Book Review: A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith

About the Book:

Title: A Ruinous Fate

Author: Kaylie Smith

Series: Heartless Fates

Page Length:432

Publication Date: Jan 3, 2023

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Synopsis: Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.

Calliope Rosewood is a witch with a long streak of bad luck. Like all witches in Illustros, her fate is directly tied to Witch’s Dice—powerful artifacts that have blessed her kind with limitless magic but also set them on a path toward destruction. Cursed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla deserted her coven four years ago and has been in hiding with her two best friends since. But Calla is also hiding a grave secret: She is only three Rolls away from becoming the last Blood Warrior and starting the Final War that will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.

After a betrayal from her ex leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate . . . even if that means journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with said ex and his enticing, yet enigmatic older brother to find the one being who can help her forge her own path. As Calla ventures farther into the enchanted woods, she finds her heart torn between her past desires and the alluring new possibilities of her future and learns that choosing your own destiny may come with deadly consequences.

Featuring a charming and chaotic ensemble cast of characters, this first book in a planned series by debut author Kaylie Smith will sweep readers away with its utterly immersive world building, swoon-worthy romance, and action-packed storytelling.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Let me choose my own fate. Or ruin myself trying.

Wow. What a wild ride! A Ruinous Fate is the first book in the Heartless Fates series, and it was so entertaining! Exciting, dangerous, twisty, fast-paced, and so intriguing, the story gripped me from the beginning. I loved the characters and the angst, and the found family is the best.

The story takes place in a unique and magical world, with different magical beings and abilities like sirens, witches, Valkyries, sprites, siphons, and so many more. The magic system and world-building are fantastic, and I was really immersed into this setting where magical dice, rolled six times throughout one’s life, can change everything. Calla’s journey takes her and her traveling companions through an enchanted forest and on an epic adventure that’s as dangerous as it is intriguing.

The story has a dynamic cast of characters! Calla is a fierce and fantastic protagonist, and I’m excited to see how her journey, both physical and emotional, continues. She has already been through so much, and the stakes are really high for her and her friends. She has an amazing relationship with her two best friends, Hannah and Delphine. They’re all outcasts in their own way, and they form this little found family, which is one of my favorite tropes. And the relationships Calla has with Gideon and Ezra are so messy and complex and different.

Calla and Gideon have this amazing chemistry and deep connection with each other, and I love how calm and controlled Gideon is. He’s like the voice of reason amid the chaos. Calla’s love-hate relationship with Ezra has so much banter and tension, and the push and pull there is great. Other characters, like Caspian and Kestral were amazing too. I like how all of the characters, especially Calla and her traveling companions, contrast and complement each other at the same time. There are some very interesting dynamics explored in the various relationships, new and old, highlighted in the story, and I kind of love them. All of the characters are messy and flawed and fantastic, and they each have an important role in the story.

As Calla and the rest search for a way to stop a prophecy from coming true. There are some really interesting themes about fate versus choice, acceptance, friendship, and more. The author weaves these themes so well in a high stakes and engrossing plot, and the twists and turns never stop.

I thought this was a great start to what promises to be a fantastic series. It’s exciting, entertaining, suspenseful, and action-packed, and I found it hard to put down. Between the plot (that ending – OMG!), the incredible characters, and the vivid world-building, I’m excited to read book two and find out what happens next! Thanks so much to Disney Hyperion for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The world-building
  • The magic
  • The romance

Favorite Lines:

You may need help sometimes, but you do not need anyone to rescue you. Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.

I don’t want it to end.

“Brilliant,” he told her. “Like a new star – you only get brighter.”


I would definitely recommend A Ruinous Fate to readers who enjoy:

  • ya fantasy
  • cool magic
  • found family
  • forced proximity
  • vivid world-building
  • quests

6 thoughts on “Book Review: A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith

  1. I do like the sound of this one, even though I am not a big fan of books about witches. I have requested it, so shall see if I am approved. Great review, Julie.

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