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Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

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Magically gifted aristocrats rule--and commoners are doomed to serve. But a rebellion threatens the old order. The dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes. In a world where the lower classes must endure ten years of forced service to unfairly advantaged, magically powered rulers, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his older sister yearns f Magically gifted aristocrats rule--and commoners are doomed to serve. But a rebellion threatens the old order. The dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes. In a world where the lower classes must endure ten years of forced service to unfairly advantaged, magically powered rulers, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his older sister yearns for love and knowledge, and a dangerous young aristocrat seeks to remake the world with his dark gifts. In Bright Ruin, the final book in the trilogy set in modern-day England, our heroes will lead a revolution that will transform--or destroy--the world.


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Magically gifted aristocrats rule--and commoners are doomed to serve. But a rebellion threatens the old order. The dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes. In a world where the lower classes must endure ten years of forced service to unfairly advantaged, magically powered rulers, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his older sister yearns f Magically gifted aristocrats rule--and commoners are doomed to serve. But a rebellion threatens the old order. The dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes. In a world where the lower classes must endure ten years of forced service to unfairly advantaged, magically powered rulers, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion, his older sister yearns for love and knowledge, and a dangerous young aristocrat seeks to remake the world with his dark gifts. In Bright Ruin, the final book in the trilogy set in modern-day England, our heroes will lead a revolution that will transform--or destroy--the world.

30 review for Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, I own the two other instalments in this trilogy, and plan to buy this one as soon as it's out. What a fantastic finale. I love the Dark Gifts trilogy, to the point where I'd possibly declare this as my favourite YA fantasy. The premise is very simple, political, and, in our current political climate, just a tiny bit terrifying. This is a world, an alternative modern-day Britain, where commoners are required to serve as slav I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, I own the two other instalments in this trilogy, and plan to buy this one as soon as it's out. What a fantastic finale. I love the Dark Gifts trilogy, to the point where I'd possibly declare this as my favourite YA fantasy. The premise is very simple, political, and, in our current political climate, just a tiny bit terrifying. This is a world, an alternative modern-day Britain, where commoners are required to serve as slaves for ten years during which they lose all basic human rights. The protagonists set out to serve at the beginning of the first book, and I expected it to be mostly about their struggle for freedom with a healthy dose of rebellion... Vic James, however, doesn't just write from the point of view of the ones suffering. Instead, we get to see the story from the perspective of the ruling Equals as well, and they're not all bad. Some are in favour of the slavery, some are downright cruel, others are fighting to abolish the slavery. There's lots of politics in these books, and I think that was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. The characters are layered, well developed and the writing is enjoyable. The world building is not just your average dystopia but innovative and captivating. The plot took a few turns I didn't expect, and I slowly grew to like all characters, even love some of them, and increasingly worried about their safety. What I thought was going to be a mildly annoying romance in the first book, turned out to be an interesting plot point, that I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, the entire Dark Gifts trilogy is not your average YA fantasy; it's original and surprising. The first book has a hopeful tone, but the second book turns much darker, and the mood is sombre. The third book finds the balance between the two. All in all, it's a wild ride. I was never quite sure how things were going to turn out. I worried everyone I loved would be dead by the end, and I must admit my heart was a tiny bit broken when I reached the last page of Bright Ruin. I met Vic James at a convention in London, and she kindly signed my copy of Tarnished City. She asked me which character is my favourite, and I did not know what to answer, and may have flailed a little bit. Hours later, I realised, what I should have said: politics! Because the political aspect is what I enjoy most about these books. Besides the politics, there's Silyen, and surprisingly enough Gavar. And, of course, Luke and Abi. The ending does not disappoint. Vic James ties all loose ends together, and, just like in the real world, not everyone gets what they deserve. I highly recommend the Dark Gifts trilogy to YA fantasy fans, who are looking for a book with lots of politics.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Oh my gosh!!!! How could his end like that?! I mean it’s both perfect and so frustrating to be left with questions. Okay. I loved this series, and I utterly adored the ending to it. I love that Luke and Abi are regular commoners, and not really leaders as such, but it’s still their story. And I definitely still love Gavar and Silyen, even though I still have ALL the question about Sil. And him and Luke are awesome, plus Dog, dog rocks. And Daisy, she’s so awesome and sensible. Basically I love th Oh my gosh!!!! How could his end like that?! I mean it’s both perfect and so frustrating to be left with questions. Okay. I loved this series, and I utterly adored the ending to it. I love that Luke and Abi are regular commoners, and not really leaders as such, but it’s still their story. And I definitely still love Gavar and Silyen, even though I still have ALL the question about Sil. And him and Luke are awesome, plus Dog, dog rocks. And Daisy, she’s so awesome and sensible. Basically I love them all. I even grew to like Bouda 😱 The story really was fab too - i love how it played out even if I’m dying to know more about what it means and what happens next.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    5/11/18 Seeing that the page count has been upped to 400 pages Sidenote: Someone really already rated this 1-star? Did they actually already read it? If so, it'd be nice if they stated they got an ARC. Otherwise, I'm just going assume they're blindly rating for no good reason. --- Glad the cover is on theme with the others, but how in the world is this book only 272 pages!? That does not seem like enough time to wrap this all up!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    Currently Reading anD Currently Dying because THIS BOOK IS NOT ALLOWED TO DO THE THINGS ITS DOING TO MY SOUL -------- But can I have it now though? HOW DOES ONE WAIT FOR AN ENDING THAT IS LIKELY TO MAKE ME SO DECEASED THERE ARE NO WORDS

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annemieke / A Dance with Books

    Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review! Well oh my gosh, that was the conclusion to The Dark Gifts trilogy and what a wild ride it was. This trilogy is not without its faults, and I do have my pickings with this book too, but that didn’t stop me from loving it all the same. The whole trilogy for me is a solid 4 stars. This book continues shortly after the ending of Tarnished City. Abby has headed out of London with Gavar, her sister and his d Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review! Well oh my gosh, that was the conclusion to The Dark Gifts trilogy and what a wild ride it was. This trilogy is not without its faults, and I do have my pickings with this book too, but that didn’t stop me from loving it all the same. The whole trilogy for me is a solid 4 stars. This book continues shortly after the ending of Tarnished City. Abby has headed out of London with Gavar, her sister and his daughter while Luke is in the clutches of the enigmatic youngest heir Silyen with his new, not so trustworthy, companion Dog. I say clutches but Luke isn’t complaining. It is interesting to see how the roles of the siblings have changed. Where first Luke was the revolutionary rebel and Abby the one with sentiments towards one of the Jardines, this has completely turned. Abby is now part of the movement against the government, trying to bring them down. Luke on the other hand is with Silyen, discovering things about the Skill, all thoughts about bringing down a government gone and only cares about protecting his loved ones. It is a bit of a wild ride, this book. I wasn’t quite sure how things were going to end. Who was going to die? How would they bring down the government? What would be everyone’s role? Would Jenner turn back to the good side? (I’m still bitter about that from Tarnished city, just so you know, forever bitter.) It doesn’t perhaps have the most surprising twist in imagination but I think it was built up to rather well. I don’t feel this book was quite so dark as Tarnished City felt. There was still plenty of death but Tarnished City had a more depressing mood to it. But I have to say that what made the book for me was FINALLY having Silyen and Luke in multiple scenes together. Their banter, Silyen’s flirting, Luke’s exasperation, Dog’s amusement at the two of them. It made this book for me. I loved every minute, and my gosh, could this book not just have been the two of them? And you know what, the thing happens people. The thing happened that I was hoping for since the first time Silyen showed any interest in Luke way back in Gilded Cage. And you all know what the thing is, right? But my pickings with this book. One of them is that I feel like not everyone gets what is coming to them. Some people don’t take responsibility for their actions at the end there. There is a lot one can say about Gavar, but at least he did that. As a result some do NOT get the consequences that are coming to them and remain in a position I’d rather not see them. My second picking is that I feel like what happened at the ending regarding skill was left too much in the middle. Like I know what happened in the main lines, but I want more details. I wanted the point of view of the person that did it. But of course just in this instance we don’t get that. It left me feeling a bit dissatisfied with the ending. And lastly, this is a picking that I had throughout the whole series, I just don’t care about Bouda. Nothing motivated me to like her. There was nothing for me there to root for. Well except maybe her death. I think as a mom this might have been a big part because of how she views Gavar’s daughter. Like dirt beneath her feet. It was disgusting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)

    Thanks to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for giving me this book to review. Bright Ruin is the really good final book of the Dark Gifts trilogy. It has lots of twists and I would not have expected half of the things that happened in this series when I started reading Gilded Cage. This book has politics, action and a small amount of romance. One thing I have always liked about this series is that the POVs are not only from the non-skilled people but also from the equals, even those who believe that s Thanks to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for giving me this book to review. Bright Ruin is the really good final book of the Dark Gifts trilogy. It has lots of twists and I would not have expected half of the things that happened in this series when I started reading Gilded Cage. This book has politics, action and a small amount of romance. One thing I have always liked about this series is that the POVs are not only from the non-skilled people but also from the equals, even those who believe that slavery should not abolished. This shows how layered and complex the characters are. Abi is hardened and emotionally scarred by the events of the last book which has left her with tough decisions to make. I loved the banter between Luke and Silyen which added so much in this book. Luke is still all heart and wants to help and protect people, while Silyen is amoral and enigmatic but we get to see his humour and flirty side. I liked that the ending was not too neat and that some people did not get the fate that they deserve. While I liked the ending, there was so much more left to discover that I hope we get more books from this world, especially following a couple of characters whose story I don’t feel has finished. I would recommend Bright Ruin to fans of the first two books of this series Gilded Cage and Tarnished City. This and my other reviews can be found at Amethyst Bookwyrm

