25 April 2020

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan (Something Dark and Holy #2)

Author: Emily A. Duncan
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 532
Source: Amazon Canada
Buy: Amazon | Indigo Canada | Book Depository
"Darkness never works alone... Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who--and what--he’s become. As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer." -Goodreads

Emily A. Duncan has an amazing talent for laying out a gothic world. It is easy, as a reader, to quickly visualize Tranavia and Kalyazin. The horrors, that these characters face throughout Ruthless Gods, also come alive before the readers' eyes. I applaud Duncan for her world-building. I can easily imagine these war-torn places and sympathize with their struggles. All the characters feel a sense of loyalty to their homeland. They do not want their country to fall but, they also all want the war to end. 

I did not enjoy Ruthless Gods as much as I enjoyed reading Wicked Saints. The first 200 hundred pages of Ruthless Gods was really good. I was really enthralled in what was going on, and I was excited to be back in this world. However, the last half of Ruthless Gods dragged on for me. I found it a bit of struggle to finish the book. 

My biggest issue with Ruthless Gods was with Nadya. Nadya spends most of the book going back and forth between loving and hating Malachiasz. This is somewhat understandable with the events of the previous book. However, I felt in Ruthless Gods it was a bit overdone. I also felt this way in regards to some of the back and forth banter between Nadya and Malachiasz. While I love Malachiasz as a character, I feel his relationship with Nadya falls flat in the sequel. I feel the strength and development of their relationship isn't as strong as it could be in this book. 

I was also missing the side characters even though they were all present in Ruthless Gods. I wanted more of Parijahan and definitely more of Rashid. I just felt the balance and development of the characters were off in Ruthless Gods. 

Serefin's character arc was probably my favourite in Ruthless Gods. There is also a new romantic relationship for Serefin. While I definitely ship who he is being paired with, I was certainly oblivious to the signs that they liked one another. 

The ending of this book was not that surprising to me. The plot and what were going on at certain times, was a bit confusing to me. I found myself having to reread certain passages. 
All in all, I had high hopes for Ruthless Gods after Wicked Saints. However, the second book fell a bit flat for me. I will definitely be giving book #3 a chance when it comes out next year.

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