Divinity & Ruin
by Ellary Rose
Thank you to Reedsy Discovery for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: August 6, 2022.
Divinity & Ruin has everything I love about dark adult fantasy: murder, gods and goddesses, demons, the chosen one trope, curses, lust, and a budding reverse harem. We meet Tita the night she is murdered, an act that becomes the catalyst for her journey to another world she never knew she belonged to.
It was so easy to get swept away by the fast paced plot, and electrifying energy of this story. There is a lot that worked in this novel, and what truly stands out the most is the potential. What exists as a really good story, could become a great, all encompassing, immersive and expansive world with a vast band of characters who use each other to heal deep-seated emotional (and physical) wounds.
This novel is relatively short for a fantasy of this size and magnitude. While I appreciated how quickly the author was able to deliver a digestible plot, I don’t think the characters had enough time to form genuine connections. Instead our harem forms seemingly out of thin air (literally). The character I’m the most curious about is the only one who held himself apart, and who didn’t automatically accept the arrangement with open arms.
The romantic aspects of this story were really well done. It’s hard to discuss why it’s well done without giving away a major spoiler or two, but I thought that choosing to build the initial relationships off of lust and attraction alone was a very smart way to force the harem together.
There is a lot happening in this story, which was equal parts exciting and daunting. Greek gods and goddesses play a major role, as well as titans, angels and demons, fae creatures, and of course, humans. I think this story would be so much stronger if there was a little more time spent on world building. There are moments where events are broken down for our main character to understand, but she (and us the reader) are forced to just accept the reality presented without question.
Divinity & Ruin was entertaining and a quick read. It was a nice escape back into adult fantasy, after I’d taken some time off to review children’s fiction. Ellary Rose is an author who very clearly develops the plot of their story. I hope in the future they also take the time to develop the relationships of the characters, as well as the world building. The ideas are there. I think the more time the author spends evolving the dynamics between characters, the hungrier readers will become to see them come together.
Some editing notes:
PG 9 “I looked around, checking to see if my barricade was still intake.” – typo, should be intact?
PG 73 “Luckily, he most hasn’t…” – should say, he most likely hasn’t?
PG 215 “We want you to be with you, Tita” – too many yous in that sentence or no punctuation between ideas. We want to be with you, or we want you is what I’m assuming was intended.