Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles, #2)
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.

Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles, #2) Details

TitleRealm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 4th, 2018
PublisherHoliday House
ISBN-139780823439867
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Retellings

Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles, #2) Review

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    This is a companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briars, but you definitely don't need to read that first. There are some references to events in the distant past that might spoil parts of the first book, but otherwise you could totally follow this story on its own since it reads like a standalone. This had SO many YA fantasy elements I love that I was freaking out in the first half. The story was like everything I wanted to see... There's a magic school, a test of powers, a council with their ow This is a companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briars, but you definitely don't need to read that first. There are some references to events in the distant past that might spoil parts of the first book, but otherwise you could totally follow this story on its own since it reads like a standalone. This had SO many YA fantasy elements I love that I was freaking out in the first half. The story was like everything I wanted to see... There's a magic school, a test of powers, a council with their own plans, a heroine who's uncertain about her powers, and elements of different fairy tales (like Beauty and the Beast & The Little Mermaid) blended into this original story in the most creative ways! The setup is amazing and the writing is strong, but something lost me towards the middle. I pushed to finish the book though, and it did grab my interest again by the end! It reminded me a bit of the Seven Realms series, an amazing story @reverieandink wrote, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, Furyborn, The Queen's Rising, and Shadow & Bone, so check it out if you like any of those or fairy tale retellings!Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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  • Kelly Brigid
    January 1, 1970
    “These words were intended to be spoken amid joyous revelers, but somehow they were more precious whispered in the shadows of rebellion.” Realm of Ruins is a thrilling fantasy adventure that although not wholly unique, is quite enjoyable to read through and presents some intriguing situations that push the line about what is heroic or not. With so many fantasy elements and various bits of well-known fairy-tales sprinkled throughout, I unfortunately couldn’t help but feel that the story is a t “These words were intended to be spoken amid joyous revelers, but somehow they were more precious whispered in the shadows of rebellion.” Realm of Ruins is a thrilling fantasy adventure that although not wholly unique, is quite enjoyable to read through and presents some intriguing situations that push the line about what is heroic or not. With so many fantasy elements and various bits of well-known fairy-tales sprinkled throughout, I unfortunately couldn’t help but feel that the story is a tad oversaturated. Many exciting situations are brought about, but none are discussed in great depth. A shame, since I would’ve loved to have seen these retellings as more prevalent plot devices. The story is what you would expect from a fantasy adventure, with our band of heroes trekking from points A to B to C, defeating numerous foes along the way. Despite its length, this fast-paced novel never drags, and concludes on a wonderfully ambiguous high note!An eye-catching world and magic system. If you know me, then you’d know that I live, breathe, and worship immersive fantasy worlds. I’m glad to inform you all that, West does a stunning job of constructing a high fantasy world that is simple to understand, yet intricate in all the best ways. The politics that trot out to play between the nobles, kingdoms, and Conclave is fascinating, and I absolutely devoured it. I also love the idea of the magical academy where the elicromancers train. As I mentioned above, I wish there weren’t so many elements that were included, but didn’t hold much value. Time travel, fairies, mermaids, curses, etc. are all displayed, but fail to be significant instruments in the outcome of the story. Ultimately, it felt as though their chief role is to protract the adventure.At its heart, this story is about power and the alluring, yet corruptible properties it encompasses. The characters and romance aren’t very remarkable, save Valory who has lovely development, but I admire the symbols of them more than anything. A plethora of the cast is affected in various ways by magic. For some, it’s a source of power, to wield in the palm of one’s hand – a mere tool in fulfilling selfish desires or inflicting pain upon the less fortunate. For others, a source of healing, and connection to those we love. It’s also perceived as a means to being accepted, a curse that can’t control, a facade that shadows true appearances, and most notably, a method in which to judge a person’s worth.Would I label this as Middle Grade? I tend to label things against my better judgement, but despite a few violent battles depicted, I would consider this read as more of a Middle Grade story than Young Adult. The general flow of the narrative and simple, yet charming characters, radiates vibes from this genre! I truly had a fun time reading this one, and think it’s the perfect read for anyone seeking a pleasant