Parents' Guide to

Ruthless Gods: Something Dark and Holy, Book 2

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Thrilling, chilling sequel in Slavic gothic fantasy trilogy.

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Ominous yet beautiful and populated by ever more absorbing characters, this second volume offers an increasingly interesting world to inhabit. Whether readers come to Ruthless Gods for the romance, the gothic world, or the immersive fantasy, they're sure to find all that and more in this well-executed follow-up to Wicked Saints. The world-building gets fleshed out, especially its underlying Slavic-inspired mythology, which is complex but rarely confusing. In the morally confounding mess their lives have become, Nadya, Malachiasz, and Serefin, as well as their stalwart friends Parijahan, Rashid, Ostiya, and Kacper, are all trying to understand who they are and how to make good decisions -- concerns that will feel familiar to many teen readers. We get to know all these characters more deeply as the story is told from their alternating perspectives.

There are some blips with repeated words or over-the-top language, but these are easy to forget amid the witty dialogue, compelling characters, and high-stakes action. With an explosive ending that raises more questions than it answers, fans will surely flock to the final book in the series.

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