Ruthless Vows is an enchanting and heartbreaking sequel in the letter of entanglement dulogy by Rebecca Ross. The story picks up right where it left off and immediately pulled me in, although by the end I was left feeling as if there was a missing piece that took away from the enjoyment of the novel.
It left me shocked, confused, worried and happy all at the same time. While there were parts of the book to enjoy, there were plenty of aspects that left me wanting more.
The book is perfect for fans of fantasy especially for readers who may not have enjoyed the first book as much.
As I picked up the sequel, I quickly found that things aren’t getting any easier for our main two characters, with Iris being sent back to the frontlines to write about the war and hopefully find Roman. Meanwhile, Roman has been captured by Darce, the villain of the books. Roman has had his memories erased and is under the control of Darce.
The author crafted the characters in a strong and powerful way that made it as though you were entering this journey that they were on. The characters went through hardships such as loss, regret and fear through the writing. This was seen through Iris, who regretted not going back for Roman when he was captured on the battlefield, or Iris losing the people that she loves.
Something that kept my eyes glued to the pages was the theme of found family. Iris, who has lost almost everyone in her life, finds family through her best friend Attie.
Attie’s family takes her in and cares for her in a time when she needed it the most. When the city was evacuating, Attie’s family made sure that Iris was taken care of and safe even when they shared no blood relation. The feeling of family in times of war, and when people are hurting or worried about loved ones, was really strong. This made me feel like everything was going to be OK.
Throughout the story, I felt both happy, sad and a feeling of something missing. The depth of connection to the characters was vividly demonstrated through the wide range of emotions they evoked.
Throughout the novel there were moments that left me feeling heartbreak for these characters. Like the time when Iris was remembering her time with Roman, especially the love that they shared. As a reader I was able to feel how hurt Iris was from being separated from the person she loved the most as she hid her pain by fighting and not crying.
There was also the time when Roman lost his memory due to Darce, he was told that it was temporary and it would return back to him but what he didn’t know was that once it did, Darce would punish him if he went up against him. Once his memory returned and he knew who was important to him, the fear put you right into the story as Roman was working for Darce against his will and feeding information to the other side. I could feel the fear of Darce finding out that Roman is a spy as the springs in his mind were being pulled apart.
Through everything, both of the characters still remain hopeful in a time of war. Iris remains strong, even when she has lost and found her brother, lost her mother, lost Roman and is fighting in a war where she could lose someone else. She is someone who just wants to fight for the right cause.
Roman through all of his mind twists, with losing his memory and getting it returned, still fights to remember who he is. He doesn’t give in to Darce’s ways and remains a spy even if it means risking his own life in the process.
Unfortunately, with Iris and Roman being apart for the majority of the novel it created a sense of disappointment, like something was missing. The love and warmth that you felt when reading about these characters in the first book was lacking and the loss of memory plot fell through and left me feeling like these characters aren’t who I read about in the first book.
The pacing of the novel that readers loved in the first book wasn’t as present. The story jumps all over the place and left me confused as to what the plot of the novel was and what the end goal was. We jumped from scene to scene without a lot of proper transitions that left me disinterested in the story.
While there were aspects of this book that I enjoyed, there were missing parts that made it less enjoyable than the first book. While the found family and characters keep you drawn into the story, the lack of romance and world building pulls you away. This book is perfect for fantasy fans but the story may be appreciated with a bit more attention to detail and stronger world building.