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Realm of Ruins: A Nissera Novel (The Nissera Chronicles)

Review

Realm of Ruins: A Nissera Novel (The Nissera Chronicles)

As both the companion and the second book in the Nissera Chronicles, REALM OF RUINS takes place a century after the events of the first book: KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS. You absolutely can pick this book up without reading the first book as the events of REALM OF RUINS vary a great deal from the first book. Our main heroine is Valory Braiosa. She attends an elicromancer school until she stumbles into a powerful magic and awakes a dangerous evil. Mentions of our favorite KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS characters are spread throughout the book. Similar to the first book, REALM OF RUINS has sprinkles of fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast and the Little Mermaid. All of this, along with a deeper look into the world of Nissera, created a gasp-worthy read that had me racing to turn the pages.

"REALM OF RUINS has sprinkles of fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast and the Little Mermaid....a gasp-worthy read that had me racing to turn the pages."

I absolutely loved the full two page family tree at the beginning of the book. Throughout the first few chapters I found myself constantly flipping back and referring to it as new characters were introduced. It was extremely helpful in addition to being interesting. Seeing the offspring of the characters from book one and how the royals all intermarried was a great visual and proved to be important later on in the book. I also enjoyed reading about the other magical beings in this world. It was fascinating to learn that it wasn’t just an elicromancer and human run world. Though I didn’t exactly love how the fairies treated the elicromancers and the sea maidens just freaked me out, I did find myself enjoying their roles in the story.

Valory Braiosa is a great head to be in and I could really empathize with her as bad things kept happening to a girl who didn’t deserve it. Also, her powers are extremely cool and when she was able to access them fully at the end and turned into this all powerful being I was so happy. I was always rooting for her to get her revenge, though her revenge was exacted on people I didn’t expect in the end. It was also difficult to trust characters in this book as there ended up being a lot of betrayals and character redemptions. Like Valory, I also had trouble determining who I could trust while reading so it was nice to be in the same boat as the main character.

One character cameo that I could not stop obsessing over was the appearance of a certain time traveling elicromancer who birthed a certain famous elicromancer from way back when. When I found out how pivotal she was to the characters and events of this book it just made me appreciate her more. The final meeting between the Moth King and Valory was a little anticlimactic to me. The build up to their face off was done so well and the suspense was killing me as they casually talked without any violence. In the end though, the final battle was swift and without much trouble which I thought could have been drawn out more.

I would highly recommend this book if you liked the first one or if you want to give a book with fairy tale elements a try. Unlike many fairy tale retellings that focus on the plot of the fairy tale for the whole book, REALM OF RUINS only has small aspects of fairy tales while maintaining a an original plot and characters.

Reviewed by Ilona K., Teen Board Member on December 18, 2018

Realm of Ruins: A Nissera Novel (The Nissera Chronicles)
by Hannah West