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meigan

    “Parting is such sweet sorrow”, and that's exactly the case with Bright Ruin, the third and final installment in Vic James' phenomenal Dark Gifts trilogy. I've been waiting for this book with equal parts dread and anticipation, and both my dread and my anticipation were well-rewarded. Although one more than another (*wink* ugly cry *wink*). I fell in love with this series with the first installment, Gilded Cage, and my love and awe has done nothing but grow and grow every time I dive back into th “Parting is such sweet sorrow”, and that's exactly the case with Bright Ruin, the third and final installment in Vic James' phenomenal Dark Gifts trilogy. I've been waiting for this book with equal parts dread and anticipation, and both my dread and my anticipation were well-rewarded. Although one more than another (*wink* ugly cry *wink*). I fell in love with this series with the first installment, Gilded Cage, and my love and awe has done nothing but grow and grow every time I dive back into this world. In Gilded Cage, James gave readers a hint of the coming revolution, where the current group Unskilled in he slavetowns had finally come to the realization that what the Skilled are doing to the common folk, how the common folk are treated, is cruel, unjust, and just plain unfair. While generations of UnSkilled have thought this way, very few have actually done anything about it. Until now. The uprising was started in book one, and by book three, its reached its crescendo. Its bloody, violent, earth-shattering crescendo. The commoners have the most to gain, as they've had everything taken away from them, but can heart and will and soul prove a tough enough weapon against magic? Throughout the course of this series, James has taken both her characters and readers on such an incredible journey, putting all involved in hellish and often heartbreaking situations. Everyone loves a story where the good guys win and the bad guys lose, but that's certainly not the case with this entire trilogy, Bright Ruin included. 'Good' surely shines through more often than not, but 'bad' doesn't necessarily always mean what we think it means. Misguided, perhaps. A product of the world they've been brought up in is more apt, and such is the case with several characters I've been quick to judge as 'Bad'. But don't get me wrong -- when the truly bad guys are bad, man are they evil. But the moral of the story is: "You can't save everyone". There's always going to be loss involved in order to win, and that's incredibly and heartbreakingly apparent in this final installment. Which is par for the course, I suppose -- this isn't a happy series, there are no rainbows and kittens or happy endings. It's dark and violent and grim, but it is an exceptional look at what it means to hold all the power in the world and is oftentimes a perfect mirror image of our own world, where the division of classes keeps growing and growing, leaving the ones at the bottom to forge their own way while the ones at the top reap all the benefits. Bottom line -- I loved everything about this final installment, from the tense and high-stakes storyline to the brilliant and incredible world and characters. Do yourself a favor and read this trilogy from the beginning and get sucked into James' dark and dirty world of power, politics, and revolution. While Bright Ruin may technically be "The End", its definitely not the end for me because I'll definitely be re-reading this series in the future. Probably several times because I adore it so much. Highly recommended, and I'll be waiting not so patiently for whatever Vic James graces readers with next. *eARC received via NetGalley.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christina Reid

    I am dead! Not what I expected at all - a must read! Full review to come closer to publication.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jess Crafts

    This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. It's the final book in a trilogy that I've loved with one of my favourite characters I've ever read. But to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. It simply didn't have enough Silyen in it for me. There wasn't enough from Silyen, of Silyen or about Silyen. Now being disappointed because my favourite character didn't show up enough might sound a bit harsh but through the whole trilogy it felt like it was building up for Silyen to take centre st This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. It's the final book in a trilogy that I've loved with one of my favourite characters I've ever read. But to be honest, I was a bit disappointed. It simply didn't have enough Silyen in it for me. There wasn't enough from Silyen, of Silyen or about Silyen. Now being disappointed because my favourite character didn't show up enough might sound a bit harsh but through the whole trilogy it felt like it was building up for Silyen to take centre stage and be important. And don't get me wrong he was important but I just didn't get the pay off that this awesome amoral melodramatic character deserved. He, and what I was expecting from him, was why I was here. the rest was still really interesting and enjoyable to read but I wanted more. (Also the ending. Gah. I understand why but I just needed another scene!) But Silyen isn't the only stand out from this book, it's a weird fantasy mix of modern and Victorian Britain and yet it picked up on a lot of extremely topical points. With a lot of on-the-nose comments about sexism, racism, classism and just fascism in general and how the powerful use propaganda and abuse their power. It never comes across as preachy but was woven into the story so well and mirrored too much of what is happening in the world. A couple quotes that I have to share with you: "Jenner took her elbow and pulled her to one side in the corridor beside a long tapestry. She shook him off. Men didn't touch each other when trying to make a point, so why touch her?" And: "You learned in school about countries that went backwards. Peaceful nations that flared up in civil war. Democracies that fell under the sway of fanatics. You never imagined that such a thing might happen here in Britain. But it could. It was happening right now."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess

    I have actual heartburn at the thought of this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    "There'd be no more hiding, and no more running. Now was for fighting. Lord Jardine and Bouda would subject this whole country to a Blood Fair, if they could. Britain itself, pinned down and torn at by the Equals for their sport. Time to smash the country's chains and set it free." As the last book in the trilogy there was a lot to wrap up in Bright Ruin, I had no idea where the story was going to go or how it could all be wrapped up given the state we left everything at the end of Tarnished City "There'd be no more hiding, and no more running. Now was for fighting. Lord Jardine and Bouda would subject this whole country to a Blood Fair, if they could. Britain itself, pinned down and torn at by the Equals for their sport. Time to smash the country's chains and set it free." As the last book in the trilogy there was a lot to wrap up in Bright Ruin, I had no idea where the story was going to go or how it could all be wrapped up given the state we left everything at the end of Tarnished City. Bright Ruin has more of an open ending than a happy one, and while I was satisfied with where things ended for the characters I would love to see more from this world. Full review available on my blog Reading Every Night.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    THIS IS SUCH A GOOD YEAR FOR SERIES FINALES???? I loved this book, okay? I mean I've loved this series since Gilded Cage, and it was a really long time before I read Tarnished City, but, man, as soon as I read it I NEEDED the next one ASAP. This series is so worth it and I wish people knew about it more! It's a political fantasy that takes place in an AU of Britain and it has great crossover appeal for both an adult and YA audience. Specifically for this book, I was so pleasantly surprised about some THIS IS SUCH A GOOD YEAR FOR SERIES FINALES???? I loved this book, okay? I mean I've loved this series since Gilded Cage, and it was a really long time before I read Tarnished City, but, man, as soon as I read it I NEEDED the next one ASAP. This series is so worth it and I wish people knew about it more! It's a political fantasy that takes place in an AU of Britain and it has great crossover appeal for both an adult and YA audience. Specifically for this book, I was so pleasantly surprised about some of the character development that went on and the unlikely relationships that formed. Every book I feel like there has been at least a few moments where I'm just like wait whaaaat these two are friends now?? It's so great! Some of my faves in terms of complexity and just epic-ness (not necessarily moral righteousness) are Bouda, Gavar, Luke, and Silyen (and for a few of these if you told me book one that I would be obsessed with them by the end I would have thought you were crazy). No spoilers, but everyone please read this series! I am so happy I did. I found a new favorite fantasy author to look out for. Can't wait for Vic James' next work! Comparable titles: An Ember in the Ashes And I Darken Falling Kingdoms ***I received an e-ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review ***My review is also posted on Goodreads

