The Hands of Ruin completely blew my expectations out of the water. It had an inventive story line, wonderfully empathetic characters, and some really fascinating magic.
In a lakeside village amid the forests of Ferren, a young girl has been disfigured by a dark and mysterious presence. Only zul masters—those who use a mystical red dust called zulis—have the skill to vanquish such nightmares, and so now a master must be chosen.
On Earth, fourteen-year-old twins, Zigmund and Zerah, are sent to live with their uncle, Rainart, after their parents’ untimely deaths. Rainart is an abrasive drunk with a limp, and a secretive past. Yet, his secrets quickly come to light with astounding tension as the twins learn of his time in a land far away, and his possession of a mysterious and powerful red dust.
What impressed me the most is Peters’ world building talent. I loved that we were able to be immersed in two different worlds, a futuristic somewhat dystopian setting as well as a fantastical forest world of Ferren. It never felt harsh to switch between these two settings and both were well put together. In addition, the magic system was really quite fascinating. I love when magical systems are well thought out, explained with detail, and still mystical.
The next thing that impressed me was the way the plot took so many twists at the end. This is just the beginning of the series, but the ending really sets the tone of action and adventure for book two. I was not expecting it to go where it did, and that was a really wonderful turn of events. The interaction between the two worlds, stories, and many characters, was intriguing to witness.
I enjoyed all of our characters from the adults to the teens. Their perspectives felt genuine and never strained. There was something in each of them that I admired. And I cannot wait for these two worlds to crash into each other more.
Would you rather be stranded in a dystopia or a fantasy?
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