Following the previous tradition of this series, the plot started right off from where its predecessor left off. This time, following a whopping multi-perspective narrative of 12 POV, the scope of the story is bigger and darker than before, the stake is high and the God-War is here. As the blurb on the physical book said, The Banished Lands are engulfed in chaos and war. In terms of plot progression and quality, John Gwynne did a really fantastic job in Ruin. A huge amount of development are hurled and a lot of deception and manipulation that were there since Malice has been unmasked. Betrayals and heartbreaks are everywhere in the story and this inflicted a gigantic sense of anxiety for the readers. I probably shouldn’t recommend this book to anyone with any history of heart attacks. I was so anxious that my perfectly condition heart beat way too fast at a lot of points. I seriously think participating in a 5 km run is easier for the toll this book put on my heart but guess what? You can call me masochist but I want this kind of thrilling sensation to appear from the books I read.
With Ruin finished, that’s 2000 pages read and this means I've invested quite a lot of hours into the series. That chunk of pages read and the fact that John Gwynne knows how to write compelling characters made me feel attached to every one of them and I’m genuinely concerned for their fate. This is also because as bleak as the story goes, it never forget to remind you time and time again how important the bonds you shape with everyone is.
“Family. Friendship. Loyalty. These things have been my guiding stars, my light in these dark times.”
As I mentioned before in my Valor review, I don’t use any of the character names in all of my review for this series up to now, the reason is this. Faithful and the Fallen is an adult dark fantasy series similar to ASOIAF, there are a lot of heart-wrenching moments, on this book even more. If I mention any of the character’s names then you’ll know that the particular character survived the previous ordeals and I don’t want that. I’ve seen a lot of review did this and to me who’s really sensitive about spoilers, I count this kind of situation as a spoiler for this series. I want you to feel the anxiety as much as I felt while reading the books, to not know about the character’s fates and feel concern for their safety as you flip the pages of this book. To say this book is an emotional roller coaster is probably an understatement since Ruin is definitely an apt title for this book. There are a lot of up and down for the characters, especially during the fantastic action scenes and war sequences which consist of a lot of POV’s shifting between the hunter and the hunted. This brought me to my next point.
There is a duel scene in this book and I can’t stress this highly enough, it's so amazing and epic. John Gwynne’s knowledge of close-quarter combat really shines in the series and this duel scene seems like a culmination of his writing’s capability on this knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still hopeful for a greater one in the next book but it will be really tough for him to top this one. It’s the second best duel scene I ever read in a book so far, (the best one is from The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson) it’s well written, build up phenomenally and executed with great finesse. Safe to say it gave me goose bump, literally. This doesn’t mean that all the other action sequences pales in comparison, it’s just that this particular duel is above all the other action sequences.
Ruin filled me with grief and joy like an unrequited love. Even though a lot of events transpired in this book made me really anxious, I can’t help but give my love towards this book for its epic scenes and heartwarming moments. I’m left speechless by the quality progression that this series holds and I’m honestly baffled why this series aren’t famous yet. It’s seriously one of the best series I have ever read and you know what? I’m not even finished yet, as Desmond Doss from Hacksaw Ridge said “please lord, help me get one more” and one more book it is. Wrath is next, the last one of this series and I’m going to embrace it with my whole heart. Now.
Speaking truthfully, I actually already read 30 pages of Wrath before writing this review since this book ended on one hell of a cliffhanger. I salute everyone who survived the wait for Wrath to come out. Again, for the third time, I absolutely recommend this series for lover of dark epic fantasy.