A review by cameronreads
Ruinsong, by Julia Ember

dark tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


I really liked the magic system in here - using songs as spellcasting was super interesting and unique. I liked the world as well, and the author did a good job of showing just how awful the queendom was, although I would have liked to see more of the Expelled settlement. In fact, that whole section of the book could have been expanded on, in my opinion. I also would have liked to see more of the rebellion. I don't know if I just love books with loads of POVs, but for me it would have been cool to see from Nolan's POV (not just because he was my favourite character). In general, actually, I just felt like more could have happened. There were practically zero side plots, and considering this book is quite short for a fantasy it wouldn't have been any harm to add some, and I think it would have been helpful to expand the world a little more. Most of the book felt almost like build up, and I was actually expecting it to be the first book in a duology until I got to the end. However, I did really like how the plot progressed, and I was engaged throughout the story. It wasn't entirely unique as uprising plotlines, but the magic system brought something new to the table, and the fact that the nobles were discriminated against by the queen was unique as well. I liked that it was set in court, and that said court was pretty different from most you read in fantasy. 
I did really like the main cast, and both the queen and Ren were really interesting antagonists to read about. However, and this is complete personal preference, I did think the romance was a bit lacking. When I was expecting it to be a duology, I was really liking the idea of a slow burn, and thought the hints of romance were being done really nicely, but when I realised those 'hints' were the romance, I was a little underwhelmed. It could have been utilised really nicely and been a great side plot, but it was barely there at all. Again, that's personal preference, but still. 

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