Friday, July 20, 2018

Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends, #3) by Kelley Armstrong

Narrated by Jennifer Ikeda
Synopsis (via Goodreads): In a world at war, who can you trust?

The empire rests on the edge of a knife, and sisters Ashyn and Moria are the handle and the blade. Desperate to outmaneuver the evil Alvar Kitsune, whose hold on the people grows stronger every day, Emperor Tatsu begs Moria to put aside past grievances and ally with Gavril—at least long enough to make an attempt on Alvar’s life. Meanwhile, reunited with her long-lost grandfather, Ashyn discovers that she is the key to a ritual that could reawaken an ancient dragon and turn the tide of the coming battle in their favor.

But with lies and betrayal lurking around every corner, Ashyn and Moria will have to decide once and for all where their allegiances are. And it may not be where their hearts would lead them…

“Threatened you with what? Forcing you to father children? I’m hardly an expert in the matter, but my rudimentary knowledge of the process suggests that would be difficult.”
Kelley Armstrong might be really good at dismembering fictional bodies, but she's even better at destroying hearts. I cannot remember the last time a book made me cry, but Forest of Ruin had me sobbing so hard I had to pause the audiobook. My heart was already feeling anxious and unsteady, so it couldn't take the expertly thrown dagger that the author had crafted.

If you've been following my blog the last few days, you know I've been flying through this series. I think I listened to all three audiobooks in less than a week, which is insane. I don't think I've slept as much as I should...  I looked for any and every excuse to dive back into the imaginative world Armstrong had created. It was so vivid and realistic!

“As they neared the spot from which the noise had come, Moria saw a hand lying on the pathway. It appeared to be attached to a body, which was a relief. Again, these days, one could not guarantee such a thing.”

I like that there wasn't a love triangle, even though there was an opportunity for one. Two people of the opposite sex can love each other deeply, but only want friendship out of the relationship. It is possible to enjoy someone's company without wanting to share their bed.

My one teeny tiny issue with this series was how often Ashyn compared herself to her sister. They were two different people, and I wish she hadn't struggled so much with her identity. Even at the end she saw her sister one way and "resigned" herself to another fate. She said both were important in their own way, but she still made it seem like one was somehow better... I wish she had felt happier in her own skin and with her own abilities and contributions. She did a lot to save the empire and move the story forward.

Despite a few unanswered questions, I absolutely loved this series! It's definitely going to be one I add to my shelves. If you enjoy audiobooks, the narrator was fantastic! She really brought the characters to life in my head and gave them their own personalities and mannerisms. I feel like that sounds weird, because it's just someone reading words, but she really captured the essence of the book and the people within it.

30 comments:

  1. Glad this was such a hit for you and that the series ended so well. A good narrator can totally make a good book even better. It's like they just bring the characters (and the story) to life.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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    1. Some people might think it ended too well, because things do wrap up quite nicely, but I'm relieved at how she decided to twist things at the end. It might have been a better book had she not... but I like my happy. :)

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  2. This book, as well as the rest in the series, have such lovely covers. Although I do believe this one is the best. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this author. Have you read her Cainsville series? I highly recommend it. I also just have to comment on the Marlon Bundo review. What a cute book!

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    1. Kelley Armstrong has always been one of my favorite authors, and I've been making a point to read more books from authors I've enjoyed in the past. These covers are fantastic! I want physical copies for my shelves both for the story and their covers! I haven't read her Cainsville series, but I will!

      Marlon Bundo was wonderful! I think it offers diversity and understanding to children, which is really important.

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  3. I think I've only read 2 or 3 of this authors books but this sounds really good. I should read more from her.

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    1. Which of her books have you read? Did you enjoy them?

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  4. Well, you’ve definitely convinced me to try them.

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    1. Yay! I can't wait to see what you think!! :)

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  5. Oooh, it's been years since I've read anything by Kelley Armstrong! This sounds like such a good series too. I'm almost convinced ;)

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    1. Almost? Lol! There were so many great things about this series... it was hard to list them all. I like that Moria wasn't afraid to talk about sex, or admitting that she wanted to know more about how it worked. She would ask questions without being embarrassed about them. I enjoyed the sisterly bond between her and Ashyn, and I thought they were lovely characters to follow. They had different strengths and weaknesses, but they were always ready to fight for the people they cared about.

