Top positive review
Ruin lives up to its name.
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2019
Ruin lives up to its name. Book 3 is paced well and you feel like its one exciting event, revelation or surprise after another. I don't want to spoil anything with being too specific, because part of what makes John Gwynne's books so great are all the unexpected turns that he throws at you. The main characters all have interesting arcs again and continue to grow, mature and gain depth.
In Ruin, people really start to choose sides as the God-War starts to spill across the Banished Lands. Kings and Queens are trying to hold power and strengthen their claims, while those usurped move to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Corban has an incredibly well done arc and continues to be the heartbeat and moral compass of this story for me. As does Veradis, but for other reasons.
While the writing of battles between warbands are really good and engaging, the one-on-one fights are even more intense. Gwynne does a remarkable job writing about violence of war and its cost to those swept up in it. Another theme that's become prominent to me, is that the perception of what is good or what is evil can be a relative concept. Place, circumstance and context tends to change the characters idea of which side is right during the story as events unfold.
The dialog and banter between characters really shines for me in this book as well. Now that I'm three books in, I'm very invested in what happens to them and I cringe a little each time imminent danger is near. By now, you should know that no on is safe or off limits in any of the conflicts in his books.
The ending, like the others, leaves you reeling and needing time to process the final events and scenes of the book. I already downloaded the final book, Wrath, and will start to read it right away. I'm anxious and nervous to see what John Gwynne has in store for the closing act on this series.