Title: Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2)
Author: Hannah West
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings, Fairy Tales
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
No. of pages: Hardcover, 464
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Date Read: December 6, 2018
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.
First, thanks to Holiday House, Inc. for sending me an advanced E-ARC to read!
After finishing Kingdom of Ash and Briars I was super excited to pick this book up. Realm of Ruins is a continuation of the series, but it is it’s own standalone book. Realm follows the story of Valory, a girl who is generations removed from the war that Bristal and Anthony won. She’s also related to them via great, great, great-grandparents (or close to it). At this time there is an academy to help train elicromancers and to help them control their powers. Valory is let in due to blood, but she has no powers. As her cousin’s time to enter the Water grows closer, Ivria begins to close herself off. On the night of a huge ceremony at the academy, Valory follows Ivria to the Water and tries to save her. Her cousin dies, The Water dries up, and Valory has powers that she can’t control and like no one has seen before. And since she has no stone and the water didn’t kill her, she becomes an enigma and dangerous. What follows is a story of mystery, intrigue, and learning about oneself mixed with more classic fairy tales including Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.
I really liked this story. It was so reminiscent of the first one, but completely was its own story. Again, with this book, the flawless transition into the fairy tales didn’t feel forced and each had a place in the story for a reason. The seamlessness that West appears to include them is astounding. Again, this was something that I enjoyed and once again something that was pulled off so well.
I loved Valory’s character. She truly embodied strength under trial and circumstance. She literally had the worst thing happen to her and yet she took everyone’s hatred and confusion and distance and moved past it in stride. You could tell that she only wanted what was best for people even if they had treated her wrong.
I can’t wait to read more from this world.
If you’re a fan of Disney and intrigue, this is definitely a book for you. Realm of Ruins released this past Tuesday, Dec. 4th. Make sure to check it out!!
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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