  13. 5 out of 5

    itchy vosijk

    Why y'all sleeping on this series I'll never understand. I initially picked up the first book of the Dark Gifts series on a short vacation in the most beautiful bookstore ever, located in Berlin. I picked up the book because of the simple, yet incredibly gorgeous cover (and I do prefer the minimalistic Pan Macmillian PB covers). The summary didn't even interest me. It was a beautiful book, it was cheap and it wasn't very hard to read. Alas. It took me about four to five months to pick it up agai Why y'all sleeping on this series I'll never understand. I initially picked up the first book of the Dark Gifts series on a short vacation in the most beautiful bookstore ever, located in Berlin. I picked up the book because of the simple, yet incredibly gorgeous cover (and I do prefer the minimalistic Pan Macmillian PB covers). The summary didn't even interest me. It was a beautiful book, it was cheap and it wasn't very hard to read. Alas. It took me about four to five months to pick it up again. But then I was instantly hooked. And now, some four months later, I've finished this series and I can say that it's my second most favourite series ever. I'm sorry but nothing can beat the Six Of Crows Duology currently. The third book in the series picks right up where the second one left us. There are great escapes, but in general it's a lot calmer than the second book. I have to confess, I didn't always know what was going on because some descriptions were just confusing, but it didn't really influence my general admiration for the book, the plot or the characters. For the rest of the review I'll do small bullet points. - world building: I know. The back of the book says "A Modern Britain" but for some reason I couldn't shake the feeling that I was in a Victorian/Steampunk-y London. Towards the middle/end of the book there was a mention of Social Media existing and I was so confused, even though they've used computers and what-not all throughout the series. Maybe that's just me but that was really confusing for me. But other than that I LOVE the world and I truly hope that Vic James writes some sort of sequel/prequel series in that universe because ... oh my god this world deserves more recognition! It's not perfect, in fact it's very cruel and even though it's not described thoroughly, I somehow had the feeling that I could picture the entire world perfectly. I do have to say that the casual mention of other countries knowing of what was happening in Britain was ... weird. Why did nobody do something? - plot: The plot is a slow burner, even though there's always something happening. I don't know about others but I really loved the political affairs and how everything falls into place. Also the twists! The betrayal! Glorious!! I really don't want to say too much about it, except that it evolved nicely and I got everything I've ever wanted. -characters: Where do I start here? There's not a single character I hated. Except, of course, Lord Whittam Jardine, the antagonist. He's just an asshole, what can I say? Due to the nature of the novel and its various POVs it was easy to understand every character and their motifs. Except, and I don't know how Vic James managed to do that, for a few because even though we've gotten many different POVs, the intensity of the novel rarely shifted to boring and I always kept wondering what character I could trust or not. What I thought would be an annoying romance turned out to be one of the most interesting subplots ever. What I thought was too much interpretation and wishful thinking on my side turned out to be perfectly executed and was a nice surprise towards the end. I felt melancholic towards the end because I knew that not all characters got what they deserved and even the fate of some antagonists made me sad. Especially Bouda. She's probably the real loser in this entire situation and I can't even explain why, but she just made me sad through the entire series (though I don't support what she was trying to do, no no). My favourite was Silyen and for the longest time I kept wondering why. I loved him right from the start, even though I never knew what he was after, but in Bright Ruin I finally discovered it: his detachement. It's kind of refreshing, really. Abi was the female hero we never deserve but still got and it's going to save us all. I admire her a lot, for her strength and her endurance. But also for her quick decision-making. She knew what had to be done and was probably the only one who was courageous enough to express it, too. As for Luke, he was more of a side character in this book and once I got to certain chapters, I absolutely knew why. But I can't tell without spoiling too much. - ending: I adore the ending and conclusion of the entire series. It's not perfect but it's realistic and I really can appreciate that. I was on my toes up to the very last page because I couldn't quite believe a couple plot twists. Nevertheless, it's one of the very best endings I've ever read. Some authors could take notes ... MAJOR SPOILERS UNDER THE SPOILER THINGIE BECAUSE I NEED TO SCREAM FOR A MOMENT: (view spoiler)[SILYEN AND LUKE?? I DID NOT EXPECT THAT BUT I'M GLAD IT HAPPENED. ALSO THAT ENDING KILLED ME RIP MYSELF (hide spoiler)] The only negative annotation I have about this book is how conveniently ... certain characters disappeared. It IS explained in the book, but it was just ... very convenient for other subplots to happen that oops, character X is gone. And they can't be found again. It makes me wonder if there is something coming, that might explain or explore this a bit more (god I hope it is). This review is a bit rambly and unfocused but ... God I love this series so much, you all should read it and thank me later for it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lillian ☁ Cloud 9 Books ☁

    ***** 4 Stars ***** Cannot be read as a standalone. Full review to come.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne Monteith

    This is going to be a spoiler free review since the book will not be released in the US until October I don’t want to give any details away. I will say that if you liked the first two books this is a must read to finish the series. I love both of the previous books and while this one was very good it disappointed me. So many good characters die, yes, I know this is dystopian fiction and that happens in the genre, however, one of the Equals that should have died is left alive and this just astoun This is going to be a spoiler free review since the book will not be released in the US until October I don’t want to give any details away. I will say that if you liked the first two books this is a must read to finish the series. I love both of the previous books and while this one was very good it disappointed me. So many good characters die, yes, I know this is dystopian fiction and that happens in the genre, however, one of the Equals that should have died is left alive and this just astounded me almost as much as the sacrifice ( or was it a sacrifice?) made by someone I suspected would be an integral part of the downfall of the Equals despite the previous books led us to believe was practically insane. There is sort of left as a cliff-hanger. Will there be another series to deal with the new order; dare I hope? I will post a more closer to publication date. 4.75/5 STARS: **I want to thank the author and/or publisher for providing me with a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are mine.**

