Review of Magpie's Ruin

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Josephe-Anne
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Review of Magpie's Ruin

Post by Josephe-Anne »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Magpie's Ruin" by Brian M Cox.]
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5 out of 5 stars
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Reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings and The Inheritance Cycle, dreams, dragons, and magic fill the pages of this book. Magpie’s Ruin by Brian M. Cox is an epic fantasy adventure led by a warrior princess who takes charge of her destiny. Kai is on her way back home after running away twenty years earlier. She returns with a dire warning and a desperate plea. After centuries of prosperity, her homeland (and the entire world) is being threatened by an old foe. Hordes of undead beings/zombies are rising up once again, and the nations of mankind must unite, or their destruction is certain. Kai must also find the lost races and enlist their help. Along with her most trusted friends, she embarks on a mission to find the elusive dwarves and elves. Time is of the essence as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Will Kai and her companions fulfill the ancient prophecies that foretold these events?

The cover image depicts a medieval castle at night. The book’s title is displayed in an ornate silver font, and a heraldic gonfalon with a magpie on it is situated at the center. This simple design belies the fantastic story within. A map of this fictional realm and an appendix is included in the book. The text is divided into sixty-six brief chapters. The main themes are fantasy, adventure, friendship, and a bit of romance. The story contains sexual innuendos, but there are no explicit sex scenes. There are violent action scenes in the book, and an instance of rape is mentioned. However, details of these occurrences are not too graphic. I did not find any instances where profanity was used.

Kai, also known as the Briar Rose, is a strong, independent woman with unmatched fighting skills and a passion for protecting others. There were many other characters who contributed their unique skills to the plot. Prince Morannel is her nephew and the heir to the throne of Raelis. He is a courageous young man who takes his responsibilities seriously. Shadow is a capable mage from a desert tribe. She joins their quest early on and becomes Morannel’s love interest. Rad is Shadow’s rare and mischievous dragon companion. He possesses unusual magical abilities. Alemrae is a half-elven warrior mage who vows to do everything in his power to aide Kai in her mission. Rad and Alemrae are my two favorite characters. Bradur also stood out to me. He is a dwarf whose home has been attacked by the undead hordes. He agrees to join the fight in order to save his people. By using their strengths and skills, each member of Kai’s group led the others at different points in the story.

I really enjoyed the intricate plot. I could tell that the author put a lot of thought into every detail. I liked Kai’s feisty personality. She exuded confidence despite her tragic past. There was also excellent character development regarding Shadow and Morannel. They were both shy, inexperienced youths at the start of their journey. Then they became confident, mature adults as they faced each challenge. I appreciated the realistic battle scenes where Kai used lightweight daggers instead of a heavy sword. It was also refreshing to see that men and women were treated equally in this fantasy world.

However, given Kai’s protective nature, it was strange that she didn’t seem to be very attached to her newest family member, and there was no description of Kai saying goodbye to her before they left the land of the elves. Also, I didn’t really understand the concept of the “sandrat” character. I kept wondering if it was a human or a hybrid creature of some sort. Furthermore, the description of the group’s arduous trek through the desert was a bit tedious to read.

Apart from those minor issues, this novel was thoroughly entertaining. Therefore, I am pleased to award Magpie’s Ruin by Brian M. Cox a rating of five out of five stars. I fell in love with the characters so much that I think they each deserve to have separate novels written about their backstories and their future endeavors. This exciting story had several unexpected twists, and the cliffhanger ending suggests that this book could be the first in a series. I recommend it to teenagers and adults who enjoy fantasy fiction and mythology.

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Magpie's Ruin
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Mercy Sos
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Post by Mercy Sos »

I think I will read this book. I love books on mythology. Thanks for the review
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Post by FunkyFlowerLady »

In your review, you effectively encapsulated the essence of the book. Congrats! I can't wait to read this thrilling narrative because it seems to contain a number of surprising twists and a cliffhanger finale.
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