A review by caseythereader
Ruinsong, by Julia Ember

adventurous 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

3.5

In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence has been forced to torture her country's disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen's bidding. But when she is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must finally make a choice: Take a stand to free their country from oppression, or follow in the queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself. πŸ“š
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What I liked:
πŸ“š Queer PHANTOM OF THE OPERA retelling? Yes, please!
πŸ“š I loved the magic system here. I loved the idea of singing to marshal your magic, and that you could tell a lot about the mage by their voice.
πŸ“š Such wonderful imagery, from the beauty of the Queen's stronghold to the horrors of the region where those expelled from the court are sent.
πŸ“š The tension between the protagonists felt real - it wasn't insta-love, but also the barriers they faced weren't just pointless roadblocks. πŸ“š
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What I didn't like:
πŸ“š It's a pretty basic YA dystopia setup. This isn't necessarily a knock on the book, just something to know going in.
πŸ“š I do wish some pieces of the world's history and nuances of the magic system were more detailed - I could tell there was more in the author's brain that didn't make it into the book. πŸ“š
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Content warnings: alcoholism, blood, death, homophobia (mild), physical abuse, torture, violence, and vomit.

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