fantasy adventure.Buddy read with Breanna! ❤I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy*Rating* 3.5-4*Thoughts*Hannah West's Realm of Ruins is the companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briars. The story takes place 100 years after Kingdom of Ash and Briars so, no, you won't find any of the original characters making any sort of guest appearances. West introduces readers to a new heroine, 17-year old Valory Braiosa. Valory is a direct descendant of Bristal, the heroine of the first installment. The installment which firs *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy*Rating* 3.5-4*Thoughts*Hannah West's Realm of Ruins is the companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briars. The story takes place 100 years after Kingdom of Ash and Briars so, no, you won't find any of the original characters making any sort of guest appearances. West introduces readers to a new heroine, 17-year old Valory Braiosa. Valory is a direct descendant of Bristal, the heroine of the first installment. The installment which first introduced readers to the immortal elicromancers and the Water which grants immortality & elicrin stones to the one who the water chooses. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Brooke Buchanan
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished reading an early copy of Realm of Ruins, and I could not "put it down" (as it were). The story hits the ground running and maintains a quick pace while still allowing for plenty of time getting to know the characters and how their journeys affect them. My favorite types of stories are the ones where you can't begin to guess where the story is headed next, compelling me to keep flipping the page and unfolding new corners of its world, and that is exactly what RoR does here. I love I just finished reading an early copy of Realm of Ruins, and I could not "put it down" (as it were). The story hits the ground running and maintains a quick pace while still allowing for plenty of time getting to know the characters and how their journeys affect them. My favorite types of stories are the ones where you can't begin to guess where the story is headed next, compelling me to keep flipping the page and unfolding new corners of its world, and that is exactly what RoR does here. I loved it's predecessor, Kingdom of Ash and Briars, and the world it built. Realm of Ruins capitalizes on everything we loved in the first book while managing to tell a completely new story. It's familiar, yet totally different, with well crafted and compelling characters (per usual). Hannah West has a unique talent for writing complex, strong, nuanced heroines; that's not at all missing from this story. Keep an eye out for this one and grab it ASAP when it's available, I definitely recommend it. (And if you haven't yet read Kingdom of Ash and Briars, I urge you to get yourself a copy!)
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  • Breanna
    January 1, 1970
    THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksARC provided by the publisher.Buddy read with Kelly at Another Book in the Wall! 💕Realm of Ruins is a companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briar, and while there are a few references to the previous book, you can definitely enjoy this without reading it and understand everything that is happening! One of the things I liked best about Realm of Ruins, was that the action started right away, quickly pulling you into the book. There is so many elements of THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksARC provided by the publisher.Buddy read with Kelly at Another Book in the Wall! 💕Realm of Ruins is a companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briar, and while there are a few references to the previous book, you can definitely enjoy this without reading it and understand everything that is happening! One of the things I liked best about Realm of Ruins, was that the action started right away, quickly pulling you into the book. There is so many elements of fantasy (especially YA fantasy) in this that I really love: magic, fairy-tale retellings, quests, hidden powers. Hannah West does a great job introducing the world and magic system in a way that is understandably, and yet without long passages of info dumps. The Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid aspects of the story were intricately woven into the plot, although I do wish those parts of the story had been expanded upon a bit.The action and the characters are the main driving force of the story. The book is non-stop action and adventuring from the beginning, so the story was able to hold my attention throughout the novel. I also really enjoyed the characters and their contributions to the story, which also helped keep me engaged and interested. I absolutely loved how the story ended. To me, the last chapter seemed a bit ambiguous – especially in regards to Valory – and I was totally digging it. I almost wish the book had ended there, instead of with the epilogue, because I think it would have been a stronger finish. The epilogue didn’t focus as much as closer for the characters as I would have liked and I really feel like there were a few loose ends that needed wrapping up. I’m not sure if it was the author’s intention or not, but it almost feels like another book is possible in the future? If so, I look forward to it!
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  • Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
    January 1, 1970
    I AM HYPER-VENTILATING RIGHT NOW! I NEED THIS BOOK!!!! THIS IS EVERYTHING I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!!!
