19 Feb 2015

Alchemists and witchcraft and miracles, oh my! Richelle Mead's The Ruby Circle

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

Release Date:
10th February 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 348
Format: Paperback | Purchased

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Summary (from GoodReads):

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times 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, 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.


My thoughts:

Reading The Ruby Circle was definitely bittersweet. Over the course of six books, I've fallen in love with Adrian and Sydney. Given that I wasn't a huge fan of Adrian in the Vampire Academy books, and Sydney irritated me immensely throughout the first two books, I was surprised that I became so invested in this characters - it crept up on me, how much I care about them. It's not just Adrian and Sydney though - I have been in this world for twelve books - both Vampire Academy and Bloodlines - and letting go of it is harder than I thought it would be (not Harry Potter hard, but hard nonetheless). It's a solid conclusion to the series, although it does feel a bit rushed at times.

Given that The Ruby Circle is much shorter than Silver Shadows, it's surprising how much Mead has managed to pack into 348 pages. In fact, sometimes it feels like too much. Adrian and Sydney are not only trying to track down Jill and avoiding the Alchemists (while simultaneously trying to fool the Moroi royals that they're still in court), Adrian and Sydney are also pulled into a situation involving half-sisters Olive and Nina, a Dhampir and Moroi spirit user. Olive has gone missing, and Adrian agrees to help Nina find her. SPOILER ALERT: When he does, she's pregnant. IT'S A MIRACLE. Seriously, folks. Dhampirs are the mules of the vampire world - they can't have babies. I won't spoil this plot line for you - because a lot of time is spent on it, so much so that I wouldn't be surprised if we got a spin-off with Declan or Neil at some point in the future.

Miracles aside, The Ruby Circle kind of speeds through everything - everything falls into place so easily and gets wrapped up in neat little bows. I think I had higher expectations for this one - with the threat of the Alchemists and the Moroi Court disapproving of Adrian marrying a human girl, I thought they'd face more trials going into their marriage... but these problems just seem to melt away. I think it would've been more interesting to see these relationship trials, because Adrian and Sydney's relationship doesn't seem to undergo any kind of pressure. We're told that if the Alchemists get their hands on Adrian and Sydney, it's open season - but I never really felt like that was a threat that should be taken seriously. We're told that the Morois disapprove of their marriage, but we never see the effects of that disapproval. Everything's very romantic and shippy, to the point where it kind of feels like fanfiction. Nevertheless, it was a satisfying read, and I'm kind of hoping that there's another spin-off in the works. Of the vampire baby variety, perhaps?

★★★




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