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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In Julia Ember's dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy Ruinsong, two young women from rival factions must work together to reunite their country, as they wrestle with their feelings for each other.

Her voice was her prison…
Now it’s her weapon.

In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence has been forced to torture her country's disgraced nobility at her ruth
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: November 24th 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Julia Ember Yes! The audiobook will be coming out on the same date!

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Julia Ember
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
UPDATE: Ruinsong will be released on November 24, 2020!

This book is a queer Phantom of the Opera retelling with music magic and girls wearing pink ballgowns and ribbons while brutally destroying their enemies.

I'm made an aesthetic for it today, so I decided to share it here too:

Tabi⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
Jun 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: edelweiss, netgalley
please don't let instalove ruin the glorious song of this concept

also that cover is PURPLE and glorious and therefore I love it dearly
Rebecca Schaeffer
I am so excited for all of you guys to read this book. It is everything I love in my fantasy, lush, immersive world-building, unique, vicious magic, morally grey characters, and a twisty, twisted plot. 2020 can't come fast enough!
Nov 30, 2019 marked it as anticipated-2020
ahhh just noticed we now have a release date, i’m so excited for this!!
Dec 31, 2018 marked it as to-read
omg. look at that description!!!!! this book won me already
Toya (the reading chemist)
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up!

Ruinsong is a brilliant dark fantasy that features enchanted songs and a slow-burn sapphic romance. The story follows two young woman. Cadence is the queen's new Principal singer who uses her magical songs to torture the queen's enemies (mainly the nobles). Remi, the daughter of a Viscount, wants nothing more than the queen's torturous reign to finally be over.

There are so many things that I just loved about this book. The world building is lush and incredibly intricate. Th
Jules ✨
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Tw: torture

Ruinsong is a story about choices. About taking a stand, discovering the truth about our own power, and figuring out how to use it. To reject people's choices about who you are, and to let your voice be heard. Cadence knows loss. She knows poverty and what it sounds like when that voice in the back of your head is ignored. Remi feels the boiling beneath the surface and the
Dylan Miller
While in some ways Ruinsong is a slow burn of a novel, the word count and world building are very welcome. Because of how lush the world of Ruinsong is especially concerning the logistics of magical song and class divides, I think this is one of those rare opportunities in which the audience needs that solid foundation. Ember delivered a gorgeous sapphic fantasy book for teens and up.
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lush fantasy novel about song magic and fighting for what's right--even when you've been complicit in wrongdoing.

In the Queendom of Bordea, music is magic-- at least for those gifted with it by the goddess. But for the Queen's Principal Singer, Cadence, her powers feel like more of a curse. At least, they have ever since she was taken in by the new queen and trained to become her chief weapon against the nobility. Now, her voice is used in shows of mass torture, used to keep the nobility livi
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
Jun 30, 2020 marked it as not-yet-released
Hopefully this is like Song Quest but not sheet
Alyssa Mead
Oct 22, 2018 marked it as in-the-distant-future
Shelves: i-need-these-now
This sounds so interesting! I just finished the Seafarer’s Kiss and I *loved* it, so I’m really excited to buy this novel, too! 💙
Chantal Aurora
Apr 28, 2020 marked it as to-read
How did I miss that this book is phantom inspired and queer?! *screams* I NEED THIS BOOK.
May 04, 2020 marked it as to-read
two young women from rival factions must work together

Dude, my gay heart is like, in love
Jul 13, 2020 marked it as to-read
✓ magic being music/song-related
✓ "lgbtq+ romantic fantasy"
✓ that luscious purple cover
✓ themes of dismantling systems of oppression i hope??

basically, sign me up for this one
Zoey Perrigo
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
*I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

There were a lot of reasons that I wanted to read this book. All of the buzzwords used in the blurb and the idea of a f/f YA? That's all I needed! I got so much more out of it than I thought I would.

This world and the magic behind it captivated me. A world where magic is song? That is right up my alley! I so liked learning about how the magic worked. I always found myself wondering what it each song would sound like.

