Anthony Reynolds 

Adult Fantasy

The first ever novel set in the blockbuster universe of League of Legends, one of the most popular video games of all time, Ruination is an epic tale of magic, revenge, and an empire on the verge of ruin.

Camavor is a brutal land with a bloody legacy. Where the empire’s knights go, slaughter follows.

Kalista seeks to change that. When her young and narcissistic uncle, Viego, becomes king, she vows to temper his destructive instincts, as his loyal confidant, advisor, and military general. But her plans are thwarted when an assassin’s poisoned blade strikes Viego’s wife, Isolde, afflicting her with a malady for which there is no cure.

As Isolde’s condition worsens, Viego descends into madness and grief, threatening to drag Camavor down with him. Kalista makes a desperate gambit to save the kingdom: she searches for the long lost Blessed Isles, rumored to hold the queen’s salvation, if only Kalista can find them.

But corruption grows in the Blessed Isles’ capital, where a vengeful warden seeks to ensnare Kalista in his cruel machinations. She will be forced to choose between her loyalty to Viego and doing what she knows is right–for even in the face of utter darkness, one noble act can shine a light that saves the world.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) My love for a beautiful cover did me well this time! I am not sad I was sucked in by this one!

Kalista, a warrior general, is niece to the king, a young narcissist out to prove himself. When tragedy strikes, Kalista finds herself fielding his grief and outrageous demands because of it. She is torn between loyalty and beliefs to save her kingdom.

First off, it states that the book is based on the world of League of Nations, a video game. I know nothing about this game and never felt low on info. That must be an addition that is not necessary to understand this world.

When it states, “…an empire on the verge of ruin” it really is true. The king is unstable and emotional. While he has great qualities, they are overshadowed by grief after a tragedy and we see how volatile and hostile his actions can be. This is where the book takes a bit of a dark turn. We follow him and his grief and the actions those brings out. It’s heartbreaking and fascinating to watch his downfall.

“Bravery was not the absence of fear; it was doing what needed to be done, despite being afraid.”

Kalista is the ultimate tough female heroine. She is strong physically and mentally and her strife for inequality and fair treatment for all is admirable. She is loyal, almost to a fault and this adds to the story well.

“As long as one ember burns, darkness can always be banished.. keep that ember of hope burning.”

Grael. Oooh he’s an evil one. He was the perfect villain. He was rejected, humiliated and out to prove himself. He turns dark and unpredictable. I loved it, he added such untold obstacles.

Truly, the rating of this might go up. I’m still ruminating on the story and piecing together each part. It really was fabulous. So much going on with incredible world building, characters and it kept me guessing throughout. The writing was enough to grab me right away which is something that rarely happens lately.

I have 2 parts I did not like. One, there were two minor characters that were animal-like (a woman with fur and otter-like ears and another with hooves and a horn) that seemed very out of place. My brain also had a hard time imagining them. But they were such small parts I couldn’t find the reasoning behind adding them in. It didn’t say why they were different or where they were from. Second, I didn’t love the romance. Oddly it was such a very small part it shouldn’t be worth mentioning but it didn’t quite jive with me. I needed a bit more build-up to make it believable. I do think I would like the romance if there was a book 2 but I needed more in this book.

I have no idea if there will be a book 2, but I will jump at the chance to grab it. However, because I was so entranced with the story, I still have questions as to what happened. It wouldn’t be necessary for the story but as a reader I just want to know! The end did turn a bit darker than I expected but I still loved it. The consequences of actions were astronomical and it made a great addition to the story. I’d love to read more of this author but because he has the same name as another author, I believe their details are getting mixed up. When looking at the background blurb, the details did not match. So I’ll be looking into that more. He really did have the ability to keep me entertained throughout.

General content summary: Ultimately, this had little offensive content. The battle details were enough without the gory details of exactly what was happening. I was impressed by the minimal language and ability to keep my attention while keeping the details small. It did turn a bit dark at the end with dark magic and spirits and while a bit creepy, still within reasonable details. Minimal language, aftermath on battlefield, carrying a beheaded head, violence and death with weapons (multiple), poisoned weapon causes pain and delirium and death, captivity and maltreatment, years dead corpse (few details), alcohol (minimal), creature attacks and people deaths (minimal details), heads or bodies are displayed in city gates (no details), description of a corpse, grief, battle and death and injuries (multiple, few details), kiss, death by sword and battle (few details), dark spirits (many). 

Thank you to Orbit for the gifted copy!

The book releases September 6, 2022.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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