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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The Ruby Blade by Amy Cissell is the continuation of the fantasy tale of Eleanor Morgan and her quest to reopen the gates and allow magic back into the world. Eleanor, a Fae Princess, and her sidekicks, Florence, a mage, and Raj, a thousand-year-old vampire, are joined in this episode by Emma, a werewolf, the former girlfriend of Eleanor's werewolf mate Isaac, who is currently being held by the Dark Queen and being horribly tortured. In The Ruby Blade, Eleanor will open two more of the gates, travelling across the eastern seaboard of the United States to do so, a country that has lost most of its technology due to the power of the magic she has released back into the world thus far. Raj will continue his ongoing efforts to try to woo Eleanor away from her mate bond with Isaac, as the sexual tension ramps up in this iteration. Arriving late to assist is Raj's daughter, Petrina, herself a powerful vampire and mage.
I thoroughly enjoyed the previous episode of this series and was keenly anticipating the next two gates being opened. Amy Cissell does not disappoint with The Ruby Blade. The characters continue to develop and I particularly love the simmering relationship between Raj and Eleanor as she tries to deal with the many twists and turns this story takes. Emma is a welcome addition as a character, and some of the best dialogue in this book is the snarky and sarcastic to and fro banter between Isaac's ex-girlfriend and his current mate. This is an epic fantasy and fans of magic and mayhem will lap it up, but the by-play and the strong, positive characters, especially the women, are so refreshing to read. This is one of those books that is impossible to put down as one exciting scene just literally drags you into the next, but for readers with a thirst for witty, sassy, dialogue, that's all here too. I cannot wait for the next edition of this tale, where Eleanor will attempt to open the next gates - what trials and tribulations will befall these characters that I've grown to love and hate. Excellent stuff from Cissell.