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erikka

    This series blew me away. I love the character development, especially how you never know any of the character's motivations. It keeps you guessing from beginning to end through all three books. I love how unique it is from other books; it stands out as its own special concept. While I found the ending to be a bit confusing, I think it summed up pretty nicely. It leaves a good deal to the imagination, but I think with a story with this many players, you can't just wrap everything up with a bow. This series blew me away. I love the character development, especially how you never know any of the character's motivations. It keeps you guessing from beginning to end through all three books. I love how unique it is from other books; it stands out as its own special concept. While I found the ending to be a bit confusing, I think it summed up pretty nicely. It leaves a good deal to the imagination, but I think with a story with this many players, you can't just wrap everything up with a bow. James does not steer away from killing her darlings, which is great, but also manages to spare some characters that I would have rather seen flayed on the end of Dog's knife glove. I also love the deeper social commentary that is artfully woven through this trilogy. You see refections of our current world, but viewed through a magical lens. It's well done. In the end, I can make only one comment: Silyen and Dog will forever be two of my favorite twisted characters ever, alongside Sevro from Red Rising and Wilkes from BZRK. I love a good broken character and James knows how to write them!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne Monteith

    This is going to be a spoiler free review since the book will not be released in the US until October I don’t want to give any details away. I will say that if you liked the first two books this is a must read to finish the series. I love both of the previous books and while this one was very good it disappointed me. So many good characters die, yes, I know this is dystopian fiction and that happens in the genre, however, one of the Equals that should have died is left alive and this just astoun This is going to be a spoiler free review since the book will not be released in the US until October I don’t want to give any details away. I will say that if you liked the first two books this is a must read to finish the series. I love both of the previous books and while this one was very good it disappointed me. So many good characters die, yes, I know this is dystopian fiction and that happens in the genre, however, one of the Equals that should have died is left alive and this just astounded me almost as much as the sacrifice ( or was it a sacrifice?) made by someone I suspected would be an integral part of the downfall of the Equals despite the previous books led us to believe was practically insane. There is sort of left as a cliff-hanger. Will there be another series to deal with the new order; dare I hope? I will post more closer to publication date. 4.75/5 STARS: **I want to thank the author and/or publisher for providing me with a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are mine.**

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rob Wiles

    The final book in the Dark Gifts trilogy somehow managed to out do it's excellent predecessors in tension, political intrigue, fantasy and excitement. Vic James has created an expertly realised alternative Britain full of complex and compelling characters. No spoilers here, but the final line of the book left me reeling.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Orláith

    4.5 stars Review for trilogy posted to https://www.instagram.com/nightresple... and will update here later.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Isis

    The conclusion to the Dark Gifts trilogy doesn't quite stick the ending, but it wraps up the political machinations from the first two and provides the Luke/Silyen relationship I was hoping for. Following the aborted Blood Fair at the end of the previous book, the rebellion against the Equals' rule ramps up to a final showdown, while Silyen and Luke investigate the way Skill works. The pacing is uneven, and at times it felt to me as though James was stretching out a thin plot to fill pages; ther The conclusion to the Dark Gifts trilogy doesn't quite stick the ending, but it wraps up the political machinations from the first two and provides the Luke/Silyen relationship I was hoping for. Following the aborted Blood Fair at the end of the previous book, the rebellion against the Equals' rule ramps up to a final showdown, while Silyen and Luke investigate the way Skill works. The pacing is uneven, and at times it felt to me as though James was stretching out a thin plot to fill pages; there's a lot of repetitive introspection in which she tells the reader about the characters' emotions, rather than showing them, and so the emotional content felt distant and blunted and never quite authentic. The relationship mentioned above, which had been entirely subtextual in the first two books, suddenly went into overdrive in a way that felt a bit like deliberate fanservice, and although I was, as I mentioned, hoping/expecting it, I was a bit put off by (view spoiler)[Luke, at the beginning, thinking Please let Silyen Jardine not be flirting with me and then later, whole-heartedly wanting to be with him, and not examining that thought closely, because there is the nagging feeling that perhaps it is essentially a magic-induced attraction, (hide spoiler)] which makes the romantic ending a little uncomfortable. Bouda is a one-dimensional villain, and the focus on her rather than exploring the more interesting motivations of Gavar (who gets a little, but I'd like to have seen more) and Jon Faiers reduces a lot of the nuance of the conflict. Midsummer Zelston likewise seems noble and good-hearted mostly because Abi's extensive introspection tells us so. The pacing and characterization flaws made it harder to overlook the irritating use of epithets ("the boy", "the Equal", "the commoner") which for me detracted from the emotional impact of the events. My favorite part, really, is Silyen and Luke's exploration of the mindscape of Skill that was touched on in the second book - the king with the stag that appeared in Luke's mind, and the history of Skill in Britain. The worldbuilding is really only sketched out, and it could be better integrated with the rest of the story, but in a way this part of the book gave me what I had been hoping for (and didn't get) from The Raven King - the way past mythology and history built the present-day world where the events of the series take place, and so I liked that very much.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gemma McGee

    It's the third and final book in Vic James Dark Gifts series, Bright Ruin. I have really enjoyed reading this series this week, and I can't wait to get the book signed next week when Vic James visits YALC. Bright Ruin comes out Thursday 26th July.The rebellion against the Equals is growing and is ready to strike at the heart of the aristocratic that have subjugated the commoners for years. Abi has escaped her public execution with the help of surprised ally, now she works to end the Equals reign 
It's the third and final book in Vic James Dark Gifts series, Bright Ruin. I have really enjoyed reading this series this week, and I can't wait to get the book signed next week when Vic James visits YALC. Bright Ruin comes out Thursday 26th July.

