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10 thoughts on “Bright Ruin

  1. Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ says:

    Fear was the superpower they all possessed And unlike Midsummer’s monsters there was no limit to the number of people they could control with it On sale now Final review first posted on Fantasy LiteratureVic James wraps up her hard hitting DARK GIFTS fantasy trilogy with Bright Ruin which picks up right where the second book Tarnished City left off This series is set an alternative version of our world where a minority called the “Euals” has powerful magical gifts What they are supposed to be “eual” to is a good uestion since ― in England and several other countries ― they have used their powers to cruelly oppress the non magical majority Among other abuses all “Skilless” are forced to spend ten years of their lives as slaves Initially the Skilless Hadley family including older teens Abigail Abi and Luke were planning to spend their slavedays in what they hoped would be relative ease serving the powerful Jardine family Their plans predictably fell into ruins and the Hadleys have been scattered about Great BritainAs Bright Ruin begins Abi has barely escaped death in the Blood Fair an old public execution tradition that has been unearthed by the Jardines Luke for his part barely escaped death in the isolated Scottish castle of Lord Crovan perhaps the most sadistic of the Euals who delights in mental torture Abi and Luke are now racing around England in different directions each pursing their own part of the uprising against the tyranny of the Euals Abi is supporting the main rebel group which has support from a few Euals who have a conscience Gavar the oldest Jardine brother has rather surprisingly thrown his support behind the rebellion along with Midsummer a young Eual woman with a pregnant unSkilled girlfriend who has the power to bring stone statues to life Abi’s goals begin to diverge from those of the rebellion leadership as she concludes that a particular violent act may be the only way to effectively disrupt the rule of the EualsMeanwhile Luke has fallen in with the enigmatic Eual Silyen the youngest Jardine brother whose main value in life is gaining knowledge at almost any cost Silyen is also interested in Luke on a personal romantic level but right now Luke is preoccupied with trying to rescue a friend from a Crovan’s castle of torture To gain Silyen’s help with his uest Luke promises to help Silyen find out about the ancient mythical Wonder King a mysterious near forgotten figure who inexplicably still seems to be influencing Great BritainVic James constantly surprises in the DARK GIFTS trilogy The death toll is high and nobody ― even main characters ― is safe People develop and change disclosing previously unsuspected facets of their personalities or hidden agendas Is Gavar trustworthy? Is the Speaker’s son Jon nurturing a relationship with Bouda Jardine to help the rebellion or is he a hidden traitor? Is Silyen’s thirst for knowledge leading him to work for good or evil? There are nuances to the characters of people that make them multi layered and unpredictable and deceptions abound Power corrupts but sometimes the desire for power is just as soul crushingThe mystical Wundorcyning Wonder King provides a kind of Beowulf flavored interlude that tickled my fancy His scenes felt somewhat random at the time but provide a key to the ultimate resolution of the story There’s an odd element to it though involving death and its relationship to power that challenged my ability to suspend disbelief The ending of Bright Ruin though exciting leaves many loose ends and uestions about the future of some key characters not to mention Britain itself and even the world While on the one hand that treatment is realistic at the same time I was yearning for explication perhaps another scene or two to give a better sense of closure Perhaps there might be future novels from James set in this world One can hopeI recommend the DARK GIFTS trilogy for fans of contemporary fantasy with a darker dystopian edge to it and who appreciate political machinations social commentary and unpredictable well drawn characters I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my voluntary review Thank you

