A review by sarah984
Ruinsong, by Julia Ember

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


I thought this was a really fun idea for a story, and the singing magic was cool. Everything was tense and the stakes felt high. Most of the characters were interesting.

However, the characters we spend our time focused on are probably the least interesting of the bunch. They spend a lot of time complaining and making impulsive decisions (and then complaining that people don't trust them not to make impulsive decisions) and you only kind of hear about other characters doing cool things in the background. The ending wraps up extremely fast so a lot of the victories don't really feel earned. I get the idea of noting every character’s skintone instead of making special note of who wasn't white, but it really drove home how white the core cast still was so I don't know if it helped.

Also this is a nitpick but if you're retelling Phantom of the Opera and you drop ZERO chandeliers? You're doing it wrong.

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