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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  515 ratings  ·  177 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 must choose between the two. For years, she has been forced to torture
ebook, 320 pages
Published 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 3.68  · 
Rating details
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Julia Ember
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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:

Claude's Bookzone
3.5 Stars

CW: torture, (view spoiler)

Well this book had such a wonderful magic system with singing being the vehicle for people's power.

I'm not sure who decided to liken this to The Phantom of the Opera because that feels like a bit of a stretch. That being said I got swept into the characters and their journeys. I wish we had a few more magical musical showdowns and the worl
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
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! ...more
Melanie (mells_view)
Ruinsong has Phantom of the Opera vibes, magic, strong female leading characters, a revolution, and a little bit of romance. The perfect mix for an amazing YA fantasy read! I enjoyed this story, because it really played on the power of using ones voice. You can use your voice for good or you can use it to harm. We’ve just gotta make the choice to do what’s right, even when it’s hard.

Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-s-books
the perfect sapphic dark academia.
Lea (drumsofautumn)

“These mages put too much stock in their songs. They never notice how much you can say in silence. ”

3.5 stars. Ruinsong is a novel that really draws you in with its intriguing magic system and having a really refreshing take on some familiar YA Fantasy themes.

Ruinsong is set in a world with mages whose most powerful tool is their voice. Singing is their way of casting spells. One of our main characters, Cadence, is such a mage. She is employed by the queen to torture the noble people
Toya (the reading chemist)
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
❀ Alex ❀ (The Scribe Owl)
Come see this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl

Thank you to Expresso Book Tours for supplying me with a review copy in exchange for a blog tour stop and honest review!

3/5 stars!

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! I honestly didn't have very high expectations, but this was a very entertaining read that I loved for the worldbuilding and unique magic system. I didn't really care for a couple of other elements, but I'll get to that later.

We follow Cadence, the Principal singe
Morgan Boyd
Ruinsong was one of my most anticipated releases for 2020, and it did not disappoint. I love when books don't assume sexualities and It was so refreshing to see the main characters be able to love whoever they want without clarifying. This sapphic slow-burn was filled with fantastic world-building, loveable characters, and a fascinating magic system. I will definitely be buying a copy on November 24th. ...more
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book. From the prelude alone, I was like this is gonna be a great story. This story was dark and full of bones breaking and blood dripping which really added to the urgency of the rebellion. I liked the contrast between Remi who was willing to risk it all and went after what she wanted and Cadence who went with the flow and was scared of making too much of an impact. Cadence was tryna dismantle the master's house with the master's tools and that just doesn’t work.

Nolan was one of
Mishma Nixon
Read my full review and chat with Julia Ember, and enter to win a hardcover of the book!

What a year for dark, lush, and sapphic fantasies! 2020 has given some amazingly dark and twisted fantasies, and Ruinsong is a strong addition to that list! Told in the perspectives of two very different characters in the middle of a rebellion against a tyrant evil queen, the Phantom of the Opera retelling creates a world of deadly musical magic, the politics of class and power, and a world where choices
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-nov
Star Rating: —> 4 Stars

Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the singing magic system and the main character, Cadence. This book had a lot of potential to do other things as well. I would've loved to see the expelled Mages use their magic through sign language (potential sequel idea please?) And I would've liked to see more characterization about the Queen, but all in all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable, sapphic, very magical book that made me want to watch Phantom of the Opera again!
ahhh just noticed we now have a release date, i’m so excited for this!!
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
i get it, okay, everyone except one person in this world is white you don't have to mention it every five minutes

(p.s. thanks for the fantasy homophobia lol)

Rep: lesbian mcs, mc with dyslexia, Black side character

CWs: torture, gore, animal torture and death
Kennedy The Bard
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wlw phantom of the opera retelling with MAGIC? yes, please!

i have a few things that i'd like to say before beginning my review. first, i have never read The Phantom of the Opera, but i love the musical. i have no idea how accurate the musical is, so my connections may be off. second, this book has a fair amount of gore, but i think it's a great read if you can stomach it. there's a lot of torture (nothing too bad, but it can still be triggering to some), some of which involves burning, rib-crack
nora 🪐
3.5/5 ☆ = 4-

To be honest, Phantom of the Opera is not my favourite musical, and this book is a re-telling of that musical. Fortunately, there are minimal similarities. I will say that the singing magic aspects were great and intriguing. Yet, the world-building was somewhat lacking and the insta-love did definitely not work for me. I would have liked to see more of the antagonist thoughts and reasons. I will also say that Cadence was a really interesting characters. It was intriguing to follow he
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this! It was dark, romantic and the world-building was subtle but strong. Would love more stories set in the universe tbh.

Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12-and-13
Sapphic witches is my favourite current YA niche trend and Ember delivers on them here. The angst! The drama! The longing! I was here for every second of it.

Ruinsong is told in the perspective of two girls, one who can create magic through song and one the daughter of a noble. Best friends in childhood, they find each other on opposite sides of a magical regime, with one being used as the tyrannical Queen's biggest weapon of suffering and destruction and the other being made to experience said s
buddy read with robin 🤍

trigger warnings for: mentions of cancer, child abuse, animal death (the death itself is not on page but the scene of the main character discovering the animal is very graphic), blood, torture, vomiting.

overall, a fast-paced read; highly enjoyable -- i loved the immersive world-building, the magic system & morally grey characters, but i think the romance wasn't developed as strongly. i also don't think it was as POTO-y as i expected, but since i'm not the biggest phantom
mary ❀
4 stars.

I really enjoyed the magic system in this book, with music literally becoming a form of magic. I was not as convinced by the world building with the social hierarchies and whatnot.

I found this to be a short, enjoyable read, though lighter on the romance than I expected.
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

Every element of the worldbuilding in this book stands in perfect harmony. Julia Ember's descriptions are beautiful and her magics are hauntingly deadly. Because Ember's writing is lyrical, her world is intriguing, and her characters are so dynamic, I wish there was more to come. Unfortunately, this is a standalone.

Read my full review here: https://gatewaybookreviews.blogspot.c...
Zoey Perrigo
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with cossette. Full rtc
jades dum
4.5 stars, i really liked this, its a nice wlw and im a sucker for unique magic systems so i definitely recommend it but look up the triggers for the book.
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Addicted to YA: GIVEAWAY: Ruinsong by Julia Ember 1 22 Nov 25, 2020 06:16AM  

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Julia Ember’s books include The Seafarer’s Kiss duology, a Norse myth inspired retelling of The Little Mermaid, published by Interlude Press (Duet Books), and Ruinsong, a standalone high fantasy reimagining of The Phantom of the Opera, published by Macmillan Kids (FSG) in November 2020.

Ember’s work has been featured in USA Today, Bustle, Book Riot and Autostraddle, among many others. The Seafarer

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