Book Review: A Shield of Fate and Ruin by Nicole Bailey

About the Book:

Title: A Shield of Fate and Ruin

Author: Nicole Bailey

Series: Apollo Ascending

Publication Date: Aug. 24, 2022

Synopsis: When the world is at war.
No one is safe.
Not even the gods.

Apollo would hide with Hyacinth and hold him until the sun burned out.

But that is not their destiny.

When Ares arrives announcing a turn of the tides and war thundering towards Niria, Apollo and Hyacinth take on a journey to save everyone from Zeus’ wrath.

But when things don’t go as planned, they might destroy themselves instead.

In this third installment of the Apollo Ascending series, romance, fate, adventure, and tragedy intermingle into an exhilarating story of loyalty and sacrifice.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

A million words trailed through my mind to describe how he looked in that moment, stretched out in the bruised light of an early morning storm, his body bared, his chest rising with life, the noble lines of his profile glimmering in lingering bursts of lightning. Beautiful. Heaven. Home. Hope. Joy. Everything.

Well, Nicole Bailey has proved yet again that she can rip my heart out, slice it into a million pieces, and then have me thank her profusely for it. I adored this third book in the Apollo Ascending series and will forever love Apollo and Hyacinth! The story picks up where book two left off, and it’s a wild adventure for all of the major characters.

The plot is layered and has a ton of action and political turmoil. It’s super suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat! No one is safe in this world of clashing gods, and I feared for the lives of some of my favorite characters! All of the characters are as developed and layered as the plot, and their emotional journeys are as interesting as their physical ones. Each character, especially the major ones, has a strong arc and grows so much over the course of the series. Now that Apollo has ascended, new responsibilities and threats change his life. Hyacinth also has to deal with new situations and struggles to find his place. Hyacinth’s family faces some really difficult times, and Pip and Val’s relationship hits some turbulence as she takes on new responsibilities. It’s so interesting to see how new relationships and experiences change different characters’ perspectives and goals.

And the world-building!!! The author created a world where the Greek and Roman gods collide. It’s such a unique retelling in that it combines different mythologies and cultures into a cohesive new world, and it’s fascinating. New settings and characters are introduced, which are vivid and add to the richness of the story. I love Bailey’s writing style. Beautiful and poetic at times, it captivated me from the first lines and immersed me into the story. I’m a fan of mythology, and Bailey made me care for characters that I’ve always felt ambivalence toward in the past. That, for me, is skilled storytelling.

My breaths follow the beat of your heart, and my soul is notched into your flesh. You cannot lose me. Even if I’m gone and the world forgets my name, every time the sun touches your brow, you can know it’s me. For wherever gods’ souls go after their deaths, I will fight to find you.

The romances in this series are brilliant – layered, emotional, and so unbelievably moving. Apollo and Hyacinth have my whole heart! I love how they feel for each other and how they verbalize those feelings. They show their love in so many ways – in their words, actions, gestures, and more, and it is incredibly romantic. Another romance in the story is much more complicated, as Hyacinth’s sister must choose between duty and desire, but I love all of the angst and yearning in her story. She has a tough road ahead of her, especially after all the tragic events that happened in this book, and I’m curious to see how that influences her decisions and role in the story.

If you enjoy YA fantasy with layered characters, mythology, and beautiful love stories, you should totally check out this series! It’s so engaging, and A Shield of Fate and Ruin is no exception. I loved the book and can’t wait to read the next one in the series! Thanks to Nicole Bailey for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romances!
  • The suspense and action.
  • The world-building.

Favorite Lines:

He saw good in me where I wasn’t sure it existed, but I could be that for him.

You make me proud just by being you.

Our story may be a tragedy, but it’s one I’d suffer a million times for a single day with you.

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