It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina--polite, submissive Serina--is its leader. Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they'll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.
Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place. The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart's unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.
Synopsis from Goodreads
We are back on Mount Ruin and it is not looking good. Picking up seconds after Grace and Fury ended, Queen of Ruin dives back into the dual perspectives of sisters Serina and Nomi as they struggle to find their place (and fight for their lives) in a society where women are little more than property. I was intrigued by the first book and ended up loving the second!
Amazing Female Empowerment
I loved Grace and Fury because it showed such amazing growth from its characters and was a scary look at what happens when women are silenced and erased in a society. Queen of Ruin picks up on this storyline and blows it up as the women learn their own abilities in fighting back. Although there are losses along the way, Queen of Ruin shows how empowering women will build up a society. Equality is needed around the world, otherwise one gender becomes little more than property to be traded and owned.
The Male Partners Are Everything Men Should Be
I am in love with Val and Malachi in this book! It was wonderful to read about two capable, strong men who are more than willing to follow their female partners instead of pushing themselves to the front. Val has always been open in his support of Serina; he is there to back her up in every aspect of her plan and vows to help the women find freedom. One of my favourite moments is when Serina looks at Val and thinks “She never thought she’d see a man stand back and support, rather than assert his will...she’d never seen anything as attractive as the respect in Val’s eyes” (Banghart 286). Malachi has a bit of growing to do, but he ultimately does the same for Nomi, choosing her own power and coming to realize that she knows what the country needs much more than he does and he needs to support her.
Slow Build, Quick Ending
The majority of this book takes place on Mount Ruin (roughly 3/4 of it), but that’s not a bad thing. There is a lot of work to be done before anyone can get off of Mount Ruin, not least is Malachi being able to heal (let's all be honest and say that we were never really worried he would die there -- he's obviously too important to Nomi's story). That said, I do wish there had been a little more time spent on what happens once they are back on the mainland. The ending was rushed so that we never see Malachi's conversation with Dante about the future, which would have acted as a sign of what other men may think, and I wish we had an epilogue that gives us a glimpse of the future.
Overall, this was a strong book. I felt like Banghart's writing was stronger and she brought the series to a satisfying end. I loved getting to see Serina's and Nomi's growth over the two books; these sisters won't let anything stop them! I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Grace and Fury and to those who like YA fantasy novels. What did you think of Queen of Ruin?
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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