March 29, 2023

Review: The Ivory Tomb

The Ivory Tomb The Ivory Tomb by Melissa Caruso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Rooks and Ruin fantasy series, and it brings the series to a satisfying end. There are a lot of fights and action set pieces, but there are also some good character moments. The characters are fighting the final battle with the demons loosed on the country of Eruvia in the previous book, and the author puts them through the wringer.

The best thing about this series is the worldbuilding. The universe is deep and well thought out, with many varying cultures and conflicts. Our protagonist, Ryxander, is the Ward of the Black Tower at Gloamingard, which unbeknownst to her until the first book was guarding an extradimensional portal to hell. Ryx herself is also a demon (demons in this world can inhabit human bodies like clothes) and a large part of the second and third books is her coming to terms with this fact. Her grandmother is holding a demon as well, and Ryx's resolving her relationship with her grandmother is another plot point.

But the largest part of this book is Ryx and her friends in the Rookery struggling to contain the demons loosed on the land. This book is quite a bit more plot-heavy than the previous book, as a lot happens and the characters scarcely have time to breathe. This could easily get overwhelming, but the author handles the twists and turns with aplomb, slowing the action down just along enough for some character moments and taking off again. Ryx's past and deep familiarity with Gloamingard comes into play at the book's climax, and she even faces down her grandmother to save everyone.

The book ends with all the threads wrapped up, the country saved and the characters getting on with their lives. This is a very good fantasy series and one of the best I have read recently. Give it a try.

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