Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead is the sixth and final book in the Bloodlines series. As would be expected in such a concluding volume, all the loose threads from earlier books are tied up, the day is saved and everyone gets to live happily ever after. That isn't a spoiler. This review is going to contain spoilers fro the previous books, however. Especially a pretty major spoiler for Silver Shadows, the fifth book in the Bloodlines series.

Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.

When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.

The Ruby Circle picks up right where the previous book left off and then throws us back into a recurring issue of the series: Jill has been kidnapped. Everyone except Sydney and Adrian get to help look for her, however, since they are still under the court's protection after the Alchemist-enraging wedding of the previous book. But then a lead presents itself that only Sydney can follow and the couple are thrown into the thick of the adventure.

As with the earlier books, this was a fun read. (Probably more fun than the previous book, actually, since there was significantly less torture.) On their way to saving Jill, Sydney and Adrian stumble across an unrelated issue (but one that does tie back to events in earlier books) which conveniently allows Mead to set up a hook for a possible third series. Less cynically, it was something that addressed some of the background spirit research that has been going on throughout the series. (I am being vague because spoilers.) And that said, I would read another series in this universe, especially if there was a more significant time jump to its beginning.

I had one objection to the writing in The Ruby Circle. There was one scene a third (ish) of the way through where a lot of crucial things happened but that was kind of a mess, flow-wise. I suspect the author had written herself into a corner with a bunch of things that had to happen for the plot to work. That said, while I thought it was messy, my husband didn't particularly notice, so your mileage may vary.

One thing I noticed — well, started to notice from Silver Shadows especially — is how this series, which started off very YA and set in a school, has ended very not YA with a wedding and spoiler-stuff. I'd say it's because the characters grew up, but not a huge amount of time passed between the first and last books. More relevantly, I think it's because the focus shifted from Jill, who is a teenager, to Sydney and Adrian who are 19 and 22, respectively. I'm not objecting to the shift, by the way, just noting it.

I have enjoyed the Bloodlines series and I would recommend it to fans of YA and to anyone who likes vampires. Fans of the earlier Vampire Academy series should also give it a shot. I hope it's obvious from the rest of my review, but I definitely don't recommend reading The Ruby Circle without having read the other books in the series.

4 / 5 stars

First published: February 2015, Penguin
Series: Bloodlines, book 6 of 6
Format read: Paper! Gasp!
Source: Pre-order from Dymocks

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