  2. Carrie Carrie says:

    Bright Ruin by Vic James is the third book of the young adult fantasy Dark Gifts series From the title of the series to the intense book cover one should guess that this series is not all rainbows and sunshine but one that is incredibly dark and sometimes disturbing so while it is young adult I would recommend keeping this series on the the older crowd side of the genreThe series takes place in a society in which the world is ruled by Euals who are aristocrats with magical gifts Everyone else are known as commoners and at some point during their lifetimes they have to serve the Euals for a period of ten years as their slaves Commoners can choose to serve at any point in their lives from 10 to 80 years oldIn Gilded Cage we met a family that when the youngest child turned ten the parents decided to sign the whole family up for their slave days to be completed together Luke’s older sister Abi has arranged for the family to work together at a plantation owned by England’s most powerful family of Euals But upon arrival the paperwork had been messed up and Luke is shipped off to a slave town separate from the rest of his familyThe series is one that definitely needs to be read as a whole with starting from the beginning with Gilded Cage then continuing with Tarnished City and Bright Ruin as the plot carries over and picks up where it left off from book to book While I have rated in the middle with each of this books the series has definitely still held my attention all throughout The world is incredibly dark and one that angers me than falling in love with as do some of the characters but it’s thought provoking and creative so it kept me coming back from book to book And now at the end I’m again rating at 35 stars but I would recommend checking this out if up for a darker society and contentI received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalleyFor reviews please visit

  3. Char Char says:

    BRIGHT RUIN brings to an end the DARK GIFTS trilogy which began with GILDED CAGE back in 2017 This series delivered on nearly every promise it made back then resulting in an extremely satisfying experience for this readerWe're back with all the same characters well the ones that are still alive and resuming their individual dramas in an unsettled London dominated by Euals In this series Euals are born with special powers magical powers even which allow them to control all sorts of materials and energies As such this world Vic James has created allows those rich in these powers to control and enslave those who are not Absolute power corrupts absolutely and all thatBut what James has so Skillfully done Skill being the name given to these powers is that she's woven in political commentary that is eerily on point with today's events all over the real world Ruling classes andor class warfare? Check Political parties scheming and planning to keep the unSkilled uiet and working with their noses to the grind? Check Those rich in Skill or in our world dollar bills easily gain wealth while holding their feet to the throats of the those not so blessed? Check Using fear to keep the masses afraid and not too interested in what's REALLY going on? Check Fear was the superpower they all possessed And unlike Midsummer’s monsters there was no limit to the number of people they could control with itWhat Vic James has done here and done in a timely manner I'm looking at you famous fantasy writers whose series' remain unfinished you know who you are is deliver a trilogy that has something for everyone Even though it's categorized as YA I would be wary of recommending this to the super young YA crowd as many of the political points would go over their heads and possibly bore them but also because there are extremely dark themes and violent scenes That aside I would recommend this trilogy to everyone else fans of dark fantasy and horror most especially My only issue with this final book is that everything seemed to wrap up rather uickly the denouement came fast and furious and it seemed like one big blow or discovery after another rapid fire style Not that I'm complaining but I think I wanted to savor events just a wee bit Vic James has proven herself to be an author to watch and I know that I will be watching closely for anything she puts out If she can make mea die hard YA avoider read and enjoy an entire YA trilogy than who knows what else she may be capable of? I can hardly wait to find outIn the meantime I highly recommend this book and the entire trilogyThank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback This is it

  4. Cindy ✩☽♔ Cindy ✩☽♔ says:

    Rating 35History only appeared inevitable because it was written in a world where it had already happenedA rather stunning conclusion to an overall fantastic series Filled with politics intrigue family and morally gray characters this book manages to keep us guessing from start to finish I don't say this often but I honestly wish it was longer Character RankingsAbi Gavar Silyen Luke Bouda The Relationships Silyen Luke You're really going to set them free?Well you asked nicelyYou know Luke said I think world peace women's euality and an end to global hunger would also be greatSilyen smirked Don't push it Hadley These two were the most unexpected development I certainly knew Silyen had some interest in Luke and they had some sort of connection but I truly did not realize Silyen's interest in Luke was a romantic one But it is a rather fun and entertaining surprise Gavar Abi You didn't just rescue me You saved all of us by putting a stop to the Blood Fair It was what anyone would have doneBut no one else did Only youThis scene just had me for some reason It was so simple and lovely and there truly was not any romantic connotation to it You are better than your family I believe this and I hope one day you will too In this book we see a major shift in the relationship between Gavar and Abi Where her little sister Daisy had always believed in Gavar's goodness Abi never did She saw only an arrogant temperamental intimidating Eual But after his impulsive act of heroism Abi begins to see that while Gavar may not necessarily be a good person there is goodness in him If this were your typical YA Fantasy I'm pretty sure they would have been canon But clearly Ms James is not for the typical way of doing things So alas I will continue to ponder what could have been But you know what leaves the most to be desired? The ending Like what the heck? view spoiler So Luke's body just disappears? He's just gone off somewhere presumably with Silyen since the family crypt was disturbed I assume he is not actually dead and says nothing to his family about it? We just end with Abi finding him gone and that is it? What? hide spoiler