  • Erin Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    Realm of Ruins by Hannah West is the companion novel to her first book Kingdom of Ash and Briars and part of the Nissera Chronicles series. If you like your stories to have a fairytale feel, you’ll want to add this one to your TBR stack.Our main character in this story is Valory, a descendant the main character from Kingdom of Ash and Briars, and she attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts.  Unfortunately for Valory, she hasn’t felt any magic in herself a Realm of Ruins by Hannah West is the companion novel to her first book Kingdom of Ash and Briars and part of the Nissera Chronicles series. If you like your stories to have a fairytale feel, you’ll want to add this one to your TBR stack.Our main character in this story is Valory, a descendant the main character from Kingdom of Ash and Briars, and she attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts.  Unfortunately for Valory, she hasn’t felt any magic in herself and being surrounded by a family who has a lot of magical power, she feels a bit like she doesn’t fit. When something horrible happens, Valory comes to possess a dark power that she can’t really control, and the Realm Alliance isn’t taking any chances with her. When she is required to leave her home and puts her on a dangerous path. As Valory is forced to leave her home, she finds out that she isn’t really safe anywhere she goes. Her first problem occurs when it is discovered that Prince Devorian, one of the Lorenthi’s and a relative, has released something evil, Valory is determined to fix something she had a role in bringing about. When she gets to Beyrian, and her neutralizer ends up dead, she is forced to leave before the Realm Alliance can blame her for something she didn’t have any part in. And these are only things that happened in the first half of the book. There are a lot of characters in this story. There are Melkior, Ivria, and Anders who we are introduced to at Valory’s school – all cousins to her. Then there are the Lorenthi siblings who play a role in Valory’s story. Rayed and Kadri, brother and sister as well as friends to Valory. One of the other key people, Mercer, is a mysterious stranger that Valory ends up finding injured during her travels to Beyrian. I loved how West brought together a group of characters who, in normal circumstances, might not have been able to accomplish what they set out to do together and forced them to work together.A lot happens in this book and I can’t tell you everything. Valory’s growth and determination are at the center of the entire story as she goes from being a girl who wants power and to fit in at the beginning of the book to being someone who has grown into what she has been given and is willing to do whatever is necessary to protect those she loves. She also learns who she can really trust within her family and it may not necessarily be who she originally thought it would be. The world that West has developed here was interesting and well developed. I thought the way the Moth King’s story unfolded was interesting and kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen. Add to that the fact that the group is facing more than just the danger of the Moth King throughout the story, there seems to be something dangerous to face with every new chapter. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There isn't much more I can say without potentially giving something away, so I will stop here. As I mentioned, this is a companion to the first book so while you don’t necessarily have to read that one to follow along with this book, there are references back to Bristal and what happened. If you are looking for a fantasy that weaves in bits of fairytales, focuses on magic, and has some interesting characters, definitely consider checking this one out. I will be looking forward to seeing West writes next. Thank you to the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Michaela Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Kingdom of Ash and Briars so much, I was so excited when this was announced!The cover is absolutely gorgeous! "The bastard is welcome to fight me for it." We're introduced to Valory, a descendent of the great Bristal who saved Nissera from the dark elicromancer Tamarice.Valory while having elicromancer blood, shows no spark of magic, that by all rights she should possess in droves. Things have changed a bit since Bristal's time and not everyone has the right to attempt the water and see I loved Kingdom of Ash and Briars so much, I was so excited when this was announced!The cover is absolutely gorgeous! "The bastard is welcome to fight me for it." We're introduced to Valory, a descendent of the great Bristal who saved Nissera from the dark elicromancer Tamarice.Valory while having elicromancer blood, shows no spark of magic, that by all rights she should possess in droves. Things have changed a bit since Bristal's time and not everyone has the right to attempt the water and see if they are deemed worthy and survive. A board at the academy decides those worthy to attempt the waters, they're given approval to make the final step. In an event to try to save her cousin's life, something goes strangely wrong, the water disappears and while her cousin does not survive the water, Valory emerges with extraordinary destructive power but no elicrin stone. In the confusion she gets blames for a series of crimes of which she did not commit. Facing banishment or execution she flees, hoping she can find out what really happened and clear her name.An ancient enemy arrives, a prophecy begins to unravel. a boy from another time as her guide. Valory becomes the key to stopping the oncoming destruction. Not everyone is what they seem, there's so much more at work here than Valory could dream of.This book is big on plot twists, obstacles, mad dashes, eldritch creatures, hints of classic fairy tales mixed in. Corruption of power, ultimate evil, a hideous beast, enchanted mirrors, a prophecy, plague, princesses, magic, a little bit of love, and the rising of a new power. I really loved this!And I'm really hoping that the Epilogue will mean there's more to Nissera to look forward to!
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  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    I was thrilled to be able to pick up the second book immediately after the first and stay in this world. I'll gather my thoughts and write my review.
