A Kingdom of Ruin (ARC review) – Allies, foes, teammates, mates

The following review is part of my being in the author’s review team, which ensures that you can read it before the book comes out.

WARNING: This post might, at times, contain curses. I’m not sorry.

Going all in pays off big time for K.F. Breene with her adult retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which enters its penultimate part, rather than its originally intended finale. That’s what happens when the characters are immensely good and have a lot to tell an author, much to the readers’ pleasure!

Again, this review comes with warnings:

  1. Don’t read the review if you haven’t read A Throne of Ruin, for it contains spoilers of that book.
  2. Don’t read the book if smutt isn’t your type, or if you don’t like cursing, for there is, as is the case in the whole series so far, a lot of both, and perhaps dragon sex (the latter coming from the author herself on her social media, so not a spoiler), and graphic violence.
My review of A Ruin of Roses
My review of A Throne of Ruin

That’s it for the warnings. If you’re OK with both, then you’re good to go for this review and the book.

What the book is about

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A Kingdom of Ruin

Series: Deliciously Dark Fairy Tales, Book 3

Author: K.F. Breene

Publisher: Hazy Dawn Press, Inc.

Date published: 7 February, 2022

Pages: 430


Never sell your soul to the Demon King.

Too late.

In an effort to save all that I love, I have to finish the job Nyfain started… and ruin myself.

I’ve made a trade with the most cunning creature alive.

Me for them.

The dungeons will be my new home. Dolion’s destruction will be my new goal.

I just have to get out of here and back to my golden dragon. Preferably alive.

Friends and foes

Breene’s Deliciously Dark Fairy Tales aren’t only about hot and sexy and smouldering and a love story. There is also a lot of family and friendship included, and a lot of those can be found in A Kingdom of Ruin, where Hadriel, Leala, and Hannon will go to great lengths to save and protect Finley. Two as servants-turned-friends, one as a brother. All out of love and loyalty.

In Finley’s absence, the two former have turned to become the Prince’s cheerleaders, especially Hadriel, much to the butler’s dismay. As for the latter, he took the mantle of family’s bookworm, reading as much as possible, thanks to Nyfain, about demons and the demon kingdom. And that’s not why I fell irrevocably in love with him. This, you will understand when you read! But I am now officially book cheating on Nyfain!

Can I also have a Hadriel friend, please? Because he’s hilarious as all get-out, but also because he is the nicest wolf!

Talking about wolves… we will meet some new ones, and more dragons, in this book. Most nice, but some quite opportunistic and not so nice. I will only say this: if you don’t love Vemar, there is a problem! Of all the new characters, he is my favourite, with a surprise one a close second. And yes, Jedrek remains an asshat and a foe, even more so in this book.

Different perspectives

The good part about this book is that, in the absence of Finley, we get to know what happens in the kingdom through the eyes of other characters, mainly Hadriel, but also Nyfain, and little parts from Leala.

This offers three new perspectives, from the eyes of characters we’ve loved from the start of the series, bringing their share of laughs, swoons and, I admit, tears, too.

Channelling her inner dragon (or giving her room)

We knew from Nyfain’s letter in the previous book that Finley is a dragon. We’ve known from the start that her animal is obnoxious and with a mind of her own, even more stubborn than her human!

With all the other animals being unsuppressed thanks to both Nyfain’s and Finley’s powers, it was only a matter of time until we “met” Finley’s dragon. I will only say that: it was worth the wait and she’s awesome!

Bond-distance calls

Finley and Nyfain might be the equivalent of continents apart, but their bond remains strong, enough for them to have some form of wordless communications, comprised of shared emotions of all sorts. What sorts? It’s for you to read to find out! But I will say this: they remain together-apart with them.

My verdict

To say I loved A Kingdom of Ruin is an understatement. I could barely put it down once I got into it, especially during crunch time (for there is a crunch time). Contrary to the first two books, this one does not end in a cliffhanger but, rather, with a massive hook, that can only make me await the series finale, A Queen of Ruin, with bated breath. However, K.F. Breene is still writing it, so we must be patient. For now, it is scheduled to release in May, but who knows, maybe we will have it a month or two early.

This said, A Kingdom of Ruin is very worthy of

A whipping five stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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