Monday, December 7, 2015

Review: "Ruin" by John Gwynne

Recently I finished "Ruin", the third in John Gwynne's series about a pseudo-Celtic fantasy world facing their own flavor of Revelations.

The previous books, "Malice" and "Honor" were brilliant stuff with a slow build-up to a terrible battle. "Ruin" is book three of that four-part series.

And it's kinda fucked-up.

Don't get me wrong: "Ruin" is a solid read. If you read "Malice" and "Honor", you'll likely enjoy "Ruin". It's got much of the same sense of heroics, epic good, epic evil, fantastic turns of fortune, and a brutality that would make George R.R. Martin sit back and grin.

With "Ruin", we continue the story of Corban, the fated "Bright Star", a hero destined to fight the forces of darkness, especially the dark champion known as the Dark Sun.

At the end of "Honor", we learn who the Black Sun is and that lucky sap also learns the terrible truth. Meanwhile, the bad guys have severely-flanked the good guys and evil seems to be winning.

I'd like to say things get better in "Ruin", but that would be a lie. It's a brutal story and things are looking bleak for those few still alive at the end. Gwynne went in directions I have to admit I didn't expect.

Part of me is really happy with that. The other part of me is kind of pissed.

Looks like I won't see a conclusion to this until July of next year. I'm kind of sitting on the edge of whether or not I like this series at this point. It really depends on where the last book goes, I guess.

I've enjoyed it, but I also enjoyed Anthony Ryan's series until "Queen of Fire" killed my interest.

Overall, I'm personally going to recommend "Ruin", but only if you liked the previous two books.

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