  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    January 1, 1970
    Realm of Ruins (Nissera Chronicles #2) by Hannah West, 464 pages. Holiday House, December 2018. $19.Language: PG (5 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: GBUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS - ESSENTIALAUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGHIn the ages since Bristal was thrown into the pond and discovered her elicrin powers, elicrin powers have been harnessed, tamed, and doled out to those “in favor”. Valory only meant to support her best friend as she underwent her trial, but Valory touches the Waters and destroys t Realm of Ruins (Nissera Chronicles #2) by Hannah West, 464 pages. Holiday House, December 2018. $19.Language: PG (5 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: GBUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS - ESSENTIALAUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGHIn the ages since Bristal was thrown into the pond and discovered her elicrin powers, elicrin powers have been harnessed, tamed, and doled out to those “in favor”. Valory only meant to support her best friend as she underwent her trial, but Valory touches the Waters and destroys them, along with killing her friend. Drawn into plots deeper than she can ever imagine, powerful people from the present and the past weave plots within plots. Only three people in all the realms trust Valory’s twisted, different powers. Everyone else is out to capture or kill her.Huzzah! West is a master weaver of stories! I can’t imagine that there are only two books in this series, but where she will go from here I have absolutely no idea! There is a great scene when Valory encounters Callista, Bristol’s mother, whose elicrin power is to create time portals.Cindy, Middle School Librarianhttps://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    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 its own standalone book. 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 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 its own standalone book. 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.
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  • Amanda Hagerty
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. In return for my honest thoughts and review. I am so glad I won this book. I really enjoyed it. Now you don't have to read the first one. But I highly recommend that you do read the first book. Because there a lot information that refer back to book one. This book is about a young girl Valory who is training for a eliccromancer stone. Then on her birthday party she fellows her friend to the magical water. Then gets sent to prison for a crime that she didn I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. In return for my honest thoughts and review. I am so glad I won this book. I really enjoyed it. Now you don't have to read the first one. But I highly recommend that you do read the first book. Because there a lot information that refer back to book one. This book is about a young girl Valory who is training for a eliccromancer stone. Then on her birthday party she fellows her friend to the magical water. Then gets sent to prison for a crime that she didn't do. It was accident. Valory trouble doesn't stop there. Valory wakes up something very evil. This book had everything I mean every page I turn there was a new adventure and read some retelling in this book that were amazing. I love how Hannah west retells stories that we all know and adds her own twist to them. Now that ending was crazy and let me thinking that there has to be a book three coming out. And if so I will be definitely will be reading.
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  • Dana Linde
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway. I would not have purchased this book on my own, so I'm glad I won it since it was such an enjoyable read. Like all fantasy books, it's sometimes hard to keep track of the unique settings, names and experiences, but this book was worth the effort. I especially liked how the author subtly tied experiences within the book to fairy tales we have grown up with. My only real criticism which leads to to a 4.5 rating rather than a 5 is how the final clima I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway. I would not have purchased this book on my own, so I'm glad I won it since it was such an enjoyable read. Like all fantasy books, it's sometimes hard to keep track of the unique settings, names and experiences, but this book was worth the effort. I especially liked how the author subtly tied experiences within the book to fairy tales we have grown up with. My only real criticism which leads to to a 4.5 rating rather than a 5 is how the final climactic moment between Valory and Valmarys seemed quite underdeveloped. I would also have loved to see what happens next with Valory and Mercer- as well as other characters like Kadri, Melkior, and Glisette. I guess I'll have to see if there is a sequel.
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  • Chasty
    January 1, 1970
    I would call this a back story fantasy. To me this story gives you the story of how Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Snow White came about and I absolutely loved it. Valory is our hero that puts it all into action. This story just made me go wow I can see that being the back story. Well written and executed beautifully.
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  • Karina
