Book Review: Ruin by John Gwynne

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A few facts about Ruin:

  • Title: Ruin
  • Author: John Gwynne
  • Series: The Faithful and the Fallen Series (Book Three)
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Pages: 768

Synopsis:

The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures. At his back stands the scheming Calidus and a warband of the Kadoshim, dread demons of the Otherworld. They plan to bring Asroth and his host of the Fallen into the world of flesh, but to do so they need the seven treasures. Nathair has been deceived but now he knows the truth. He has choices to make, choices that will determine the fate of the Banished Lands.

Elsewhere the flame of resistance is growing – Queen Edana finds allies in the swamps of Ardan. Maquin is loose in Tenebral, hunted by Lykos and his corsairs. Here he will witness the birth of a rebellion in Nathair’s own realm.

Corban has been swept along by the tide of war. He has suffered, lost loved ones, sought only safety from the darkness. But he will run no more. He has seen the face of evil and he has set his will to fight it. The question is, how? With a disparate band gathered about him – his family, friends, giants, fanatical warriors, an angel and a talking crow he begins the journey to Drassil, the fabled fortress hidden deep in the heart of Forn Forest. For in Drassil lies the spear of Skald, one of the seven treasures, and here it is prophesied that the Bright Star will stand against the Black Sun. 

(Goodreads)

Review:

Well, shit. John Gwynne does not mess around with this instalment.

In relation to the plot of Ruin and its progression, Gwynne does amazing; we see so SOOO much more in this instalment and we see a lot of things from the previous book brought out into the open.

There are so many amazing scenes in this book, I found no complaints about the pace this book sets and it is an incredible continuation to this series again improving upon the other books.

I have actually read Wrath at the time of writing this and still can’t comprehend how to type up a review for it. I couldn’t help but read it seconds after completing Ruin, so for everyone who actually had to wait between books after that ending…I am so sorry.

As a member of my buddy read said, this book is very aptly named.

In Ruin you see more battles and more loss, but with each battle John Gwynne manages to fill it with tension. He so brilliantly raises the stakes each time and no battle seems repetitive. As we know, having read up to this point, John Gwynne does not shy away from killing characters. Now, some may dislike this and love the hero bubble that many authors wrap their characters in, but without this cut throat promise of death you would not feel the level of fear, adrenaline, courage or bravery each individual character goes through. 

As with the other books of this series with each one we see more character POV’s but not one of them is boring, each time you see a change of name you a new wave of excitement comes forth from where this person and their merry band are, what they are doing and who they will meet. 

When you thought you knew the characters and their personalities John Gwynne makes you love them even more. His characters are constantly growing both individually and together. Bonds of friends and paths deepening. Dath and Farell were a constant source of laughter for me with their mutterings in tense moments and insistance in calling the Seren Disglair seven disgraced instead. 

‘It’s not as simple as that,’ Meical said. ‘To be destroyed, the Treasures must all be gathered together.’

‘There’s always a catch with these things,’ Dath muttered. Coralen punched his shoulder.

As well Tahir and his bloody mum 😂 I tell you his mam said a lot, but these are all things that just add to these characters, making them real giving more meaning to their relationships. 

As with the other books of this series with each one we see more character POV’s but not one of them is boring, each time you see a change of name you a new wave of excitement comes forth from where this person and their merry band are, what they are doing and who they will meet. 

I will say it again, I have never cared for characters like the way these books make you before, and I would be surprised if I ever will from anyone other than John Gwynne. He is an absolute master.

“Still, can’t change the truth of things. Have t’bend with it. Better’n breaking.”

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