Sunday, July 2, 2017

HARMONIES OF WAR BY RUBY FITZGERALD - BOOK REVIEW

Going into this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. It's been a while since I picked up a good ole fantasy and this one seemed to promise an interesting take with the addition of different magical elements.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Harmonies of War by Ruby Fitzgerald. Thanks so much to the author for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


The story follows a few characters but they all basically revolve around one storyline that features Aurora, who is unique because she has all nine types of magic. Most of those with magic, called Descendants, only have one type of magic. As two rival kingdoms come head to head, it seems as though Aurora might be the answer they are looking for, the one who will fulfill the Ancient Prophecy.

Firstly, let's talk about the magic aspect of this book. Now, I usually find that magic is one of those things that authors struggle with. Either they explain every little detail about it to the point where it is no longer interesting or they don't really explain how it came to be and hope for the best. I think Fitzgerald did a great job with the magic element of this book. She gives enough backstory to explain why people have it, but not so much that I was bored. There are a couple of smaller things that could be explained a bit more, mainly revolving around why some people have magic and others don't, but because of the way the story is told, details like that aren't really that important.

I also really liked the way the story was told. It is narrated in third-person with alternating perspectives and I think this is another thing that was done quite well. It's easy to lose track of characters and lose the individual voices with this type of narration, but Fitzgerald is able to keep them separate while still keeping them all on track with telling the story.

I don't know if I really connected with any of the characters on a deeper level, but that is, unfortunately, usually a side effect of the third-person narrative.

For a novel that is just over 200 pages, I applaud the world-building. There is a map at the beginning to refer to throughout but because of the length of the novel, I knew going in the development of an in-depth world probably wasn't going to happen. I think if the book was a little longer, perhaps more could be spent on the world but I think for the size it is, I can accept the amount I got.

I found it interesting that this book was so short, especially for the genre it is. Most fantasy books I've read have been longer and I think this book could have benefited from a bit more length to explain and expand things out a bit.

The ending, specifically, felt a little rushed to me. I won't say too much to spoil anything but I just felt like there was a lot of build-up, a battle and then everything just kind of worked out. I was expecting more deaths, more harshness. Maybe that says something about me as a person/reader or maybe that says something about the fantasy genre, but I just felt we were missing something.

Despite the few issues I had, I did still enjoy this book. I really liked some of the characters, specifically Argus and Aurora. And even the characters I didn't like, I still appreciated where they were coming from. I think one of Fitzgerald's strong suits is creating unique and interesting characters. I also really enjoyed the dynamic between King Malcolm and Queen Eleanor. Despite her trickery, they seemed to have a really great relationship, something you don't see a lot of in fantasy novels. Usually, the King and Queen were forced to marry and can't stand each other. Their relationship in this book was really refreshing.

I'm not sure if this book will have a sequel or not. The ending makes one possible but not necessary so we'll see.

Overall, an interesting and refreshing take on the fantasy genre.