Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Daughters of Ruin by K.D. Castner

Daughters of Ruin by K.D. CastnerDaughters of Ruin
by K.D. Castner
April 5, 2016
320 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren have lived together since they were children. They are called sisters. They are not. They are called equals. They are not. They are princesses…and they are enemies.

Not long ago, a brutal war ravaged their kingdoms, and Rhea’s father was the victor. As a gesture of peace, King Declan brought the daughters of his rivals to live under his protection—and his ever-watchful eye. For ten years the girls have trained together as diplomats and warriors, raised to accept their thrones and unite their kingdoms in peace.

But there is rarely peace among sisters. Sheltered Rhea was raised to rule everyone—including her “sisters”—but she’s cracking under pressure. The charismatic Cadis is desperately trying to redeem her people from their actions during the war. Suki guards deep family secrets that isolate her, and quiet Iren’s meekness is not what it seems.

All plans for peace are shattered when the palace is attacked. As their intended futures lie in ashes, Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren must decide where their loyalties lie: to their nations, or to each other.


Daughters of Ruin first caught my attention because of its creepy yet attractive cover. I'm not sure about the grey skin tone but I love how within the first few chapters, the descriptive details leave no doubt who's on the cover. I was pulled into the story by Ms. Castner's writing but a little miffed that this isn't a standalone?
Rhea, Cadis, Suki and Iren are sister queens- unrelated by blood but trained and disciplined together in hopes of having them rule their kingdoms together peacefully in the future. Or is that really it? *wink* Each girl carried her own burden and throughout the story we see how they come to terms with the weight on their shoulders. They were never naïve or helpless but by the end of the book as ideals and hopes are dashed and cold harsh reality sets in, each learns and hardens into what it takes to become a ruler.
I enjoyed the writing in this book very much. No chapter headers were necessary because the voices were easily identifiable through different writing styles. Iren's voice is represented in a short-clipped tone (in simple sentences) while Suki's thoughts were a jumbled mess (as made apparent with the abundant usage of brackets). Rhea and Cadis were harder to distinguish but as I got deeper into the story, I could tell. I really enjoyed the alternating POVs as it allowed the readers to witness the change in each queen.
Of the four POVs, I most enjoyed being in Iren's head. She's so well-rounded. Every thing she did had a purpose and she just surprised me so much in how prepared she always was. My least favourite POV is Suki's. So childish and full of hate. She was bold and blunt in a foolish way. How can she be so far behind on manners and etiquettes when she's only two years younger than the other girls? I did not like her one bit and that last action she takes (or rather, didn't take) sealed my dislike for her.

There were hints of romance but just barely there in the story. A bit ironic since there are four female leads? But it's completely understandable. Most of the girls were too busy fulfilling their duties and/or carrying out their side agendas to think of boys. The little bits that were present were satisfying although I really couldn't care less for the heavy 'lusting after' one girl does (guess who).
The story made me care. I desperately wanted to believe in the Protectorate- in the goodness it could bring- but ultimately it was too good to be true. The lying, scheming and telling of half truths were so clever I had a hard time distinguishing who was being truthful and who was an outright liar. Then there was that plot twist. It was mentioned in passing but right up until the reveal I still had no clue it was coming. A very unexpected yet expected development. It's a change so big it'll leave you reeling.
This is definitely one of those books that leaves you wanting more. Daughters of Ruin was a perfect set-up. An opener that's paved the way for an explosive sequel and there better be one because I need it!

4 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. Glad you enjoyed it. I normally go for books with romance, but depending on how good the storyline is, I've been known to enjoy them despite the absence of it.

    1. I have a feeling the sequel will be romance-ridden ;) This book built up towards it!


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