I really want to preface that review by saying how much I enjoyed the series overall, and that this review will contain potentially major spoilers to those who’ve yet to read the book. You have been warned…. That being said, this isn’t the worlds most popular review. In fact, I’d go so far to classify it as a negative review. It’s been a while since I’ve been disappointed by a book in a series, and especially a book that is the final chapters in such a beloved series.
We jump into the beginning of the book immedately where we left off with Sydney and Adrian holed up at the Moroi court, under Lissa’s protection. At the end of Silver Shadows, the newly married couple sought the protection of the young Moroi Queen, from the Alchemists that had been chasing them across the country, to punish Sydney for escaping from Re-Education. Mead quickly catches us up on the general plot of this book, in which Sydney and Adrian (and the ever increasing revolving door style characters who should get their own series) must figure out a way to rescue Jill (Lissa’s half-sister) whose been kidnapped.
When Mead first introduced the changing viewpoints a few novels ago, so that one chapter would be from Adrian’s perspective, then the next from Sydney’s, I was intrigued. It was a new take on building an ever growing relationship with the main characters, and allowed you to view things from their perspective. That being said, I actually grew to hate it near the end of Silver Shadows. Maybe it was because of the amount of time spent on ‘Adrian’s problems with Spirit’ or ‘Sydney is still stuck in re-education’ that amplified those feelings, but I wasn’t looking forward to forcing myself to battle that dislike during TRC.
Needless to say, I wasn’t happy at all. But it wasn’t just that. The couple fought time and again throughout the series, when it came to Adrian’s problems with Spirit. Use too much, it can ruin your life forever. Go on medication, it dulls the senses (Which is a large portion of this book, when Adrian is attempting to reach Jill in Spirit Dreams). I don’t think anything irritated me more than this constant cycle of discussion between Adrian and Sydney in this last book (Oh wait I lied, there was something that angered me more, more on than in a minute). It was like beating a dead horse. Honestly, it was raised nearly a half-dozen times throughout ONE BOOK. Yes, we get it. Please let that poor horse die.
The second part that infuriated me, was the fact that the book is only 300 pages long. Why am I angry? Because the entire book was rushed beyond belief. The book felt like it had a significant flow problem to it, and was so jumpy in spots. I had a difficult enough time keeping track of who was narrating each chapter, and then combined with the fast pace of the novel. Don’t get me wrong, a fast paced novel can be fantastic, if done correctly. It truly felt like Mead had rushed to complete the final entry in this series, in order to please her readers and publishers. Instead of taking an extra 100 to 150 pages to outline and clear things up just a bit more, we’re given fly by descriptions, and rushed discussions, in order to get to the end. This includes the epilogue’s ‘time jump’ and the issue with baby Declan (You’ll see what I mean when you get there).
Overall, I’m heavily disappointed with this being the final entry into the series. I utterly adored getting lost in the world that she created, and loved all the characters from both the Vampire Academy series, and Bloodlines series. I just wish that The Ruby Circle had paid a bit more tribute to the creativity and talent that its author has, instead of being a disastrously hot mess of a train-wreck.