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★Realm Of Ruins is the spin-off/companion to West's 2016 debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! This YA Fantasy melds so much from action, magic, fairy tales, quests, dark powers, royalty, & so much more! If your looking for wholly unique twists on the classic fairy tales, West's books are the ones to check out!Back in the early days of my blog, I fell in love with West's debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! So, of course I just had to get an ARC of it!Realm Of Ruins takes place g Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★Realm Of Ruins is the spin-off/companion to West's 2016 debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! This YA Fantasy melds so much from action, magic, fairy tales, quests, dark powers, royalty, & so much more! If your looking for wholly unique twists on the classic fairy tales, West's books are the ones to check out!Back in the early days of my blog, I fell in love with West's debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! So, of course I just had to get an ARC of it!Realm Of Ruins takes place generations after KOAAB! To start, I loved that the story was plotted that way because throughout the novel we explore this idea of those who came before us, legacies, how history plays a role into our future, & so on!Now the plot itself has a lot of different elements to it and weaves in a lot throughout this single book--so sorry if my review is all over the place! Valory Braiosa, descendant of Bristal & Anthony from KOAAB is a royal, but not exactly an Elicromancer--unlike her other cousins and family members.As a student of a magical academy, she's joined by her best friend Knox, and cousins such as Melkior (who isn't exactly nice to her) and Ander!There's a scene in which Val is in classes and we learn about the school, history and how its shaped the ways of magic in her time now and the way West makes it such a seamless, but integral part of the story was one of my favorite elements when it comes to the world building!Often times in YA fantasy books (when it comes to future books in series or spin-offs) there isn't always much explanation or exploration from previous installments and how they really shape numerous aspects of a world from its politics, magic system, beliefs--and I felt West really made it clear how important that was to the world!But of all her family members, her cousin Ivria is practically her best friend and they are always honest with each other--or so, Valory thinks! During Val's birthday dinner, she finds Ivria having run off and head towards the Water through a magical portal.The Water is what allows an Elicromancer to get their fully harness their abilities. It chooses them and with that, they get an Elicrin Stone which also symbolizes their power.Ivria has the ability to sense danger and fears she will never fully grasp her powers. So, she heads to The Water alone to see for herself.However, Ivria is set on getting to the Water & as Val jumps into save her, she realizes Ivria didn't make it & the Water has disappeared!!Now being seen as a murderer and forced to go to trial by the Conclave to the Realm Alliance. This requires a journey away from her kingdom and with those she though were on her side, now against her. Also, a neutralizer (by the name of Brandar) to keep her powers in check, doesn't help either!When Valory's grandmother joins and mentions something about people in white cloaks & masks, they also learn of a mysterious (possibly looming threat) known as the Summoners!As stops along the way allow Valory to visit her cousins (Gliselle, Perrenia, & Ambrosine) they convince her to talk to their brother Deovrian--there we learn of a mysterious tablet & how the Summoners may be involved?When the tablet unleashes a dark force, Valory learns more about what the Water left behind (that now resides within her--some dark & dangerous power) and the journey she will have to undergo to clear her name.I love how this story really takes on an anti-hero vibe through Val as we see the extent of her powers near the end!Val goes through so much in this book where it looks like the world is stacked against her, but with her cousin Glisette, fellow princess friend Kadri, & mysterious Mercer who we learn time-traveled from generations in the past!Now they team up to help Val on her journey to learn more about the mysterious force known as The Summoners which are spreading illness and death wherever they go!We soon learn that Mercer may have the answers as he has the ability to see visions! This leads to even more being uncovered about the Summoners, Mercer's past (like his brother Tilmorn) & how this all ties to a mysterious elicromancer known as the Moth King!Similar to West's debut, fairy tales are twisted in such unique ways that really bring even more magic to the world of Nissera! From The Little Mermaid (seen through Kadri's boyfriend who's a prince who loves sailing & becomes interested in finding a mermaid who saved him), even Beauty & Beast (when Devorian's cost of unlocking the tablet turns him into a beast).The fairy tales are uniquely woven, but also into the story and have such distinct details mentioned that really make them their own. For ex. there's mention of Devorian keeping mirrors closed to not be in contact w/ his sisters, even a sea witch & mermaid who are reminiscent of The Little Mermaid) The characters all have their own flaws and secrets that make them feel real and I love how their imperfections or fears really allowed me to see their growth by the end!I love how this journey isn't exactly linear! While it seems that way in the beginning, the way West plots her stories allows for the story to go in so many directions, yet all tie together as it progresses. From numerous royal families, fairy tale homages, dark magic, quests--West packs so much into this standalone tale!Also what made the magic so interesting was seeing how Val, a person who wasn't born with magic, inherits this magical ability from the Water which we learn has the power to destroy, but also create! The Water itself becomes a pretty major part in the magic system as the story progresses and I love how it was explored!Also there was one particular thing that really surprised me and that just brought back all the memories from KOAAB! We meet a very interesting Elicromancer who has ties to Bristal and I loved how that storyline tied into the major plot! The references and ties to West's first book was just something I did not see coming in the way that it did-but I loved how it was explored!Time-travel was explored so well in this novel and I loved how it tied into the main story.The world itself is incredibly vast and you sense that through the journey Val takes and just the way West describes the little details of the kingdoms. However, there were a few moments where a lot of the locations did get a bit confusing & could have had differing explanations when it comes to their depth. But overall, you can tell West has built such a vast world!Now on to some of things that did lower my rating! Personally, I found the pacing to be rather slow for me and it dragged quite a bit from the middle on-wards. There were also some plot points explored when some time passes & Val returns home, which I wish had a little more explanation (b/c while it does make