Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

It's been a whirlwind of new releases in several of the Wenches' favorite series, and the final installment in Richelle Mead's fantastic Bloodlines series fell right in the middle of that whirlwind. I picked that baby up just as soon as I could get my hands on it, although I was a little sad that it was time to let go of Sydrian. Their story has been so wonderful, as I told you about here and here, that I wasn't sure I was ready to let go. But I finally opened the book and discovered how Richelle Mead wrapped up one of my best finds of last year.

Do I still recommend this series, now that it's concluded, or is it better left at the bottom of your TBR?  Click through to find out if The Ruby Circle gave our intrepid couple an ending they deserved.

Here's the thing: this is a YA series. This is only my second YA series since breaking my boycott, so I don't have a lot to compare it to, but I won't compare it the amazing adult UF\PNR series that I adore. That's just not fair. The series, for me, is a five star series, primarily because of Sydrian. They are spectacular, with some perfect scenes, and beautiful lines. I love them together, and I love them individually which is not all that common. That said, for me The Ruby Circle is the weakest of the series. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, but it can't compare to earlier books in the series.

Sydrian are spectacular.
(From The Saucy Wenches FB page.)
The Ruby Circle, did not quite live up to the epicness of the previous two books. It dragged a bit, with a lot less action and a lot more waiting around.  I felt that the solution to finding and rescuing Jill was well done, and I thoroughly enjoyed Sydney solving the problem of how she and Adrian could live a "normal" life. I generally don't like the plot twist we got in the end, but it made sense for this couple, for a YA book, so I ain't mad at it.

For real.
I was disappointed that there still had been no movement on the cultural problems in this world, but perhaps that wasn't the point. As someone who is frustrated to see injustice anywhere, it's been difficult to read twelve books (counting the Vampire Academy series) in which the society is clearly and blatantly rigged to benefit a few noble families, with a whole lot of families that have no protection and no say, not to mention an entire class of people who are not only looked down upon, but who have no choices in how they will live their lives. As we neared the end of VA it looked like things would change, but at the end of another six books of Bloodlines, there still was no change in the culture. Obviously that wasn't the point of the series, but I would have liked to see some hope. Although there is hope that the Alchemists will change the way they treat their own people, even if they are going to continue being bigoted toward other "creatures".

Overall, I still adore this series and would highly recommend, but I would preface that recommendation with the understanding that Fiery Heart is the high point of the series, with Silver Shadows close behind. The Ruby Circle is a solid conclusion, but lacks the emotion and adventure of the prior two books. I did, however, love Sydney and Adrian working together to rescue Jill and to solve the "problem" that popped up. Adrian's snark and Sydney's brilliance were still in abundance, and the epilogue tied a lovely bow on a great series.
Farewell, Syrdrian.

Wench Rating:


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