Realm of Ruins by Hannah West

Title: Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2)
Author: Hannah West
Release Date: December 4th 2018
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Valory’s power is different . . . it’s dangerous, unruly, and destructive. But can she channel it to crush a cunning enemy and save the realm from chaos?

Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.

Weaving together her imaginative world of gritty fairytale magic with snippets from Beauty and the Beast and other classic stories, Hannah West’s dark and dangerous adventure is a gripping, immersive companion to her acclaimed debut, Kingdom of Ash and Briars. This richly packaged edition includes an illustrated family tree, detailed map, and embossed jacket with shimmering metallic effects.

I love Realm of Ruins! This is a great adventure story blended with fairytales and magic as we return to Nisseria.

I loved the plot. This is centuries after KIngdom of Ash and Briar and you do not have to read it in order to understand this story. However, there are spoilers so be warned. That doesn’t mean you can’t go back and read the first book. The characters are very different despite being in the same world. I was actually reading both books at the same time. Which made it a fun crossover. Back to the plot though. I loved how even though there a fairytales laced in, this is not a retelling of a particular tale. I was completely absorbed in the plot and I love the magic system. How interesting it is to try to find the balance of power. Each new threat addresses that. This story also deals a bit with nurture versus nature.

I loved when a cast of characters get together and go on adventure. Even more so when the cast is not necessarily what you are expecting but turn into a band that you love. I don’t want to talk about a particular character simply because I don’t want to spoil that they come along.

Valory is such a great character. Someone who has to find how to be in a world that they don’t fit in as a cookie cutter. She has to learn that making hard choices don’t always feel heroic. That sacrifices are sometimes made for the greater good and it’s a hard road. She’s not a perfect and that’s what makes her great. I liked her so much that it would was hard to not to root for her. You wanted her to find her confidence that she is more than what the water, family or the academy tells her what she is.

Mercer is also interesting. I actually kind of felt like he is the guy that is usually you really like but the MC doesn’t necessarily end up with. He’s fun and easily slides in with a group of people. He is also determined and serious about his task at hand.

Kadri is a fun character and her relationship with he betrothed is an interesting dynamic. That they are comfortable with their situation.

I liked that the romance is there but not overpowering. They know they have more important things to worry about than falling in love. I think it’s natural how their fondness grows as they are thrust into situations. It takes them being released of their worries for a short time for them to embrace it.

Completely random thought but I loved when they are packing supplies and they mention needing things for when they go to the bathroom! It made me laugh because I have Ulcerative Colitis so I always think, what would happen to me if I was dropped in a fantasy world. I loved that it’s like yep they can’t just walk for days without stopping. Even if you want them to.

I’m not ready to be done with Nisseria. I hope there are still stories to tell. Even if it’s somewhere else in the timeline. Backwards or Forwards. I think this is one of those series where you are like. Who why didn’t I read this before.

Quotes
These are taken from the ARC so they might have changed in the FC

"You have to be careful, dismissing someone's sadness, even for a short time. Most people don't realize how important a feeling it is."

"You can worry about the future all you like,Valory. But life strikes everyone with woe."

"You can do more than destory."

“All beauty is laced with darkness”

"...there will be atrocities we can't stop. They will happen to innocent people. It doesn't help to cut off one head of a many-headed serpent. You have to stab it in the heart."

"What you did matters more than what you might have done."



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AUTHOR

Hannah West is the author of Kingdom of Ash and Briars and its companion, Realm of Ruins. She's always loved writing about magic and fairytales, but her time studying abroad in Orléans, France inspired her to finally write and publish a fantasy novel. She's a freelance writer and vegetarian living in Texas with her husband and their rambunctious blue heeler.






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GIVEAWAY
Win 1 of 5 bundles of the Nissera Chronicles (US Only)
Bundle includes: 1x physical copy of Kingdom of Ash and Briars + 1x physical copy of Realm of Ruins.

Giveaway starts: 4th December 2018
Giveaway finishes: 17th December 2018


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About Jen S

I love books, tea/coffee(by the gallon) and sour candy. I wear my nerd badge with pride and have two children ages 5 and 3 that keep me on my toes.
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