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Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite
Shadow of the Winter King (World of Ruin) is a gripping tale of hate, betrayal and vengeance set in a post-apocalyptic world where magic is a tool for bloodshed and supremacy. Regel Winter, known as the Oathbreaker and Lord of Tears, was a slayer for the previous regime. Retired and living in relative peace, his entire world is turned upside down when the person he hates the most walks back into his life. Ovelia Dracaris, the Bloodbreaker, has lived a cursed existence, waiting for the day that she could finally obtain vengeance for the past. With the world on the brink of ruin and with their past coming back to haunt them, can Regel and Ovelia put their enmity aside long enough to find the one person they both hate as much as they hate each other, or will they decide to finally end each other's existence?
Every chapter in Erik Scott de Bie's fantasy masterpiece is taut with tension and rife with excitement. I was gripped with the fanatic need to know more about each and every character, a frenzy that only the most well-written of novels can induce. Scott de Bie's characters are as dark as one can get, with pain, suffering and the need for bloodthirsty vengeance the only common thread between most of them. From the first page, innocence is thrown to the wolves and is startlingly absent from the rest of the novel. The dialogue drips with barely contained hatred, making the occasional glimpses of each character's own sense of morality even more revealing. The plot is meticulously crafted, the world brilliantly created and the action grippingly intense. Erik Scott de Bie has created a world I would never want to live in, with characters I pray to never meet, but one that I would enthusiastically read about again and again.