Audiobook Review: Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong (@mlsimmons, @KelleyArmstrong)

Posted September 25, 2016 by Melanie in Audiobook Reviews, Fantasy, Melanie, Reviews, Young Adult / 28 Comments

Audiobook Review: Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong (@mlsimmons, @KelleyArmstrong)
Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong
Narrator: Therese Plummer
Series: Age of Legends #3
Published by Harper Audio
Published on: April 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong comes the breathtaking conclusion to the Age of Legends trilogy, perfect for fans of Graceling and Game of Thrones.

The empire rests on the edge of a knife, and sisters Ashyn and Moria are the handle and the blade. Desperate to outmaneuver the evil Alvar Kitsune, whose hold on the people grows stronger every day, Emperor Tatsu begs Moria to put aside past grievances and ally with Gavril—at least long enough to make an attempt on Alvar’s life. Meanwhile, reunited with her long-lost grandfather, Ashyn discovers that she is the key to a ritual that could reawaken an ancient dragon and turn the tide of the coming battle in their favor.

But with lies and betrayal lurking around every corner, Ashyn and Moria will have to decide once and for all where their allegiances are. And it may not be where their hearts would lead them....

In this breathtaking final book in her epic trilogy the Age of Legends, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong blends fantasy, action, and romance to give readers the unforgettable ending they’ve been waiting for.

Young Adult Fantasy Well Written

I’ve been struggling with reading books lately. My attention span is very low for some reason. I can’t really sit down and read for more than an hour before I start finding something to distract myself. So, I decided to try the last book in the Age of Legends series on audio instead of reading, like I did with the previous two books. This worked out really great. I was able to finally finish this trilogy without having to sit down and read in little bits.

If you’re not familiar with this series, it is a fun one. It is set in a world that does have magics and spirits, among other things. The stories are told from the point of view of sixteen-year-old twin sisters, Moria and Ashen. They have the abilities to calm spirits and even banish them. Moria is known as the Keeper. She helps protect the empire from angry spirits. She also has a bond-beast that is a wildcat named Daigo. Bond-beasts are warriors that have died and come back to help the Seeker and the Keeper. Ashen is the Seeker. He has a hound for her bond-beast, named Tova. Moria is the one that has always been more outgoing and popular with the people. Ashen has always been a little more introverted. The two girls have been separated for a long time now as they try to solve the issue of Shadowstalkers and find the missing children from their town.

There are also three guys who’ve been part of the story from the beginning, or almost the beginning. The first one that we met in the first book is Ronan. He is a fugitive from the empire. He is also castless, which is very important in this world. It also makes him keep his distance from Ashen, even though he has quite the crush on her. He doesn’t feel that he’s good enough. He also uses little brother and sister as an excuse to keep his distance. He is responsible for them, since they have no one else. But at the same time, he feels he needs to protect Ashen.

There is also Gavril. He is quite the magician, though not as strong as his father. He has also been branded a traitor. His father is not a good man has done many horrible things (I won’t go into details to avoid spoilers). There are several times where you can’t tell which side Gavril is on. He and Moria have become very close friends. She has even been branded a traitor because of her ties to him in friendship.

Lastly, there is Tyrus. He is the emperor’s bastard son. He is also the emperor’s favorite child. He has also been branded a traitor because of events that happened in the second book (once again, I won’t give further details). He has been traveling with Gavril and Moria.

This story continues where the second book left off. We go back and forth between Ashen and Moria telling their tale. Both are witness to horrors along the way. You can really see the two girls, and also the boys, all grow up and leave childhood behind as they face things that even humans shouldn’t have to face. There is betrayal from family members, witnessing the aftermath of horrible murders (truly, these murders were awful. The kids didn’t witness it, but they came across the bodies and even that was bad enough), dealing with the zombie-like shadowstalkers. They even had to deal with the idea of raising dragons from a magical induced sleep. Yep, you read that right, dragons have made an appearance (and no, neither of the girls went into a bonfire with eggs LOL).

