Reviews tagging Animal death

Ruinsong, by Julia Ember

21 reviews

caidyn'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? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

I've been excited about this book since I started hearing about it. A dark, queer story about magic and breaking out of an abusive realm? Sounds fantastic. It fell a bit short of my expectations, but it was still a good read. I'm not quite sure exactly what I expected, but I felt that the book could have used a bit more polishing. Such as, with the worldbuilding and pacing. At times it was an infodump and that really jacked with the pacing. Still, it's a good standalone fantasy that I would gladly revisit one day!

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alacuesta's review against another edition

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adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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artemis_bean's review against another edition

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adventurous dark fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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lyonsdenprojects's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful mysterious 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? No

4.0

This was an enjoyable story with interesting and sweet main characters. The magic system is what I probably loved most about it though there were some holes in the world building and the ending conflict seemed a little too easy after the build up to it. However I still enjoyed the journey and would gladly read another book featuring these characters. TW: The dog is killed. I hate being surprised by that in books and movies. The reactions of Cadence redeemed the story, but I did almost put the book down. 

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yoda32's review against another edition

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slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

Ruinsong tells the story of both Cadence- a mage for the queen who works her magic through song. We’re told multiple times throughout the book how powerful she is; but we don’t really see it until the end. 

On the outside she’s terrifying but on the inside, she’s an orphan who did the only thing she could to survive and hates herself for bowing to the ruthless queen. Cadence didn’t get as much growth as I expected from a stand alone. She hides and appears weaker than the queen but yet at the end she can miraculously perform a spell through a song that “just comes to her”. Okay.. 

Remy- born into nobality Remy had it all until Elena took the throne, and her family fled to avoid her wrath. However every year they’re forced to attend a lethal opera in which, the queen gets her starred mage to torture the nobility while they sit. Remy is fierce, brave, and the ex best friend of Cadence.

I think Remy is my favourite and yes it’s totally to do with the fact that she’s both a lesbian and fat. However, she makes the most idiotic decisions. I rolled my eyes so much because of her actions. 

The romance develops slowly- which I did like- but it seemed unrealistic and bland. 

The ending was meh and felt really modern in comparison to the 90 percent fantasy novel.
Spoiler For example- Remy’s mother- who is sick by the way, so she’s better??- is running for president and she’s handing out flyers. Hmm, okay  
 

Ruinsong had an interesting magic system, that I did like reading about, and characters that were fun if nothing else, but the plot and concept just weren’t executed as well as I expected. It sometimes read like the beginning of a series and for a stand alone novel- that’s not good. Furthermore,- this is a personal pet peeve- it took WAY too long for the events of the blurb to occur. 

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literarybakunawa's review against another edition

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adventurous dark fast-paced

3.5

I am...torn about this book. I enjoyed it, but I can't help but feel like I've been taken a ride on a storm. I feel battered and the adrenaline is still kicking in, but it's a whiplash experience. I couldn't help feel that the romance contributed a lot to that whiplash. There was definitely not enough time for them to get to know each other again after being separated for years, and their emotions swung between extremes too much for me to fully enjoy the whirlwind romance. They were cute together, but I could have definitely done with more world-building and character development.

The plotline of the rebellion was way too separate from the book for me to get truly invested in it. Neither of the main characters were directly involved nor did they have any extended interactions with the rebellion, which took me out of it a bit. I couldn't really root for the 'good guys' if I don't really know who they are and what they have been doing this whole time. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I don't think it breaks through to a 4 star. It's an enjoyable experience, but it did stretch my suspension of disbelief to new heights. 

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valpuri's review against another edition

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dark sad medium-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

I was excited to read this, but sadly the book just fell flat towards the end and I struggled to finish it. I'm so disappointed that I can only give this one 2/5 stars. 

The concept of magic that is sung and a romance between two women that are on opposite sides of a rebellion are what convinced me to pick up this book, but it just didn't really deliver on either of those. There is very little world-building or character development, and the latter half of the book feels very rushed. :( The first half of the book is pretty good and promising... I just wish that there was something more to the end.

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sethxo's review against another edition

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dark slow-paced

3.75

Ruinsong is a gorgeous read, with fantastic worldbuilding and amazing descriptors. I was incredibly into the magic system, the aspects of religion presented to us, and how beautiful everything was described.
 
Unfortunately, this strength made glaring other weaknesses, at least for me. Cadence and Remi were interesting characters in their own rights, but while I cared about their problems, I found myself more into the world of Bordea itself, and learning about the people in and around it. Every time the book ventured farther out, I was compelled.
 
Still, I had nothing against the main characters. Cadence’s motivations, while complicated, were understandable, and on the other side of the table Remi’s motivations made just as much sense. You could really feel Cadence’s conflict and Remi’s stubbornness.
 
Queen Elene, on the other hand…while the book explains well enough how she got to where she is, it inspires no care for her character whatsoever. I spent the entire book actively rooting for her downfall, and outright despising her. It’s good to develop your villains, but in this case, it felt so pointless because of just how awful she is.
 
There is also some animal death, something that I’m never cool with on any given day, so that was equally unpleasant to read. We get it, the queen is awful. Driving the point home like this feels like beating a dead horse, and in her case, I’d believe it was literal! Honestly though, the book is very dark. Unpleasant things happen every so often, so at least it’s staying true to its theme?
 
In general, this was a slow book. The pacing was never rushed, and this extended to the main relationship. It was certainly a slow burn as well, but in a way, it almost wasn’t, because there’s a mild percentage of the book where the main characters haven’t even met up. Still, once it got there their build-up romance was very sweet, for all these characters have been through.
 
The ending itself isn’t entirely satisfying. I enjoyed the direction they were leading it towards, but despite this book claiming to be a standalone it felt like it ended on too much of a cliffhanger for my liking.
 
Overall, I did enjoy it. My investment wasn’t always at peak levels, but I was certainly engaged and eager to finish it. Like I said, it’s a gorgeous world with a unique system, and I’ll love it for that alone (but certainly other things, as well). 

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coophone's review against another edition

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slow-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated

2.75


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lapis's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful sad medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This was just what the doctor ordered: queer fantasy.

It takes you into a really interesting world, where a revolution occurred some years back, and now the nobility are openly-reviled by the ruler.

There's also a song-magician class of people who are more open to the changing norms. Poly-relationships are referred to, most characters in this book are under the queer umbrella (which is why I don't mind that the villain is queer, because there is so much representation). 

There was so much world-building that I'm really hoping for more in this world. 

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