I finally have the time to say goodbye to Sydney and Adrian properly. It’s been days since I finished The Ruby Circle but I haven’t actually had the opportunity to sit down and write down what I thought of it.
This book signifies the end of an era. No more Sydney, Adrian, Moroi, Strogoi, Rose, Dimitri, or witches. No more Alchemists. It is a little heartbreaking, really. Mead gave us vampires who were bloodthirsty magical creatures but who still seemed human enough for us to lust after. And that world is gone now.
But onto the story itself.
First things first: I did not understand the title. At all. There was not one mention of a “Ruby Circle”. I was expecting a clandestine group of some kind, but no dice. Actually, come to think of it, Silver Shadows made no sense either. The Bloodlines titles haven’t made sense since The Fiery Heart. Maybe Mead and her publishers were banking on us ignoring the titles and thinking “Bloodlines”! automatically.
I want to say that I loved this book, but I didn’t. I was intrigued. I was emotional in the final scenes. But I didn’t love it. I think the big thing for me was that the ending was too tied up. Life doesn’t actually get tied up in a happy little bow. The chances of all our heroes being happy are so, so slim. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that they were all happy. I just found ita little too unbelievable. Kind of like how The Mortal Instruments ended. Everything was too neat. And if art is supposed to imitate life, then the ends of these series should have been a little messier, that’s all.
There was also the whole “scavenger hunt” thing to find Jill. It felt way too drawn out and OTT. Plus, I felt like I didn’t know enough about [SPOILER] Alicia to know if this kind of attack would even be her MO. If you remember correctly, this was the woman from The Indigo Spell who would suck the magic and youth out of young witches to keep herself powerful and gorgeous. Alicia didn’t exactly launch obvious offensive attacks, but she wasn’t dancing around the issue either. Alicia went after what she wanted pretty aggressively. So why was she toying with Sydney? I didn’t like Alicia as the main villain. Or, to rephrase, the villain in the final instalment of a series so close to my heart. After the Alchemists, Alicia felt…underwhelming. Not exactly a coup for a last book.
And the big reveal? The reveal that was supposed to change the world? Horribly mishandled! I was supposed to be shocked, but instead I just felt kinda happy for Rose and Dimitri. No, no spoilers. The only spoiler that I’ll give you is that, as huge as this secret was, I didn’t feel its full impact. And I should’ve. I feel like Mead just blurted out the info and didn’t give us any reactions to actually see how massive the news was in our vampiric universe. Seeing Romitri’s reaction would have helped a lot but it wasn’t included. Such a mistake. That particular reaction would’ve been epic to see.
The more I think about this book, the more I’m picking it apart, so I think I’m going to stop. I don’t want to talk about Sydney and Adrian’s married life at the beginning of the book. I don’t want to talk about how the “prejudice” against Sydney and Adrian, which was supposed to be horrific, was barely mentioned. I don’t want to talk about the fact that Jill going missing in the first place was hopelessly predictable. No, I just want to focus on the characters. The beautiful characters that I’ve been with since Vampire Academy and how they have all now found their places in the annals of YA history.
I don’t really want to rate The Ruby Circle. I feel like the low star rating will hurt me. Let’s just say that The Ruby Circle is an entertaining read and you’ll enjoy it. But as the book that signifies the end of an era, it leaves a lot to be desired.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention this but there is a HUGE PROBLEM in The Ruby Circle. And it is the fact that the archaic family law never passes or is denied. The law that was putting Jill in danger for the ENTIRE SERIES. The law that stated that the ruler of the Moroi must have one living family member in order to rule. This law wasn’t even addressed in the epilogue. We see Jill with Eddie and she’s out in the world, not having to hide, but we never know for sure if the family law was disolved. And that was the entire premise of why our motley Bloodlines crew were put together in the first place! I think Mead just assumed that we’d assume that the family law was dissolved so that Jill would be safe but it’s never STATED! This made me so angry! Why would this not be a bigger resolution?!
And even if it WAS stated and I just missed it, or have forgotten about it, the fact that I missed it is also a problem. How can this issue be swept under the rug when this was the KEY ISSUE of the ENTIRE SERIES? So much fangirl anger.