sense with the story) I found for me personally it came a little out of nowhere and I was a little lost as to how all that happened in that amount of time!There were also some side characters, one's that take on a villain role & at times the villain himself, that I wish had some more development b/c they become so important later on--that I found there character at times just needed a little more!Returning to the plot, as the story continues I loved how it becomes clear what the goal is (to destroy the Moth King), but the uncertainty as to if Val & her friends could do it, made it all the more interesting to figure out!Another element which made this fantasy book so unique too, was how it concludes after the battle (which I won't spoil). Just seeing how characters naturally go their separate ways and explaining all the work left to do after all that's happened really left it on a note where your satisfied with the ending, but still know there's much more to explore! ( Valory's ending was really epic & kind of ambiguous, but I loved that).Realm Of Ruins is a YA Fantasy that weaves in classic fairy tales, while also delivering a wholly unique story all its own! From journeys across magical lands, dark magic, royalty, & the importance of self and how you can shape your own destiny! West's spin-off continues to build on her magical world of Nissera and leaves opportunity for future installments!*Requested ARC from publisher*
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)What I loved about Realm of Ruins is that it looks about the cost of ambitions and the price of the rules when they are broken. It's almost like a mixture of Beauty and the Beast with The Little Mermaid and more! It feels like this blending of stories you know, but always with a new twist, a different option - another ending. One of the things I adore about this book is that i (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)What I loved about Realm of Ruins is that it looks about the cost of ambitions and the price of the rules when they are broken. It's almost like a mixture of Beauty and the Beast with The Little Mermaid and more! It feels like this blending of stories you know, but always with a new twist, a different option - another ending. One of the things I adore about this book is that it celebrates the idea that we cannot pretend to be someone we aren't. Valory struggles with her power and taming it, but what it she were to let it go?full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/blog...
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  • Fyre.Katz
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed most of this book, but the ending left me feeling sort of disappointed, how this big bad was swatted pretty much like a moth. I like that the fae people were in the story. I sort of wanted more but hey their people aren't like that. The romance was good since it wasn't like love at first sight or anything and grew from something. And that ending about the beauty and the beast... I need that in my life... that needs to be written next- you hear me! So yup the story and characters were g I enjoyed most of this book, but the ending left me feeling sort of disappointed, how this big bad was swatted pretty much like a moth. I like that the fae people were in the story. I sort of wanted more but hey their people aren't like that. The romance was good since it wasn't like love at first sight or anything and grew from something. And that ending about the beauty and the beast... I need that in my life... that needs to be written next- you hear me! So yup the story and characters were good! And that is all I must say about this book!
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  • Misty
    January 1, 1970
    Video review http://www.thebookrat.com/2018/12/the-nissera-chronicles-books-spoiler.html>here. This and its predecessor were favorites of the year.
  • Anika G.
    January 1, 1970
    Realm of Ruins is a really good book with a strong plot. It explained the characters so thoroughly that I did not even know that it was the second book in a series. However, I think that people should read the first book in the series to fully understand what's going on.
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  • Kali Katzmann
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome awesome awesome book! For anyone who appreciates a book with strong female characters, sexy and intelligent men, Disney references, fantasy and magic....this is the book for you! And that is really just the tip of the iceberg. I read this book in ONE NIGHT. I could not put it down, and I was crazy tired the next day. I didn't care though. This is the kind of book that leaves you wanting more. Which is wonderful and frustrating :) Hannah West -- write faster!!! I need more books. This is Awesome awesome awesome book! For anyone who appreciates a book with strong female characters, sexy and intelligent men, Disney references, fantasy and magic....this is the book for you! And that is really just the tip of the iceberg. I read this book in ONE NIGHT. I could not put it down, and I was crazy tired the next day. I didn't care though. This is the kind of book that leaves you wanting more. Which is wonderful and frustrating :) Hannah West -- write faster!!! I need more books. This is a companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briars, but like The Hobbit to Lord of the Rings, you don't NEED to read that before this one. You should, because that book is equally as awesome, but you don't have to. This book had so many wonderful twists, turns and surprises. For anyone who would like a sit-on-the-couch-and-don't-move-all-day read....READ THIS!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Realm of Ruins took everything I loved about Kingdom of Ash and Briars--the complex characters, unique magic system, awesome antagonists, and gorgeous writing--and amped it all up. West's latest novel is dark and intense, with intricate plotting and an underdog main character you'll love to cheer on.
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  • Caleb Bollenbacher
    January 1, 1970
    Another excellent story from Nissera! Timely yet timeless; classic but approachable; familiar and fresh all at once. I highly recommend this to anyone who's looking to scratch that fantasy itch!
  •  Debra (WifeEclectic)
    January 1, 1970
    More like 4.5. I really liked this book. Well written.