      Magic! Bond beasts! Sisterly love! A triangle that is NOT a love triangle! Monsters! Dragons! Violent and disturbing descriptions of people that were causalities of a coward's war... there's a lot going on in this one. :)

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  6. It sounds like a great series you read them quite fast! I really should try too

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    1. Yes! I'm having a massive book hangover right now. I keep forgetting I've finished this series, and nothing else is grabbing me the way it did. I'm going to switch to comics for a bit and hope it passes soon. <3

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  7. Wow you may have me talked into this series! I already know enough about Armstrong to know I'd probably like it, and dragons too? You're right this cover is pretty killer!

    Definitely adding this. It's funny as I wait for the next book on her City of the Lost series I was debating whether to try her urban fantasy stuff. Maybe I'll just go with these since I need to find some good epic fantasy anyway!

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    1. It doesn't hurt anything to try! You might fall in love like I did. <3

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  8. I honestly do not even know if I have heard of this one...and it is Armstrong!

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    1. Yes! It's Armstrong, haha. I feel like that alone makes the series worth trying. I really enjoyed her Darkest Powers series, and now this one is a new favorite!

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  9. I have only read a few of Armstrong's books but I have loved the ones that I did read. I will definitely have to look for this since since it was worth losing sleep over :)

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    1. I feel like I'm going to spend this week catching up on the sleep I lost last week (even though I know that's not really possible, lol). I had a massive book hangover, so I didn't really read anything else for a few days. My head was still stuck in the story. :)

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  10. Crying so hard you had to pause the audiobook is definitely an accomplishment on the part of the story! I don't remember that much about how much the ending of this one but I do remember it was so open-ended that there was almost space there for another story... (Kelley Armstrong has a bit of a pattern there...)

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    1. Haha! I was trying to cry quietly, but I was using headphones and couldn't hear everything that was being said. I had to calm down a little before I could continue.

      Open-ended? I thought she tied everything up really well. I think there is a potential for more from that world (I'd love to see some of the other secondary characters get their own story), but I thought Moria and Ashyn had a lovely conclusion. I like that there is hope for more! Particularly from Sabre and her dashing prince... ;)

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    2. Yeah! Open-ended as more of a "there's a lot of world out there and Armstrong could definitely revisit it if she wanted to," not a bad thing. I don't think she failed at wrapping up Moria and Ashyn's stories, from what I remember (I might have to do a reread it's been quite a while...)

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    3. Ahh! Yes! I hope Armstrong decides to write another book/series set in this world. I love it! She did wrap up Moria and Ashyn's stories for the most part. They're trying to rebuild and live in the aftermath, but their story was solid. I wouldn't mind getting updates on them from someone else's perspective.

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  11. Wow, I just checked GR and realized this released in 2016! I had Sea of Shadows as a must-read since it released, but it seems like it wasn't THAT long ago. Crazy. I'll have to binge them like you did.

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    1. Do it! Do it and let me know what you think! If you like audio, these were amazing. The entire series is still something I think about, so I know it's one I'll read again in the future. Time flies!

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  12. I'm so glad you're enjoying this series! I still need to read the ending but it sounds like it was a winner! Lovely review, Lindsi!! :)

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    1. If you've already started this series and enjoyed it, I think you'll really like the ending! Things didn't happen like I thought they would, and I felt pretty anxious throughout the first half. I hope you love it! <3

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  13. There's nothing quite like a book that is so good you'd rather read than get enough sleep each night. I love books like that! I need to finish up some other series first, but I'll definitely have to keep this one in mind for later. Great review!

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    1. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I did! What other series are you reading right now? I've recently realized there are a lot I need to go back and finish! I started some of them years ago, but then forgot... :(

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  14. I'm going to have to grab these in audio!!!

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