Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2) by Hannah West

Realm of Ruins by Hannah WestRealm of Ruins
(The Nissera Chronicles #2)
by Hannah West
December 4, 2018
464 pages

Goodreads      Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
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.


I loved Kingdom of Ash and Briars when it came out in 2016 and felt it was such an underrated book. So when news of a companion book came out I was very excited! Nissera is a place I'd more than love to revisit.

Realm of Ruins was amazing. Once again the fairytale mash-ups had me mesmerized. They were less relevant in this book than in the previous novel but the ones that were present were easily identifiable. I never knew which was going to pop up and the anticipation made it all the more fun to see. There were some romances which I thought was just enough to swoon over~

It's such a pleasure being back in Nissera. Even though its political climate has vastly changed, my favourite elicromancer magic was as present as ever. The magic and its users were strictly monitored because simply possessing a unique elicrin stone can bring one great power and honour. Much of Realm of Ruins revolved around this notion. The well-constructed but complicated governing body also played a huge role in the overall story.

On a mission to save the world Valory and company were an interesting bunch to follow. The ambitious yet timid Valory and annoying but loyal Glisette were total bad asses by the end of the book! Their journey is better experienced alongside them so I won't say much except that danger was everywhere and failing was not an option.

The only underwhelming part of Realm of Ruins was the big villain. He was talked about throughout the story but really only appeared for a brief bit. Don't get me wrong, I love how the story turned out but I wanted more out of the climax given all the tense buildup and doomsday emotions.

The change in POV in the epilogue makes me curious if it holds a special purpose. Maybe another story from the somewhat loose end(s)? I hope it's a hint but that could just be me reading too much into it because I want more from this gorgeous world :P

Fantasy lovers, Hannah West is definitely an author to read! Kingdom of Ash and Briars proved it and now Realm of Ruins has further solidified this. I can't wait for more whether it's in the world of Nissera or something brand new!
4 Cats
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not affected in any way.

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