Title: Ruin of Stars
Author: Linsey Miller
Series or Standalone?: Mask of Shadows #2
Publishing Date: 28 August 2018
“The thrilling conclusion to the Mask of Shadows duology that weaves a tale of magic, shadows, and most importantly, revenge.
“As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family. But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father.
“But there’s something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can’t be forgotten.”
- blood and gore
- character death
- genderfluid main character
- bisexual love interest
- aromantic side character
- trans man side character
- non-binary side character
- sapphic character(s)
- multiple characters of color, including mixed race characters
I thought that Ruin of Stars was a wonderful sequel and finale of the duology. Compared to Mask of Shadows, this book hits fast and hard, pulling no punches. I think I like it just a tad bit better than the first book!
After the events of Mask of Shadows, Sal is tasked with hunting down the nobles that were responsible for killing their family. Along with that, the tension also begins to rise at the Queen’s court as insiders are looking shadier every day.
I’m going to be honest, I finished this book about a month ago, and I kinda forgot what exactly happens outside of the fact that I really liked it, lol. But!! I do remember that I absolutely loved these characters, forever and ever. The reader learns more about Amethyst and Emerald and sees them interact more with Sal as an equal. You also learn more about Ruby, which is probably one of the best parts. Also! Multiple non-binary characters!! I literally did a little happy dance when I found this out as I was reading. There is also a trans side character as well.
I will say that I thought Sal and Elise’s conflict was pretty “meh”. I nearly hit my head against the wall because how thick did Elise have to be to not believe what Sal was saying until it was nearly too late? She didn’t have issues with anything else, but this one thing had to be insurmountable for her. She wasn’t my favorite character in Mask of Shadows, so I knew she wasn’t going to be my fav in this book either, but still. Thinking about it more, I understand what the author was trying to get at, but I thought it fell a bit short.
The writing itself is pretty good, though! It is very fast-paced, and I thought it was easy to fly through. The action never seems to stop, which took a bit getting used to compared to the the first book of the series (which I thought was a bit slower in terms of action). On top of that, there is so much talk about marginalized people and simply living in a society that doesn’t even want you to exist, let alone be visible and thriving. I really appreciate that aspect of the novel, and I wish I could have more of it.
But yeah, while I wasn’t a huge fan of Elise in this book, I thought that Ruin of Stars was a good book overall, and I would still definitely recommend this book (and the duology in general)!
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