The rebellion against the Equals is growing and is ready to strike at the heart of the aristocratic that have subjugated the commoners for years. Abi has escaped her public execution with the help of surprised ally, now she works to end the Equals reign. Luke has escaped and has found himself on the run with the eccentric Equal Silyen Jardine, as they hunt the mystery of skill itself. As the conflict escalates with flying dragons and water serpents, everyone must decided how fair they will go for their beliefs. Luke and Abi are on very different journey but both will end up helping reshaped Britain, but not all will live to see the new world.

What a way to end a series, the book wraps everything up amazingly but also leave a little bit of hope at the end, of a happy every after.
I was captivated by all the different stories and how they all connected together. I found Luke and Silyen journey into the skill fascinating, and loved their evolving relationship.  Abi is in the thick of the action with the rebellion this has  changed so much thought out the books and this is seem more in Bright Ruin, she is having to make hard decision that go against everything she wanted to be. Abi is in the thick of the action with the rebellion
I relished in the fact that I could see the rebellion from the commoner and the Equal point of view. My feeling for Bouda and Lord Jenner have not changed thought out the series, although I do respect Bouda in how she handles things in the end, she is a true politician.
Silyen has been one of my favourite characters thought out the book, as he is only interested in knowledge, furthermore I liked the fact no one knew what Silyen was going to do next, and that he never did what was expected of him.
This series has a great mixture of politics, rebellion, magic, action and romance that kept me gripped from Gilded Cage to Bright Ruin.
If you like book like Samantha Shannon the Bone Season I would give this series a read.
I give this book 4.8 out of 5.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of Bright Ruin for an honest and fair review.
If you enjoyed this post, Id love it if you help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or any other social media platform.
Thanks for reading,
Gem x


  22. 5 out of 5

    Mercedes

    This is why I usually avoid Trilogies. It happened with the Hunger Games, and it happened again here. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. This one? Not so much. I'm left with so many unanswered questions, and one really BIG one (that I can't ask here without giving away a part of the ending). I guess I can say...How did Silyen doing what he did at the end make what happened happen? How did he alone control....nope. Can't finish that question, either. "Spoilers" And Luke? I find i This is why I usually avoid Trilogies. It happened with the Hunger Games, and it happened again here. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. This one? Not so much. I'm left with so many unanswered questions, and one really BIG one (that I can't ask here without giving away a part of the ending). I guess I can say...How did Silyen doing what he did at the end make what happened happen? How did he alone control....nope. Can't finish that question, either. "Spoilers" And Luke? I find it VERY out-of-character and hard to believe that he would have done what he did at the very end of the book. Especially considering the he had just spent three books so concerned about his family. All he wanted was to know his family was safe and to be reunited with them, then he up and does THAT? Abi, Daisy and his mother would be absolutely crushed! I mean, WE know what happened and where he went, but THEY don't!! I'm giving this 2 stars because, from a political standpoint, this book delivered. For the most part. I feel like many of the scenes and conflict were just recycled from the second book, but the overall outcome, as far as where the country is headed, was satisfactory. The majority of this book is Abi, Luke, Bouda and Silyens story. All I really cared about was Luke and Silyen, as their part of the book was FAR more interesting. Abi and Bouda's felt like nothing new. Abi running around in hiding trying to be part of the resistance and planning, and Bouda fighting for the power she feels she deserves. I feel like Gavar was so far on the back burner of this story that when he had is crazy shinning moment towards the end, I was kind of like, "Eh." I don't know. Overall, this ending was (for me at least) a let-down. I feel like so much was done to bring change, and so many people lost their lives, and for what? An ending with no definitive resolution? But the worst part of all for me was Luke. That ending went against everything he fought for and believed in. It's like he didn't even care what happened in the 'real' world and just ran away from every one and every thing for such selfish reasons. Nope. Not buying it. In the end, I don't discourage anyone from reading this. If you've read the first two, then of COURSE you'll read this one, but everyone is different. You may love it, you may hate it, but you do need to read it either way.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gaja Kos

