Reviews

Ruinsong, by Julia Ember

eloisethebooklover's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

This book is deeply fucked up in ways I did not expect. It was so good! It had my attention from the start and I struggled to put it down to do other things. The world is compelling & I could not stop thinking about this book. The ending was a bit confusing but I’m satisfied with how it all came together. 

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room4thought's review against another edition

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dark hopeful mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

kolbier's review against another edition

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dark emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated

4.0


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coljnr's review against another edition

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dark emotional inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

dame_samara's review against another edition

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3.0

This book had so many exciting ideas that I wish had been explored more in-depth than they were.
Ruinsong has one of the most unique magic systems I have encountered in a fantasy novel. I wanted to know so much more about the different branches of magic that exist. While this is such an integral part of the story, this was brushed over,

Cadence is... remarkably uninteresting as a character to follow; her motivations are entirely self-centered. She commits acts that are very much war crimes, and this book does not address it.
Cadence as a character is the exemplary example of the discussion of if someone turned a blind eye to the things happening in Germany during WW2, can we really say they weren't a Nazi? Especially with Cadence being in such a high position of power.
There are undertones of the argument of how she was raised, and because she was never taught how to defend herself, how could she possibly fight this higher power.
Spoiler In reality, Cadence doesn't seek out the need to learn how she can help; she is pressured into it and is pressured into everything she does to counter the Queen.
In the end, Cadence doesn't answer to any of the above; the book kind of shrugs and is like, well, she gets pardoned by her GF's mom, and everything is just hunky-dory.


What I will sing praises for is the queer representation, alongside the representation of non-monogamous relationships. Non-monogamy is rarely shown in books as an option, which is the biggest annoyance when it comes to Love Triangles because I'm like, WHY NOT BOTH?
But to read a story where it is 'mostly' normal to have queer and non-monogamous relationships and straight monogamy isn't the default was incredibly refreshing. Even if it also features insta-love.

All in All:
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an interesting read with a nice side of romance. But isn't wanting to think too deeply about things going on in the book,
But don't expect it to follow through on:
Her voice was her prison…
Now it’s her weapon.

wynterwonderland's review against another edition

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No Time To Read, Will Pick Back Up Later

nikreal's review against another edition

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3.0

The world building was fun but the resolution really fell short for me and didn’t make use of any of the world building from the first half

lazygal's review against another edition

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2.0

Such promise: sung magic, evil ruler, potential rebellion. Sadly, the author doesn't build the world enough. While we learn how Cadence's magic works, there are other kinds of sung magic that are hinted at but not explained; the shift from Cadence's life before and her life under the harsh rule of the queen, forced (as the Principle) to sing harm to the royalty unfortunate enough to still live in the kingdom is too abrupt and needs more fleshing out. More about the kingdom itself, rather than a few shops and hospitals, would also have built the world. Cadence's relationship with Remi is one of the things that is very well done, as is how the society as a whole views same sex relationships.

eARC provided by publisher via Netgalley.

arieloley's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.5

This book has so much potential. I loved the concept and it was clearly a highly developed world. Some of the descriptions were really beautiful and drew pictures, while others felt forced, especially the automatic and brusque description of everyone’s skin colour. Overall, there was a sense of virtue signalling, which isn’t bad but felt like the author reallyyy wanted her audience to know where her politics lie. I think it’s great, I would just prefer it to be written in more smoothly. Also, parts of the plot felt quite rushed, and information sometimes seemed to pop up completely out of no where. 

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jbaileyclark's review against another edition

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5.0

This hook helped me reach my reading goal for the year and it was so good. I didn't want to put it down when I started. I will definitely be reading the sequel.