  • Nia
    January 1, 1970
    Math. Even the most complex problems have a solution. That’s why Esther is obsessed with math. Life. Not everything in life has a solution, and even if it does, life problems are not as easy to solve as math problems.Esther’s family has just moved to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Her step-father Tom thinks that’ll be the best way to hide Esther’s past mistakes. Hopefully the giant statue of Jesus Christ will help inspire Esther to be a good Christian. Which she is not, unlike her younger si Math. Even the most complex problems have a solution. That’s why Esther is obsessed with math. Life. Not everything in life has a solution, and even if it does, life problems are not as easy to solve as math problems.Esther’s family has just moved to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Her step-father Tom thinks that’ll be the best way to hide Esther’s past mistakes. Hopefully the giant statue of Jesus Christ will help inspire Esther to be a good Christian. Which she is not, unlike her younger sister, Hannah. Esther just wants to restart her life and keep living. She meets and befriends Jesús from the local coffee store; Color, their house cleaner who finds brightness in the world around them; Moss, Color’s intriguing older brother; and Beth, the only other girl who doesn’t fit in at church choir. Esther’s new friends embrace her, and her secret. With the help of her newfound friends, Esther learns how to accept her truth. Rebekah Crane’s THE INFINITE PIECES OF US reminds readers that we’re all a little broken, but so is everyone else.Be warned that THE INFINITE PIECES OF US says some things that may be considered sacrilegious/offensive, especially to younger teen readers. THE INFINITE PIECES OF US also makes a lot of male genitalia jokes, and to an extent condones behaviors like premarital sex. So although this book does prominently feature Christianity, it does not always follow what most consider to be the teachings of the church and potential readers should know that before picking up the book.My one issue with this book is that I was left with a lot of questions. I feel like there were a lot of things that were introduced to the story as ideas that were going to be, and should have been important plot points, but were never mentioned again. I was left with a lot of questions that I expected to be answered. What is Jesús’s truth? What happened to Amit? Does Tom fill the pool? I guess in life things aren’t always answered with finality right away, but I figured THE INFINITE PIECES OF US would be.Overall, this book got me to think. Crane did an excellent job of introducing new concepts that encourage deeper thinking. She really got me to wonder about a fish’s happiness, how dry a desert really is. Crane made me wonder what love really is, what love really means. Crane asks readers to define pain and truth and lies, and how all of those relate to humanity. THE INFINITE PIECES OF US is great for making readers think a little more about things they otherwise took for granted.THE INFINITE PIECES OF US embodies teenage spirit, the book version of the concept of sneaking out with your friends in the middle of the night to stargaze, knowing you have a test the next morning. This book deal with regret and could-have-beens, and knowing that sometimes things do turn out for the best, even if it doesn’t seem that way in the beginning. Crane reminds us that strangers can be best friends can be soul mates and that love can be found in an abandoned Blockbuster.
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  • Nay Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Received a copy for review.Such a beautiful YA fantasy that pays homage to classics such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. This was action packed, drama filled and held many plot twists that created such a beautiful world and well-rounded characters. I could not put this book down hence why I read it so quickly.This is the second book in a series, but it's a companion novel. You don't have to read book one, Kingdom of Ash and Briars, as the sequel will tell you all you need to know Received a copy for review.Such a beautiful YA fantasy that pays homage to classics such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. This was action packed, drama filled and held many plot twists that created such a beautiful world and well-rounded characters. I could not put this book down hence why I read it so quickly.This is the second book in a series, but it's a companion novel. You don't have to read book one, Kingdom of Ash and Briars, as the sequel will tell you all you need to know since it takes place 100 years after the events of the first book following a different character. I was excited about reading this book after reading such an awesome synopsis and then diving into the prologue was amazing. This blew my mind!Valory Braiosa is the protagonist and direct descendant of Bristal, the sorceress and heroine from the first book. Valory is an immortal elicromancer, but her powers are more dark, dangerous and destructive than anyone would have imagined for it to be. Valory is a strong-willed character and despite all that is thrown at her she pushes forward like her ancestor did.The magical school and dark evil aspects added such a fantastic element to the reading pace. With the fast pace it made for an amazing reading experience. The other characters such as Prince Devorian, Valory's many cousins, Kadri and the others were all great to the growth of Valory as a character and to the story as a whole. I never looked at any of the characters and felt that they were irrelevant to the story line. Each character had a purpose and though some pissed me off more than others I enjoyed them all.For this being my first Hannah West read and it being a sequel I am excited to read the first book and re-read the sequel. The characters were all well written and all unique. I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to those looking for an awesome YA fantasy read!