    Do you have a series that you consider perfect? Like whoah-how-is-this-even-possible-perfect? That’s the Dark Gifts trilogy for me. Let me start off this review with a brief anecdote. When my pre-ordered copy of Bright Ruin arrived on Monday, I literally dropped what I was doing (sorry, Shadow World edits), snatched up the book, and said “Screw work.” I read it from start to finish that day. Then needed a full day and a half to recover. Yes, it was that good. It’s a sad fact that, more often than not, Do you have a series that you consider perfect? Like whoah-how-is-this-even-possible-perfect? That’s the Dark Gifts trilogy for me. Let me start off this review with a brief anecdote. When my pre-ordered copy of Bright Ruin arrived on Monday, I literally dropped what I was doing (sorry, Shadow World edits), snatched up the book, and said “Screw work.” I read it from start to finish that day. Then needed a full day and a half to recover. Yes, it was that good. It’s a sad fact that, more often than not, I’m let down by the series finales. Usually it’s either the storyline itself or the very ending that just isn’t quite on par with the previous books or (which I know is utterly personal) doesn’t meet my own (probably too high) expectations. That wasn’t the case here. Vic James downright excels with Bright Ruin. By the time I was done with it (or it was done with me), the book left me a massive fangirling mess. I honestly can’t review BR without commenting on the trilogy as a whole, because that’s precisely what it is. An impeccable story broken into three utterly fulfilling parts. James never drops the ball, never wavers. Her characters are distinct and true to themselves even as they grow or change paths/views, the writing flawless, and the world opening up (as well as bringing to light more details) with every passing page. The way James weaves politics and social issues into a modern fantasy world that resonates ours, yet is undoubtedly its own entity, is a feat all on its own. Coming from someone who isn’t big on politics in real life or fiction, I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed this aspect right from the very start. It’s rich, well-developed, and inexplicably tied to the individual storylines. Organic, without once becoming overwhelming or dry. I devoured the politics with the same enthusiasm as I cared for the characters’ fates. Perhaps to sum everything up before my love goes out of hand: Bright Ruin is the pinnacle where everything, every little crumb we had been given throughout the story, converges. A spectacular, fulfilling ending that crowns the brilliance that is James’s world. From the first page to the very last, the Dark Gifts trilogy is an exceptional work of fiction that I hope will inspire, entertain, and touch readers for decades (better yet, centuries) to come.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Wow! Loved the Dark Gift series by Vic James and Bright Ruin was a fantastic finale. I have waited so long for the last book! Now that the last page is read, I am left with that crushing feeling caused by end of series withdrawals. I can only hope the author has more in store for readers (aka me) in the future. Going into this last book, I was wondering how all of the political intrigue was going to end and who would be the winners and who would be the losers. Therefore, it was great that the bo Wow! Loved the Dark Gift series by Vic James and Bright Ruin was a fantastic finale. I have waited so long for the last book! Now that the last page is read, I am left with that crushing feeling caused by end of series withdrawals. I can only hope the author has more in store for readers (aka me) in the future. Going into this last book, I was wondering how all of the political intrigue was going to end and who would be the winners and who would be the losers. Therefore, it was great that the book picks up right where Tarnished City ends. I am happy to report that some characters got what they deserved and yet others did not. Of course, this is a dystopian series, so I expected this along with the deaths of characters whose actions warranted a better result. The thing that surprised me the most is how my feelings about the charter of Silyen changed. I never liked him, I found him to be too creepy for my tastes. In Bright Ruin, Ms. James delved deeper into his psyche and it helped me to connect with him. If she hadn’t, I would have been sorely disappointed with how it all shook out in the end. Also, Luke and Abi have changed roles, Abi has now taken over the role of revolutionary and Luke is the one who is sympathetic towards the Jardines (or at least one of them). I would love to give more details, but if I did, I would spoil this exceptional tale for other readers. I will tell you that this series has some of the best world building I have ready in a long time. The charters were done with such foresight and thoughtfulness. Even when the roles of Luke and Abi changed in the story, you get it. The plot moved along swiftly and even though the story moves between multiple characters it all worked seamlessly. No doubt I will reread this series again sometime in the future. I highly recommend this series to all loves of fantasy, especially those readers who crave that dystopian element. Word of caution, you need to read the books in order starting with Gilded Cage. These books are not intended to be read as a stand-alone. I received an ARC from the publisher, via Net Galley, in exchange for my honest review. For more of my reviews, and author interviews, see my blog at www.thespineview.com.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Shales

    I was lucky enough to be at a conference yesterday with Vic James so got to meet her and hear the background to the Dark Gifts trilogy. I'd bought the first two, Gilded Cage and Tarnished City in preparation for the conference, the third Bright Ruin came out the day before, so we were also celebrating its launch. I came home last night and read through the night - I needed to know what happened. These books are great! Intelligent, dystopian science fantasy with love and magic, characters you rea I was lucky enough to be at a conference yesterday with Vic James so got to meet her and hear the background to the Dark Gifts trilogy. I'd bought the first two, Gilded Cage and Tarnished City in preparation for the conference, the third Bright Ruin came out the day before, so we were also celebrating its launch. I came home last night and read through the night - I needed to know what happened. These books are great! Intelligent, dystopian science fantasy with love and magic, characters you really care about and a cause worth fighting for. They are easy to read page-turners but chock full of ideas with thought-provoking politics. They even have dragons. Based in a Britain of "Equals" ruled by those with Skill (magic) in which the Unskilled (the rest of us) have to commit to 10 years of national slave labour, the story threads through the interlocking lives of two families, the ruling Jardines and the Hadleys, an ordinary family from Manchester whose commitment to their 10 years goes badly wrong... no spoilers! Vic describes it as "Game of Thrones meets Downton Abbey in which Lord Voldemort wins". The About this Book calls it an "Orwellian vision of Britain with a rebellious Hunger Games heart". Either way, these three books are a crackingly good read and I can't wait for her next one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Ens

    This is an incredible, mind-blowing ending to the Dark Gifts trilogy. Author Vic James keeps up the fast pacing, multi-layered story and not infrequent backstabbing that I enjoyed so much in Tarnished City. There's no way to predict where things are going, especially because, as most of the characters are in the midst of a parliamentary power struggle, Silyen is playing a whole different game on an earth-shaking level. There are plenty of powerful, awe-inspiring displays of Skill throughout the This is an incredible, mind-blowing ending to the Dark Gifts trilogy. Author Vic James keeps up the fast pacing, multi-layered story and not infrequent backstabbing that I enjoyed so much in Tarnished City. There's no way to predict where things are going, especially because, as most of the characters are in the midst of a parliamentary power struggle, Silyen is playing a whole different game on an earth-shaking level. There are plenty of powerful, awe-inspiring displays of Skill throughout the book, which are always a highlight for me. But perhaps the thing I like most about this is that literally all the things I found to be detractions in Gilded Cage are completely subverted by the trilogy's finale. Things like instalove, naiveté, and the notion that estate slavery is somehow tolerable because at least it's not a slave town; Vic James clearly had a plan to rectify and challenge all of them. We get more of Silyen's perspective, which is always my favorite, and we also see Abi examine her current status as a revolutionary against her old desire to be a doctor, particularly when she is called to violate the "do no harm" vow that would've otherwise governed her. A brilliant book all, Bright Ruin features an explosive finale with a surprising, bittersweet, hopeful, enigmatic conclusion that will leave you so satisfied yet also craving more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leonie Byrne