There was one th
Sarah Leigh
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ruinsong is pitched as a dark, sapphic, romantic fantasy and in many ways, it delivers on that promise. The novel focuses on two young women; Cadence, the queen's powerful new Principal singer who is forced to use her magic to torture the queen's enemies, and Remi, the daughter of nobles who desperately wants to see her country change for the better. As the novel progresses, the two young women are thrust together and must figure out what they ultimately want and how to achieve it, while also de ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it

Thank you to Unplugged Book and Edelweiss for this ARC. In exchange, here is my honest review.

I love the story idea. The world-building and characters are alright. Even though I didn’t connect with them a lot, but the book itself is okay. An interesting read. The plot is quite cool, and the pace is relatively good, but I wasn’t a fan of the ending, mainly because I found it predictable. A happy ending. Yay. But it felt rushed and insignificant –– I expected more from it. I guess I would call
Ashlee » Library In The Country
I just really love this title.
amara ☾
Dec 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: lgbtrep
look at that bomb ass cover 😍😍
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review
3.5 stars
RUINSONG is a beautiful fantastical story set in a world where magic is transferred through song. We follow two characters, one of which is the queen’s personal mage. Cadence sings destructive music for the queen at annual Performances, and at the one in this book, we also meet our second perspective, Remi, who was friends with Cadence as children. The two girls are soon reunited and forced into danger
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
*This e-arc was given to me by the publisher to give an honest review in return*

I liked this book. It's about a powerful mage, Candence, who is forced to torture her kingdom by the queen until she meets her childhood friend and they try to find a way for Candence to defeat the queen. I thought the book was basic and wish there was more to the story. There was little information about the world and I wish the author did well with the world-building. I did enjoy the story but wish there was more t
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
*Spoiler free*

When I found out about this book, I kind of felt like I'd fallen off something. A queer book, a f/f book, where song is magic and a girl has been forced to do the bidding of a powerful and cruel queen, but she's reunited with her childhood friend. And that friend has ties to a rebellion. Yes, and the cover in all it's purple glory just cemented everything for me. I was very, very eager to give this book a shot. Trigger warnings: violent animal deaths, torture, blood

This book had a
Aug 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I was very excited by the premise of Ruinsong, but ultimately put it down around 40% of the way through.

First, the good: I really enjoyed the world building, and the author does a great job of making the evil queen truly evil. I also liked how she made it clear that Cadence had no choice but to do what she does, and gives her redeeming things to do like helping at the hospital. I think there's enough of interest to the book that some readers may really enjoy it.

However, I reached the 40% mark
Kaylee Pereyra
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
*eARC provided by publisher. All opinions are my own.*

BEAUTIFUL FRICKIN’ COVER. Sadly, I just wasn’t into this book. I read something about this being Phantom of the Opera-esque but I really didn’t pick up on that at all, besides the singing aspect and murder??

I did like the idea of using song as weapon and such, but the worldbuilding just felt a bit weak at times. The plot sort of meanders for a majority of the book until the very end when everything is rushed together and wrapped up VERY quick
Molly the Gemini
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Hmmmm...I was super excited for this book because, fantasy, magic, diverse characters but it just fell flat for me. It started out really strong with a really cool magic concept and didn't hold back from the cruelty of the evil queen but as the story went on it was super rushed. I didn't believe the romance (these characters were only separated for a couple years but seemed to forget about each other even though they
Landice (Manic Femme Reviews)

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May 01, 2020 is currently reading it
[November expiry.]
Oct 07, 2020 marked it as nov-2020
This book is a queer Phantom of the Opera retelling with music magic and girls wearing pink ballgowns and ribbons while brutally destroying their enemies.

this sounds amazing.
Dec 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
This purple...
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Julia lives with her wife-to-be and their city based menagerie of pets with literary names in Seattle.

She is the author of The Seafarer's Kiss and The Navigator's Touch, released by Interlude Press/Duet Books in 2017 and 2018. The duology features Norse retellings of The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan and was heavily influenced by Julia's postgraduate work in Medieval Literature at the University of

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