I’m a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong. I think she writes amazing characters. Now this series is one that isn’t as fast paced as some of her other stories, but the characters and the world she has built is still pretty great. I like how she kept me intrigued with trying to figure out who is betraying whom and never knowing what type of horrors the girls would come to next. I will say that end the end, I enjoyed the overall series, more than I enjoyed each book. I think part of that is that Armstrong ended the first two books with cliffhangers (grrr), but this being the final book, that didn’t happen here. I thought the story wrapped up pretty well. I liked how the people whose names were cleared were able to convince the emperor of their loyalty without having the emperor lose face. I will say that there is a bit of a love triangle, but not a strong one. Moria had always knew the choice she wanted, though she did second guess herself from time to time. If you like high-fantasy YA stories, this was a fun trilogy.

Narration
I think this was my first time listening to Therese Plummer. I know I recognized her name. I would’ve sworn I had listened to her before, but I can’t find anything that could’ve been the book. Anyway, I thought she did a great job with narration. I loved how she was able to make the kids sound like the teenagers they were and the adults sound like adults. I thought she did a great job with the male and female voices and that you could really feel the horror some of the kids experienced through their voices. If you haven’t tried Therese Plummer, I highly recommend her. I will looking for more books by her.

The Age of Legends Trilogy

My Review

Melanie Signature

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I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.

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28 responses to “Audiobook Review: Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong (@mlsimmons, @KelleyArmstrong)

  1. Years ago I remember reading Kelley Armstrong’s first book and I liked it. But then I read 2 more and they just didn’t keep my attention at all so I haven’t read her again. I’ve seen quite a few reviews for her books that were really good and I think I should give her a try again.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Old Photo Album

    • The Women of the Otherworld books are varied in likability to me. Since the narrators (the main character of the the book telling the story, not the audiobook narrator), I liked some more than others. Clay and Elena were always a favorite couple. You could try Men of the Otherworld. It is actually a prequel about Clay and Jeremy. There is a trilogy, Nadia Stafford, that is suspense, no paranormal that is also really good.
      Melanie recently posted…Review: Big, Bad Red by Avery Flynn (@mlsimmons, @AveryFlynn)

  2. I tried the first book in this series, just because it was a Kelley Armstrong book. You know you love the author when you push past things that I don’t normally read, like high fantasy and YA. Book one just couldn’t reel me in though. I had a tough time with it and did not go on to book two. This really is an imaginative, original world. I’m glad you were able to connect with it!

  3. I have not tired this author, and I’ve really been meaning to. With the different series she has that I’ve seen around goodreads and Amazon there must be something I could connect with. I’m glad you were able to finish this trilogy and that it still entertained you. Hopefully you’ll be able to find another story that you can actually get into without getting distracted.

  4. Kristin from AddictedtoHEA  

    I wonder why this series doesn’t get a ton of publicity like other fantasy YA series out there. I barely ever hear about the releases of these. I vaguely remember the first one coming out and now its done! It sounds really good, even with the dreaded love triangle, and if I ever find the time (HA!) I might just have to read this! Right after all the other books you keep reviewing… Stop reading good books, girl!!!

    I’m so with you “reading” and getting distracted. It’s worse for me when I read a physical book for some reason. I’m old and blind now! UGH! I might just have to give in to audio books… *sigh* 🙂
    Kristin recently posted…Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

  5. I need to get back to reading Kelley Armstrong. I love her books but haven’t read any in ages. This series in particular has had me interested…I enjoyed her other YA series and this one sounds great. I’m happy that this one was able to somewhat pull you out of your funk. I’m having a bit of trouble with books holding my interest as well. I think it’s a book hangover but…

  6. Can you believe I still haven’t read this series? Actually it’s even worse, I haven’t even started it. I own book one and two, I really should start the series soon. So I did skim your review a bit as to not spoil myself for the previous books. It does sound like a fun series and I hope I’ll enjoy this one. And I might have to get book 3 soon as well so when I start it I can read the whole series in a row.
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