    Thank you to Netgalley, Vic James and Pan MacMillan for my ARC of Bright Ruin. This review is spoiler free. This was one of the most intense finale's to a trilogy that I have ever read. I'm feeling all the feels right now! It was everything! I fell in love with this series last year when I read The first two books in this series in quick succession I've been dying for this book all year so I can't even describe how happy I was to receive an arc! It really didn't disappoint, it took me a couple o Thank you to Netgalley, Vic James and Pan MacMillan for my ARC of Bright Ruin. This review is spoiler free. This was one of the most intense finale's to a trilogy that I have ever read. I'm feeling all the feels right now! It was everything! I fell in love with this series last year when I read The first two books in this series in quick succession I've been dying for this book all year so I can't even describe how happy I was to receive an arc! It really didn't disappoint, it took me a couple of chapters to catch my brain back up to what had happened in the last books but I soon caught on and was pulled back I got the story. Silyen is definitely still my favourite I've just got this whole thing for the 'I don't care a fig about politics just like to do my own thing' vibe. And I loved the banter between him and Luke, there were some seriously interesting developments in this one! The story really heated up in this one too, around the middle I started to wonder what was actually going on, I seemed to be running out of pages without a seeming end to the story but wow did it come with a huge emotional rollercoaster at the end! I can't wait to see what Vic James comes up with next and I really wish this wasn't the end for the guys from this series, I need more!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is rounded up from 4.5 stars because it really will make no sense to anyone who hasn't read the first two books (Gilded Cage and Tarnished City) but if you have read them, this is a great ending to the trilogy. The political aspects of life between the Equals/Skilled houses (who rules? who succeeds whom? what makes you eligible to he Heir) all come to a head in this book. The revolt by the unskilled against them ramps up, still led by several Equals. And then there's the soap opera stuff abo This is rounded up from 4.5 stars because it really will make no sense to anyone who hasn't read the first two books (Gilded Cage and Tarnished City) but if you have read them, this is a great ending to the trilogy. The political aspects of life between the Equals/Skilled houses (who rules? who succeeds whom? what makes you eligible to he Heir) all come to a head in this book. The revolt by the unskilled against them ramps up, still led by several Equals. And then there's the soap opera stuff about the Hadley family: will they ever be together again? will Luke find Abi? Best of all, we get Silyen's side and learn more about this enigmatic, "most powerful" Equal in perhaps ever. I won't spoil things, so let me just say that until the last few chapters I didn't know whether James could actually tie all the ends up together and then she did. Reading other comments it's clear that some feel that the ending wasn't satisfying but for me, it very much was. ARC provided by publisher.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Micha Sevier

    An amazing finale to a riveting trilogy. The events of the first two wonderful books, Gilded Cage and Tarnished City, have led up to this stunning grand finale. While kind equals work with brave slaves to overthrow the cruel regime, the majority of the remaining commoners are swept up in the deceptive rhetoric of the ruling tyrants. Loyalties are tested and broken, new alliances made. It seems no one can be trusted, but trust must be placed for plans to be put into action. Siblings Luke and Abi a An amazing finale to a riveting trilogy. The events of the first two wonderful books, Gilded Cage and Tarnished City, have led up to this stunning grand finale. While kind equals work with brave slaves to overthrow the cruel regime, the majority of the remaining commoners are swept up in the deceptive rhetoric of the ruling tyrants. Loyalties are tested and broken, new alliances made. It seems no one can be trusted, but trust must be placed for plans to be put into action. Siblings Luke and Abi are tested more than ever before. I admired both characters through the first two books, and even more so with the conclusion of their stories. There’s also fascinating exploration of other more morally-grey characters. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so invested in the fates of characters. There’s plenty of sadness and loss, but always hope. With so much action and intrigue, I didn’t want the book to end. But all good things must come to an end. And what a perfect ending.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Broadenyourminds

    This book was such a let down. You need to know that I absolutely loved the first two. I remember getting an ARC copy of Gilded Cage and fighting over who would get to put their "enployee recommend" sticker on the book with my co-workers. I immediately fell in love with the world, the magic system and the characters. They made me laugh, made me cry, made me scared, made me happy. Needless to say I was pumped for the last book to finally come out but it didn't live up to expectations. I found the This book was such a let down. You need to know that I absolutely loved the first two. I remember getting an ARC copy of Gilded Cage and fighting over who would get to put their "enployee recommend" sticker on the book with my co-workers. I immediately fell in love with the world, the magic system and the characters. They made me laugh, made me cry, made me scared, made me happy. Needless to say I was pumped for the last book to finally come out but it didn't live up to expectations. I found the whole plot to be reusing previous tropes. There was nothing new, nothing innovating. The whole thing was predictable and lacked depth. It left me with more questions than necessary, and never answered any of the ones I already had. Giving this book two stars is more than it deserved, and I'm only doing it because I loved the first two. Now all I need to do is forget I ever read it and make up my own ending.

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