies, badass characters and a nice fantasy setting.

There were however a few things I didn’t like.
To start off, the cover wasn’t interesting, I’ve seen too many books with dark flames on a cover to notice this if I’d seen it on a bookshelf.
Another thing that bothered me a bit is that I didn’t feel like we got to know the characters enough to get attached. I’d love to dive a little deeper into the story.

Overall it was a good story! And i recommend it as a light read for anyone interested in the fantasy genre!
Profile Image for Alessa.
174 reviews21 followers
May 3, 2022
Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book.

I was excited to read it but sadly, this was not for me.
I think the idea was great and I really liked the magic system and all, but the execution fell flat.

My main issue was the writing style.
Most of the time, it was just dialogue with little in between. The dialogue was unnaturally fast-paced.
There were also many jumps between characters, so many that I didn't even have time to get invested in any of them.
Overall, it felt like the author was in a rush to tell this story, and wanted to cram in as many plot points as possible. Something would happen or something would be revealed, but then the plot immediately jumped to a different scene.

I think there was just too much content for a rather short book, which is sad because it sounded really promising. But there are 9 different types of magic, 8-9 characters that play a bigger role/are sort of POV characters, there's a big battle, but then there's also conflict because of the magic wielders / Descendants. It's just a lot for roughly 250 pages.

I'm sorry for the bad review, I do think there is a lot of potential, but for me personally, there was just not enough depth to feel connected to the story and the characters.
July 22, 2017
A truly amazing read. And did I mention that the plot is absolutely incredible? I’m relatively new to fantasy, but somehow “Harmonies of War” randomly fell into my hands when I started asking some friends and colleagues about their current reading lists so that I could expand my literary horizons and live vicariously through beautifully constructed storylines.

I was smitten by the main character, Aurora, a woman who possesses 9 different types of magic and has an ancient destiny she must fulfill. Ruby successfully develops magic into a powerful theme and symbol, guiding the reader into the depths and truths within the story. Her writing style is indicative of her passion for writing and her love for creating a vibrant atmosphere throughout her stories.

While a longer and more advanced storyline would have been quite an incredible achievement, I believe the book creates a strong possibility for the existence of a more extensive fantasy series. However, this work also happens to be Ruby’s debut! I can only promise to love the next piece that Mrs. Fitzgerald produces.
Profile Image for Harmony A Haun.
Author 6 books39 followers
April 29, 2022
This book starts off fast and furious! There are a lot of characters and lot of different perspectives being given at the same time. It was a bit confusing in the beginning given until I got the characters all sorted out. Then it was easy to follow along.
The world building is decent. It takes place pretty much in one central place, so there wasn't a whole lot to really build, but it is definitely set up for expansion.
The magic system is typical and unique all at the same time. There's not a whole lot you can change about controlling elements and what not but the author did a great job at adding in more powers and making them her own!
I felt the character development was lacking a bit. I didn't get invested in any one character. Also, I felt a little disconnected and not quite engulfed in the story. This may have something to do with a bit more telling vs showing.
Overall, I still think this is a great start to a promising series! In my experience, books in series tend to get better and better, so I'm looking forward to book number 2!
Profile Image for Kitkatreads.
113 reviews10 followers
July 19, 2018
I recieved an arc of the book from the author, so thankyou Ruby!
However, this will not affect my review of the book :)

When i first recieved this book i was so excited since it was fantasy! and i absolutely enjoy reading fantasy books! Anything about witches, wizards, magic, royalty, knights, armies and magical worlds, i'm sold.
'Harmonies Of War' delivered everything i expected, i loved the world building especially. The author managed to create this fanatstical world which was clear and the writing flowed smoothly, making it easier to read. Secondly, i loved the concept of magic and elements, and how each person had a sort of unique trait in their magical abilities.
However, I felt that the characters were distant and there was little development in the story. The pacing also was a little to fast, and I think the plot would be great if it had been paced slowly.

Besides that, I think it was an amazing debut! and fantasy lovers will definitely enjoy this!
Profile Image for Amalia Cole.
15 reviews1 follower
August 8, 2017
It is rare for me to finish a book in just two days, but I managed to do so with Harmonies of War by Ruby Fitzgerald.
Quite an easy fantasy read, but with enough plot twists and magic to keep me on my toes, I really enjoyed this book and it provided a great escape in just under three hundred pages.
In saying this, I would have loved even more detail and depth, as I feel like I just got a taste of who the characters were and what they could do. I would definitely be down for a prequel! The plot also seemed to blur a bit towards the end and I began to lose track of all of the characters amongst the action.
Despite this, it was overall a very enjoyable read and I really do look forward to what Fitzgerald does next!
For anyone who loves Game of Thrones or the Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas) series, I highly recommend!
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