YA Fantasy

Ruin of Gods – Book Review

A Gods and Legacies Novel by J. Collette Smith
Published on: November 1, 2019

A new young adult fantasy story where a princess who’s Name Day celebration ends abruptly when an attack occurs and her family is killed. She escapes, but must now learn who to trust, when to trust and what to trust if she wants to get her kingdom back from those who took it and seek to kill those like her.

Description:

Adelind dreams of becoming a member of the King’s Guard: a rank no other woman has held. But when her father, the king, declares he’s leaving on a secret mission and abdicating his throne to her in his absence, her dream shatters.

During a surprise attack at her eighteenth Name Day celebration, Adelind witnesses the brutal murder of her parents and the loss of her kingdom at the hands of a secret sect of soldiers. She narrowly escapes with the help of a guardsman and a prince from a neighboring kingdom. After a strange symbol appears on her arm, they seek refuge in a nearby village where she learns she’s a Legacy: one who bears the mark of the fallen god, Vaas, and as such, is considered an abomination.

When Adelind discovers Legacies are being hunted down and executed by the soldiers who killed her parents, she enlists the help of the guardsman and prince to forge a small army to stop the leader of the sect. However, they soon find out that the soldiers have acquired the only weapon that can kill a god. If they locate Vaas, they will kill him. If he dies, all those bearing his mark, including Adelind, will die, too.

As Adelind races to find Vaas first, she uncovers a web of secrets and lies tainting the kingdoms’ history, including the discovery that the gods who created her world are the ones who want her dead. Plagued by multiple betrayals where alliances break, friendships falter, and the line between allies and enemies blurs, Adelind must decide whom to trust and whether rescuing a fallen god will save the kingdoms or destroy them all.

Thoughts:

What was interesting to me while reading this book is how big trust played a role within this story. Learning who to trust is often a major plot point; however, in this book trust played a slightly different role. It wasn’t always who to trust. I mean, it definitely was, but what she really had to learn was when to trust. Adelind was very often faced with moments of decisions where she had to decide if the person she did trust, couldn’t be trusted. Then, if they couldn’t be trusted could they then be re-trusted. Another aspect of how trust played a role is in her learning what to trust. She had been taught the gods played a certain role in their history, but was that necessarily the case? And if she was later told something different, was that necessarily true too? Adelind is in what feels like a dizzying merry-go-round ride as she is learning for the first time to truly rely on her own instincts.

Overall, I found the story very readable, but with a few issues. The plot was not overly complex and yet always moving – plus there is quite a bit of action in it and some romance too. I also found the main character Adelind fairly likeable. At the beginning of the story we learn of her desire to become a member of the King’s Guard and the training she undertook to accomplish this. This desire never goes away during the story and helped her by being a mental and emotional source of strength at various times during the story. I also enjoyed the character Keiran too and enjoyed how the author takes us on quite a ride in regards to his character and what he brings to the story.

But while I did find it readable, I was also left with a lot of ‘how did that happen’ questions. Questions, like “How did this character find or get on that specific boat?’ or “How did he get out of there?” There were quite a few of these moments, so while I did find it a readable and enjoyable book, I did have to put aside some of these logic-type questions that were rolling around in my mind. Even Adelind at one point toward the end acknowledged some of these type of questions as she told herself that she wasn’t going to ask how another character had gotten to the location he was at because she was just happy he was there.

Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to the author for the advanced reader copy and the opportunity to provide an honest review.

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