Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout has been on my “must read” list since its announcement. As a big fan of her last adult romantic fantasy, this one sounded even more intriguing and I knew I would be sucked into the world immediately. I was not disappointed in this and very quickly I felt this world was quite possibly the authors most unique and intriguing one yet.
Calista is unique and coveted for her ability to read people, both their feelings and even their thoughts. She knows it as her intuition, it allows her to sometimes know people’s futures, or gives her feelings towards something that push her to act in certain ways. She uses this ability to get protection for herself, living with a Baron who offers this in exchange for her using her power to get information for him. It is this intuition that draws her to a Hyhborn Lord she meets when she is a young girl, and later in life saves from people trying to harvest his blood and body parts, which can be used to power magic and therefore can be sold for large amounts. It’s this intuition that tells her this Hyhborn Lord is her Hyhborn.
The world-building was phenomenal and complicated and I was so divinely immersed in this world from the first chapter. It took some reading and some going back to really ingest the world Jennifer L. Armentrout has created but it was completely worth it and I honestly love this world she has created so deeply. There are a lot of terms to remember and keep straight; Hyhborn, Caelestia, Deminyen, etc. and it was in part these that had me needing to go back and figure out which term meant which or make a concentrated effort to untangle the meanings initially, but again, it’s a learning that is worth it and completely makes this unique fantasy world.
Let’s not forget Thorne. Of course, this dreamy man swung in and stole the show from the moment he appeared on the page. I’ve made no secret in past reviews that I am the ultimate sucker for sassy men, and Thorne has sass in spades. And he is such a tease. As serious as the matters that take place in this book are, he’s such a spirited, sunshine of a character when it comes to his interactions with Calista and I adored every moment they were together. His banter and flirtation with her was the absolute highlight of this book and I was smitten with his spirit immediately.
Now. A few thoughts. I did find it took me a bit to get into Fall of Wrath and Ruin. This is because it did feel like it had a slower start, and took some time to build momentum. However, as I mentioned before, it had A LOT of world building and there was SO much to set up for the story itself and the world too. So this isn’t so much a criticism as it’s one of those first books that you really need to stick with it in order to get to the action and the meat of the story. It’s the kind of first book that has me fully expecting that the sequel may very well knock it out of the park because everything has now been established; the characters, the world, and the building blocks of the story. For that reason I am beyond excited for the second book to come out because I very much expect that I will love this series so intensely once it really picks up because I adore the characters and the world already and I want so desperately to see where the story goes and what the full series will bring.
On that note, things picked up immensely near the end of the book. I loved the last probably 50 pages of this book the most because things amped up so intensely and I freaking loved the atmosphere and mood it created. It almost took on a horror-esque tone with the events that started taking place and I adored how it felt kind of creepy to experience and so tense. The depictions of the Rae and ni’meres had chills going through me and made me feel like I was reading a horror book with everything that was going on at this point of the book. It was next level spooky vibes and I was blown away by how immersive it was.
And the ending. I am now desperate for the sequel because I feel like so much was left up in the air and the wait for the next installment is going to be brutal. Give me more of this series because I am already obsessed and I think the series is just going to get even better from here.