Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle MeadThe Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #6
Published by Razorbill on February 10, 2015
Pages: 348
Format: Hardcover
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Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.

When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.

Don't miss their unforgettable final chapter...


Fair Warning: If you haven’t read the Bloodlines series, this review does contain mild (or major, depending on how you feel about it) spoilers. Don’t read on if you don’t want to be spoiled. You have been warned!

As a huge, huge, HUGE Richelle Mead fan, it pains me to say that this was my least favorite book in the Bloodlines series. So many questions were left unanswered and so many things were open-ended. I also didn’t feel the sense of closure I usually feel with Mead’s books. Someone said that Mead hinted at another potential spin-off… If I knew for sure that was happening, I don’t think I’d mind the ending of The Ruby Circle as much. But since it’s still unknown whether another spin-off will actually happen, I’ve got to base this review off the assumption that this is the end. And this was a pretty disappointing end.

Between the six Vampire Academy books and the six Bloodlines book, these characters have done a lot of growing and maturing. But in this final book, it felt like their character growth became stagnant. Sure, they had to “grow up” and take on immense responsibility. They still had to do some self-reflection and make tough decisions. But I didn’t feel like they developed much beyond that. Some of them even seemed to regress a little, which was disappointing. Some of them even seemed to act out of character at times, which was even more disappointing.

I expected there to be more psychological consequences for Sydney in this book, after everything she went through in Silver Shadows. There were some, but not as many as I thought there would be. She was still fierce and badass and, if I compared her present self with how she was in book one, she’s truly changed in remarkable ways. Even thinking back to her role in Vampire Academy, she’s changed so much. But still, something feels… incomplete… with her. And I can’t quite put my finger on what.

I’ve been rooting for Adrian since Vampire Academy, since I adored him and felt bad for him, but couldn’t help but still ship Rose and Dimitri. His character felt a bit disconnected in this book and he did a lot of sitting around or talking to the voice in his head. I just expected him to play a bigger role in this book. He’s one of the characters that I felt regressed a little bit.

Despite all that, I still had some Sydrian feels – not as many as in the previous books, but I still totally ship them like crazy.

I loved seeing Rose and Dimitri in this book, but I felt this weird disconnect from them for some reason. They didn’t feel like the characters I had grown to know and love from Vampire Academy. I’m very pleased with how their story, ended, though.

I wanted more of Lissa, Jill and Eddie. Their stories, more than some of the other characters, REALLY felt incomplete. Crystal and I were discussing it, and we’re wondering if Jill and Eddie will be the focus of the next potential spin-off, if it happens. I’d definitely be interested in that and I feel like, from their story, we would see more closure for them, Lissa and many others (Sonya, Rose, Dimitri, etc).

I also wanted more with Ms. Terwilliger. She kind of just dropped off the face of the earth after her and her coven helped with Alicia. I wanted to see some kind of closure-conversation with her and Sydney. Something, anything!

Considering this was the last book, I felt like many of the secondary plots were unnecessary and took away precious pages that could have gone towards taking care of the “unfinished business” I mentioned above. A lot of things felt like they were not relevant to the end game. The epilogue sort of made up for the rest of the book. There were some intriguing developments and fun character revelations. But I’m still a little disappointed in all the extra, seemingly unnecessary plots. I can’t stress this enough – I wanted more closure.

Overall, if I look back at all six books and think about how it began and how it ended, I’m pretty pleased with the series as a whole. As I mentioned earlier, all of the characters have come a long way. We’ve seen tremendous character growth in them and I’m mostly happy with where their stories ended in The Ruby Circle. I would definitely like to see another spin-off, though, and see some of that closure that The Ruby Circle was lacking. If you’re a Richelle Mead/Vampire Academy fan, you’ll likely love this book and you’ll be begging the Book Gods for more!


One thought on “Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

  1. I am soooo keeping my fingers crossed that there will be another spin-off. I did watch a slightly recent interview with Richelle Mead and she said she wrote Soundless because she wanted to take a “break” from the VA/Bloodlines world. Which could mean another series? I’m hoping it means that *nods emphatically* I am sorry you were disappointed :(

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