Elise Kavanagh failed to prevent the Breaking, and now Hell is spilling onto Earth. Now she’s delved deep into the City of Dis in an attempt to stop the infernal armies–but even the legendary Godslayer is unprepared to face Dis’s fiercest demons, not to mention the responsibility of liberating the humans they’ve enslaved.
On Earth, rogue angel Nash Adamson is wing-deep in damage control after the Breaking, and his fellow angels don’t want to get involved. War is approaching the werewolf sanctuary. If Heaven won’t help them, he’ll have to turn to Hell for salvation.
Everything hinges on who can control the Palace of Dis. Elise and her allies have no choice but to rule by steel.
I think I may have mentioned this once or twice, but if you haven’t read any books by S.M. Reine, you need to rectify that. NOW! There is just no way to describe the depth of emotion that she evokes. It has to be experienced. So yes, this is going to be a rambling, gushing, stuttering review, but I had to let you know why. It can’t be helped.
Ruled by Steel picks up pretty much where Oaths of Blood left off. Everyone is trying to come to terms with the events that took place at the end of Oaths of Blood. Both Elise and Riley are wracked with guilt, but they handle it in very different ways. Elise, of course, fights her way through her emotions. Riley shuts herself off and hides the truth of what happened from everyone. Both perspectives were painful and heart wrenching – remember that depth of emotion thing? This is only the tip of the iceberg. *sigh*
There was a lot going on in Ruled by Steel and a lot of different POVs were thrown into the mix. That was good though because it gave readers a little bit more insight into characters that we haven’t seen a lot of yet in the Ascension series. I loved spending time with Nash and Summer. Their connection is so intense. Their back story is just one of the reasons why I want to go back and pick up the Seasons of the Moon and Cain Chronicles where I left off. Nash also plays a very important role in Ruled by Steel. The politics and attitudes definitely give readers a different perspective on Heaven. S.M. Reine’s angels are not typical, but then neither are her demons or werewolves. Her world building isn’t just about where these characters are but what and who they are.
The other thing that needs to be said is that this author pulls no punches and holds nothing back. Demons aren’t just killed. Readers know in gruesome detail how they are destroyed – and it’s not always quick. Death isn’t always saved for the bad guys either. She’s proven more than once that no one is safe and the character’s painful experiences aren’t always physical. Riley and Abel just about broke me in Ruled by Steel. They are such strong characters, but their loss brought them to their knees. I’m not ashamed to say that there were more than a few tears were shed.
The end of Oaths of Blood was heartbreaking, but the end of Ruled by Steel was infuriating. Just when I thought that there was hope for…. nope… I’m not going to tell you who I was talking about. You’ll have to read Ruled by Steel for yourself. Like I said, you have to experience it to appreciate it. The only good thing about a book ending like this one did is that S.M. Reine writes FAST! Caged in Bone will be released within the next week or so. If you start now, you’ll be done in plenty of time to read it. 😉