Kelly Brigid's Reviews > Realm of Ruins

Realm of Ruins by Hannah  West
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bookshelves: fantasy, magic, retellings, young-adult

“These words were intended to be spoken amid joyous revelers, but somehow they were more precious whispered in the shadows of rebellion.”

Realm of Ruins is a thrilling fantasy adventure that although not wholly unique, is quite enjoyable to read through and presents some intriguing situations that push the line about what is heroic or not. With so many fantasy elements and various bits of well-known fairy-tales sprinkled throughout, I unfortunately couldn’t help but feel that the story is a tad oversaturated. Many exciting situations are brought about, but none are discussed in great depth. A shame, since I would’ve loved to have seen these retellings as more prevalent plot devices. The story is what you would expect from a fantasy adventure, with our band of heroes trekking from points A to B to C, defeating numerous foes along the way. Despite its length, this fast-paced novel never drags, and concludes on a wonderfully ambiguous high note!

An eye-catching world and magic system. If you know me, then you’d know that I live, breathe, and worship immersive fantasy worlds. I’m glad to inform you all that, West does a stunning job of constructing a high fantasy world that is simple to understand, yet intricate in all the best ways. The politics that trot out to play between the nobles, kingdoms, and Conclave is fascinating, and I absolutely devoured it. I also love the idea of the magical academy where the elicromancers train. As I mentioned above, I wish there weren’t so many elements that were included, but didn’t hold much value. Time travel, fairies, mermaids, curses, etc. are all displayed, but fail to be significant instruments in the outcome of the story. Ultimately, it felt as though their chief role is to protract the adventure.

At its heart, this story is about power and the alluring, yet corruptible properties it encompasses. The characters and romance aren’t very remarkable, save Valory who has lovely development, but I admire the symbols of them more than anything. A plethora of the cast is affected in various ways by magic. For some, it’s a source of power, to wield in the palm of one’s hand – a mere tool in fulfilling selfish desires or inflicting pain upon the less fortunate. For others, a source of healing, and connection to those we love. It’s also perceived as a means to being accepted, a curse that can’t control, a facade that shadows true appearances, and most notably, a method in which to judge a person’s worth.

Would I label this as Middle Grade? I tend to label things against my better judgement, but despite a few violent battles depicted, I would consider this read as more of a Middle Grade story than Young Adult. The general flow of the narrative and simple, yet charming characters, radiates vibes from this genre! I truly had a fun time reading this one, and think it’s the perfect read for anyone seeking a pleasant fantasy adventure.

Buddy read with Breanna! ❤

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!

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Reading Progress

September 30, 2018 – Shelved
September 30, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
November 27, 2018 – Started Reading
November 27, 2018 –
page 0
0.0% "Buddy read with Breanna! /> <3"
December 6, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
December 6, 2018 – Shelved as: magic
December 6, 2018 – Shelved as: retellings
December 6, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
December 6, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Sumit (last edited Dec 15, 2018 11:09PM) (new)

Sumit RK Great Review! How is the series so far?


Kelly Brigid Aww thank you! The novel before this one takes place during a different time period, so this one can be read as a standalone. :)


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