Friends, whoever says that self-published books are rubbish is actually rubbish themselves, because my goodness. Reign and Ruin by J.D. Evans is in the running for being my favorite read of the year. It’s certainly one of my favorite, if not the favorite, fantasy romance books I’ve ever read. Self-published or otherwise.
Publisher: Self-Published | Release Date: Jan 2020 | Pages: 420
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy Romance | Format: Paperback | Source: Gift
She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy.
She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man’s place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people.
His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war.
Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion.
They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm…
On the Page
- (Attempted) arranged marriage
- Blood depiction
- Captivity and confinement
- Grief and loss depiction
- (Threatened) hostage situation
- Physical assault and injuries
- War themes and military violence
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Not directly, but with magic that relates heavily with similar symptoms
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- Naime and her strength. I would swear allegiance to her any day. Her competence and her fearlessness fighting against (and with) the Council for her goals was stunning to read.
- Markam and his complexity. I absolutely loved his character. With his complex relationship with this brother, his banter with Naime and his friends, his magic to just being so fucking sexy. Yes, more of this, please.
- Their romance. I’m just going to say the quiet part out loud. This book turned me on. Their chemistry was fantastic, the sex was hot and I was enthralled.
- Characterization and plot. I loved the balancing between the romance plot and the politics plot. Expertly done, in my opinion.
- Markam’s “chosen ignorance”. Though I think it was handled well and it made sense, I did struggle to believe he’d remain as ignorant as he did with a certain character for as long as he did.
I just absolutely loved Reign and Ruin. It got to the point where I was running late during my lunch breaks, because I just wanted to keep reading. Stunning slow burn romance paired with a riveting political plot that I couldn’t put it down.
Also, if we don’t get a book about Tareck and his romance, I will be so, so sad. 😭
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Realms of My Mind says
This book was SO GOOD! It truly was just an absolutely perfect blend of fantasy politics and romance.
Right!? I need to get my hands on all the sequels.
whoever hates on self pub…i want to fight
Honestly they are just missing out because wow.
M.A. Crosbie says
Ahhh this sounds amazing!!
It’s so, so good, Meredith. I think you’d absolutely love it!