  5. Steven Steven says:

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest reviewVic James has created a fantastic world well plotted and filled with deep complicated flawed characters It's hard to believe that this trilogy is her debut into the realm of published novels because she's excelled from start to finish This is by far one of the best YA series I've read and I read a lotI don't want to give away too much but the fallout of the end of the last book has left our set of main characters reeling and split and this book picks up right away finding loose ends and tying them together like Silyen and his Skill weaving at the walls of Far CarrHonestly she's left enough open for an amazing adventure to follow and I sincerely hope we get to read because I will be truly sad for this world to be over and done but I will also be rereading these in the future absolutelyReview to come on release date

  6. Cora Tea Party Princess Cora Tea Party Princess says:

    WELL WELLBefore reading I have actual heartburn at the thought of this bookAfter reading I have actual heartburn at the thought of this book

  7. Justine Justine says:

    A bit of a mind bending finish to an interesting trilogy Things did not go where I thought they would in this story when I started the first book but that is part of what made this series such a good readOne of the things I liked most was how very ambiguous some of the characters were and remained through the series There were a few obviously bad or good people but mostly they were all just people with flaws tempers and making choices that were often selfish and morally ambiguous I did have a sense that a couple of characters shifted from where they started in Gilded Cage to where they ended up in Bright Ruin and that some of those shifts were plot directed than organic but it wasn't so obvious that I can't forgive itNot all my Goodreads friends cared for Gilded Cage and so didn't read the two books that followed but I think the series as a whole was worth the time

  8. Faith Faith says:

    This is the final book of a fantasy trilogy about a group of young people fighting for freedom in a reimagined England in which Euals with magical Skills have supplanted royalty and the government People who are not Euals are reuired to serve as slaves for a ten year period It cannot be read as a standalone since there is no recap of the prior books I have to be strict with myself with respect to getting involved with trilogies The later books are almost never as good as the first book and unfortunately that is the case with this trilogy While I wanted to find out how everything turned out after reading the first book it was really a slog through books 2 and 3 Too much of our world was built into the fantasy world in this book in a ham handed fashion including child deportation and resentment of the elite This book had a lot of rescue operations and I got tired of them Eventually I think the author got tired of them too because the societal problems got resolved pretty abruptly In the final chapters people were killed off a romance came out of nowhere two of the protagonists underwent a character change and some convenient magic was newly introduced and unexplained Ultimately the series held my interest but it was just ok I received a free copy of this book from the publisher

  9. Olivia Olivia says:

    I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review However I own the two other instalments in this trilogy and plan to buy this one as soon as it's outWhat a fantastic finaleI love the Dark Gifts trilogy to the point where I'd possibly declare this as my favourite YA fantasyThe premise is very simple political and in our current political climate just a tiny bit terrifying This is a world an alternative modern day Britain where commoners are reuired to serve as slaves for ten years during which they lose all basic human rights The protagonists set out to serve at the beginning of the first book and I expected it to be mostly about their struggle for freedom with a healthy dose of rebellionVic James however doesn't just write from the point of view of the ones suffering Instead we get to see the story from the perspective of the ruling Euals as well and they're not all bad Some are in favour of the slavery some are downright cruel others are fighting to abolish the slavery There's lots of politics in these books and I think that was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much The characters are layered well developed and the writing is enjoyable The world building is not just your average dystopia but innovative and captivatingThe plot took a few turns I didn't expect and I slowly grew to like all characters even love some of them and increasingly worried about their safety What I thought was going to be a mildly annoying romance in the first book turned out to be an interesting plot point that I thoroughly enjoyed In fact the entire Dark Gifts trilogy is not your average YA fantasy; it's original and surprising The first book has a hopeful tone but the second book turns much darker and the mood is sombre The third book finds the balance between the twoAll in all it's a wild ride I was never uite sure how things were going to turn out I worried everyone I loved would be dead by the end and I must admit my heart was a tiny bit broken when I reached the last page of Bright RuinI met Vic James at a convention in London and she kindly signed my copy of Tarnished City She asked me which character is my favourite and I did not know what to answer and may have flailed a little bit Hours later I realised what I should have said politics Because the political aspect is what I enjoy most about these booksBesides the politics there's Silyen and surprisingly enough Gavar And of course Luke and AbiThe ending does not disappoint Vic James ties all loose ends together and just like in the real world not everyone gets what they deserveI highly recommend the Dark Gifts trilogy to YA fantasy fans who are looking for a book with lots of politics

