REVIEW: Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted September 15th, 2023 by in Blog, Fantasy, Review / 5 comments



In Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout, After a childhood filled with orphanages, living on the streets, and trying to outrun unsavory townsfolk, Calista and her best friend Grady have spent the last few years in a much better place. Well, mostly better. Even though she is one of the Baron of Archwood’s courtesans and Grady is in his Royal Guard, Lis knows there are still those they must watch closely. People who either question her intuition and second sight or who wish to catch the Baron’s favor. She never dreamed, though, that it would be a member of the Royal family–a Prince, no less–that would become the most dangerous person in her life.

‘My Hyhborn prince.
My salvation.
And my doom.’

From the moment the Prince barrels into her life, Lis is drawn to him–and she has an awareness about him that is unmatched. Time and again they find themselves in dangerous situations, basically trading off saving each other until the next calamity strikes. But it’s when the Prince visits Archwood manor that it all changes. He makes it known to the Baron that he intends for Lis to be his companion during his stay. Or possibly even longer. While she’s flattered to have the attention of such a powerful, handsome Hyhborn, she’s unsure if it would be in her best interest to stay with him. Because even though her intuition tells Lis she can put her trust in him, it also tells her that the Prince could be her undoing.

“For the duration of my time here, she is mine.”

A fantasy romance where not everything is as it seems, Fall of Ruin and Wrath was a solid start to Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Awakening series. With its lush world-building, complex characters, and intricate storytelling, it promises to be an intense, entertaining journey.

“I know what the Courts look like from a distance. Decadent opulence from the rooftops to the streets, all glitter and gold,” he said. “But as with most things that are beautiful on the outside, there is nothing but ruin and wrath on the inside.”

CW: View Spoiler »

Fall of Ruin and Wrath started things off in a grand way. Jennifer L. Armentrout is known for the wonderful worlds she creates for her books and this new Awakening series definitely keeps that momentum going. It was an interesting mix of the old world but with bits and pieces of modernity woven in–something that makes sense when the history of all the territories is explained. But it was our heroine Calista (aka Lis) and the other characters who shone the brightest, pushing this already exciting fantasy into another level.

As with quite a lot of high fantasy novels, there was a fair amount of strife and hardship the lower working class endured compared to the high life the aristos enjoyed. Some of it was utterly heartbreaking–particularly Calista and her best friend Grady’s upbringing. But it also proved how strong they both were. That came in handy while they lived in the Baron of Archwood’s court, knowing not to take anything they had for granted as well as to look for those who wished them harm as well. Which is why Lis didn’t necessarily trust the Prince when he appeared to have an interest in her.

Lis and the Prince had an extremely complicated relationship. (That’s putting it mildly) I adored that it took them both by surprise with how drawn they were to each other. And I got a chuckle over Lis showing her strength and stubbornness right away by not backing down to the Prince–which amused and impressed him as well. I wasn’t a fan of how the Baron, Lis’s protector, took care of her or how he handled the situation between her and the Prince, but it wasn’t a shock either. Her intuition and second sight meant that Lis would have to be careful of the many who might take advantage of her abilities. So, it was interesting to see how those in the Baron’s court treated her–and how far she was willing to go to protect them. Including her Prince.

QOTD: Fantasy Romance seems to be all the rage right now. (For good reason!) Are you a fan?


Book Info:

Publication: Published: September 12th, 2023 | Tor Books | Awakening #1

Long ago, the world was destroyed by gods. Only nine cities were spared. Separated by vast wilderness teeming with monsters and unimaginable dangers, each city is now ruled by a guardian―royalty who feed on mortal pleasure.

Born with an intuition that never fails, Calista knows her talents are of great value to the power-hungry of the world, so she lives hidden as a courtesan of the Baron of Archwood. In exchange for his protection, she grants him information.

When her intuition leads her to save a travelling prince in dire trouble, the voice inside her blazes with warning―and promise. Today he’ll bring her joy. One day he’ll be her doom.

When the Baron takes an interest in the travelling prince and the prince takes an interest in Calista, she becomes the prince’s temporary companion. But the city simmers with rebellion, and with knights and monsters at her city gates and a hungry prince in her bed, intuition may not be enough to keep her safe.

Calista must choose: follow her intuition to safety or follow her heart to her downfall.




5 Responses to “REVIEW: Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout”

  1. Amy R

    Fantasy Romance seems to be all the rage right now. (For good reason!) Are you a fan? Yes, have been for years.
    Thanks for the review, I listened to this audiobook on release day.