Now that they are Opal, Sal has the ability to hunt down the lords that killed their family, and their people. But tales of missing children and magic are coming from the north, baffling those left in Alonia. With the Queen’s approval, Sal heads north to fulfill their revenge.
Why this book?: It’s fucking Ruin of Stars, the sequel to my favorite book ever. I think that’s explanation enough.
I would like to thank the people at Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Alright, be patient with me. I’m going to try as hard as possible to make this review as coherent as possible. But with this book literally ripping my heart out, stomping on it, and then helpfully mending it and putting it back in (only to rip it out again), I don’t know how well that will go down. So here I go.
In Linsey’s Mask of Shadows, Sallot Leon fights to become Opal in a competition to the death. Sal wins, but with grave consequences that lead to a war between Erlend and Alonia in Ruin of Stars. Linsey crafted this world in the first book, so you took these facts for granted in the second…only for them to be flipped on their head. Ruin of Stars is very different from Mask of Shadows, almost shockingly so, but it was beautiful and I loved that it wasn’t just another repeat of the first, as series so often do. In RoS, Sal is given the opportunity to go for their revenge, and in the end they find something much different.
I can’t say much without spoiling a lot, but let me just say this: Linsey adds in exquisite details that made the world so much better. Now that Sal is apart of the court, others come out to Sal as being trans or non-binary, and seeing all of these new characters, or getting to know characters more, was amazing. Other characters came out as queer, and I especially loved Emerald’s development. Emerald and Amythyst become sort of parents to Sal, and it was so adorable. Another piece that I loved to read, was Linsey’s clarification on Sal’s “dress how they want to be addressed” rule. Sal explained that they knew that clothes don’t have gender, but they used other’s preconceived assumptions on different clothes to display what gender they are currently. They use clothes as a tool.
The story itself really broke me. It was kind of all over the place, but they all come together in the end and reveal these huge twists and shocks and I really, really, couldn’t get over it. I was broke, I was hurt, and Sal and Linsey just kept coming, and didn’t give me a break.
It’s hard to explain my love for this series, because to me, my above review is all over the place. But, listen. Sallot Leon is a genderfluid character in a magnificently built fantasy world. The world is continually built, adding more and more complexity to this story that already means the world to me as the story goes on. Sallot Leon is a genderfluid character who is comfortable with their gender, in a fantasy world that is complex and interesting.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
This book is the love of my life. I will love it forever, and I can’t wait to reread it again (even though I’ve already read it twice)! This book was so much better than the first, with even more queer characters, funny dialogue, intense scenes, and just pure, heartstopping action.
Would I Recommend?
Well, obviously I’d recommend reading Mask of Shadows first, but otherwise PLEASE!! I need more friends to gush about this book with.
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page count: 416
Genre: Fantasy/High Fantasy/YA
Synopsis: via Goodreads
As Opal, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and most importantly the ability to hunt the lords who killed their family. But Sal has to figure out who the culprits are before putting them down. Which means trying to ignore the fact that Elise is being kept a virtual prisoner, and that the queen may have ulterior motives.
And the tales coming out of north are baffling. Talk of dark spirits, missing children, and magic abound. As Sal heads north toward their ruined homeland and the lords who destroyed everything, they learn secrets and truths that can’t be ignored.