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  • Emma (Miss Print)
    January 1, 1970
    "Please let me be powerful."Trouble follows Valory Braiosa wherever she goes.Raised in Calgoran during the Age of the Accords, Valory is surrounded by elicrin magic and elicromancers. As a descendant of the legendary Queen Bristal and King Anthony, everyone assumes Valory will become a powerful elicromancer herself. But now she is almost at the end of her time at the Academy with no signs of power manifesting. With her chances of receiving an elicrin stone from the Water dwindling, Valory is for "Please let me be powerful."Trouble follows Valory Braiosa wherever she goes.Raised in Calgoran during the Age of the Accords, Valory is surrounded by elicrin magic and elicromancers. As a descendant of the legendary Queen Bristal and King Anthony, everyone assumes Valory will become a powerful elicromancer herself. But now she is almost at the end of her time at the Academy with no signs of power manifesting. With her chances of receiving an elicrin stone from the Water dwindling, Valory is forced to consider her greatest fear: a life without magic or power.Touching the Water is no guarantee of receiving an elicrin stone. Even with careful vetting from the Academy candidates may still be deemed unworthy and drowned in the Water, their bodies lost forever. Valory’s attempt to save her cousin from such a fate proves disastrous. In the aftermath her cousin is dead, the Water is gone, and Valory now has dangerous power no one understands and which Valory can’t control.Branded a murderer and a rogue, Valory is forced to travel far from home to try and clear her name. Across Nissera it’s apparent that a dark presence is rising and Valory might be the only one powerful enough to stop it. As danger mounts and loyalties are tested, Valory will have to embrace her power to face this danger. But all power comes at a price and this time the cost may be steeper than Valory can pay in Realm of Ruins (2018) by Hannah West.Real of Ruins is the second book in West's Nissera Chronicles which begins with the companion novel Kingdom of Ash and Briars.Realm of Ruins is set one hundred years after the events of West's debut novel Kingdom of Ash and Briars and follows a new generation of characters. An elaborate family tree at the start of the book and sly asides throughout offer nods to events of the first book although this novel can easily be read as a standalone. (A companion short story, Fields of Fire, can also be read for free online.)Valory is as pragmatic as she is reckless. Although the implications of her new power are obvious she is still quick to jump to conclusions and easily falls prey to the manipulations of others while she tries to understand her dramatically changed circumstances.Her efforts to clear her name are soon sidelined as she learns about the emergence of a dangerous new threat known as the Moth King or the Lord of the Elicromancers. Drawn into a hunt to stop this new enemy Valory plays a part in side plots that draw heavily from elements of Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. West manages a convoluted and sometimes bloated plot admirably bringing diverging threads together to explore larger themes of power, collective memory, and the dangers of both if left unchecked.While Valory is initially a slave to circumstance, forced repeatedly into reactive positions as her situation shifts from bad to worse, Realm of Ruins is largely about agency and choice. It is only when Valory chooses to embrace her power--and the difficult decisions she must make about how to wield it--that she is able to regain control of her fate and try to claim what she sees as her rightful power in the realm.Realm of Ruins is an intricate and original fantasy. West blends her unique magic system with a vivid world and fairy tale elements to create a story that is entirely fascinating. Recommended for fans of fairy tales, high fantasy, and bloody revolution.Possible Pairings: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Frostblood by Elly Blake, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao, Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen, For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig, Furyborn by Claire Legrand*A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    West's new book takes place about a hundred years after the events of Kingdom of Ash and Briars. It's the same kingdom and some characters are descended from the earlier characters, but luckily readers don't really have to remember the details of the first book in order to enjoy the new one. West expands that world and creates a story with a lot of action and some court intrigue thrown in. Plotting keeps readers on their toes and there are a few characters from this one that I wouldn't mind seei West's new book takes place about a hundred years after the events of Kingdom of Ash and Briars. It's the same kingdom and some characters are descended from the earlier characters, but luckily readers don't really have to remember the details of the first book in order to enjoy the new one. West expands that world and creates a story with a lot of action and some court intrigue thrown in. Plotting keeps readers on their toes and there are a few characters from this one that I wouldn't mind seeing again. Review from e-galley.
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  • Neonila
    January 1, 1970
    This book, and this series in general, wasn't quite what I expected. I was kind of disappointed, really.The writing was decent and so were the characters, but it all fell kind of flat. I was bored and confused at times, which lead me to not being really interested and invested in what was happening. Overall, I don't think this was a bad book, per se. It just felt like a foundation of what it should have been. Someone else might actually love this book, but it wasn't my thing.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you for the book as I won it. The story line is very well written I couldn't put it down!! Unfortunately taking away from this is a lot of crudity & lewdness which definitely wasn't needed. Too much to take out. Good author but leave the junk out.
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