  10. Mel (Epic Reading) Mel (Epic Reading) says:

    Rating of 35ish I know this is not one of the beloved YA series of the last few years It lacks certain author names associated with it crazy romantic love triangles there's almost one and other things that seem to sell YA books these days All that to say for a first time out I think Vic James wrote a solid series The characters were involved and easily relatable the politics were elaborate without being difficult to follow and the overall dystopian set up was interesting Magic and the SettingIt's hard to create new magic Especially one that people will accept or believe when your setting is a version of Earth This is the single biggest mistake I think James makes in the whole series is keeping it on Earth and involved in a similar format to our society today Even location names remain the same in some cases This bugged me There was no reason to keep this story on Earth It wasn't a global reckoning Perhaps James thought it would be easier to stay inside our society to a degree I think it was a huge pitfall and I never really liked it being on Earth A different fantasy world with it's own rules and society would have worked much better CharactersHow can you not love a book with multiple POV that include children? Yeah the one GRR Martin thing that will likely stick with me my whole life is a love of chapter perspectives from kids You can tell so much about a story and put uniue thoughts forward when you use the mind of a child James does a decent job of incorporating her five family members plus a few other perspectives together Although I think this book focused too much on the POV of the two older children I'd have liked to see the parents thoughts and we only got I think one maybe two chapters with our youngest girl Daisy This disappointed me I think there was a relationship built there with the Euals that would have been interesting to explore Daisy would not have seen everything so black and white near the end The RomancesIn an unusual step for a YA romance James takes our lead gal and breaks her heart not a spoiler happens at end of book 2 I gotta say this was really interesting I kind of liked it However there needed to be a lot interaction and tension between the two in uestion in order for full impact to have been achieved Heart break from far away is not near as difficult as heart break that happens and that person remains in your life to a certain degree Another missed opportunity in my mind The other side romances or interests that happen were all fine None felt as strong I was really disappointed we didn't get to see of Silken and his romantic interests It's clear coming into this book that he is not entirely heterosexual and I would have liked to have happened for him PlotYep there's plot Yep it's good enough I liked the plot there was nothing wrong with it But it wasn't spectacular either What really kept me going was James' writing and characters And that's okay with me Besides it wasn't because of a lack of plot that is for sure When you have family members betraying one another and vying for power there is never a lack of complexity Could it have been better? Sure But not everyone has to be Brandon Sanderson and I accept that OverallI think I would revisit this trilogy and world again I liked it enough Certainly since book one it has stuck with me better than some of the other YA fantasy I've read in the last two years That really says something When you read approx 100 books a year the characters or books that standout are really noticeable and certainly that happened for me here I may not be able to put my finger on exactly what it was that made this standout but I'll give the credit where it's due that James had me placing a library hold while the book was on pre order and I read it as soon as my library got it in I don't do that with too many books and so I'd say there was than enough here to warrant a possible spot on my print bookshelves Therefore I have rounded up to 4 stars because there are some special things about this series and final book of the trilogy Even if it's not all perfect

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Bright Ruin Magically gifted aristocrats rule and commoners are doomed to serve But a rebellion threatens the old order The dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludesIn a world where the lower classes must endure ten years of forced service to unfairly advantaged magically powered rulers a teenage boy dreams of rebellion his older sister yearns for love and knowledge and a dangerous young aristocrat seeks to remake the world with his dark gifts In Bright Ruin the final book in the trilogy set in modern day England our heroes will lead a revolution that will transform or destroy the world