Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Book Review: "Fall of Ruin and Wrath" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Fall of Ruin and Wrath
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: "Awakening" #1
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Page Length: 432 pages
Publication Date: September 12, 2023
Rating: 4 // 5 stars

I've been reading Jennifer L. Armentrout books for over eight years now and after all this time, I can count on the fact that I'll enjoy her books. Some I love more than others, some I enjoy and then forget about, and some I become absolutely obsessed with. This was everything I expected out of a JLA adult fantasy romance and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. However, it also wasn't anything particularly revolutionary for the genre so it also didn't blow me out of the water despite my enjoyment. 

There's romantic fantasy, fantasy romance, and then fantasy romance. This book is about as far as you can get in fantasy romance and still have a plot. The whole dynamic in the book is based off of pleasure, physical attraction, sex, etc. It's very normalized in the world but it is also the basis for the developing romance in the book. If you don't like smut in books or if you like more plot over romance or more of the soft romance over the smut, this book is not for you. 

I will say, this felt a lot more developed than her other high fantasy series, From Blood and Ash. I have to imagine that the better writing and development are down to the fact that this one is traditionally published so likely went through stricter editing than that one. Now, I love what I've read of the FBAA series so far, but it's definitely not an objectively great series by any means. But I think readers who didn't like FBAA because of the editing and world building would enjoy this one more as it is a bit better in terms of actual writing. 

The plot outside of the romance was interesting, though minimal. Most of the book seemed to be spent on the romance or the main character contemplating the romance. But the actual plot regarding the kingdom politics was intriguing and I'm interested to see how it develops in the next book. The ending was also quite explosive and I'm eager to see how the events of the end influence the story in the next. However, I think what intrigues me most outside of the romance is the magic system. Our main character has really unique magic and I think it presents a lot of opportunities to drive the plot in various ways.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was quick, addicting, and steamy. However, it's nothing particularly new or revolutionary for the fantasy romance genre and I do think we could have used more time getting to know the characters instead of more smut. I'm looking forward to the next one and can add this to the list of JLA books that are a hit for me. 

Thanks for reading!

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