In The Shadow of Ruin


Loved it! 😍

In peace they prosper, in fear they fall. This captivating, culturally rich story was like stepping into a piece of African mythology.

 In peace they prosper, in fear they fall. Looking to claim the throne, King Jide Adelani’s half-brother Olise begins his bloody campaign, leaving fear and destruction in his wake. Loyalties and blades will be tested in a great battle that will determine the future of the kingdom.

This culturally rich book made me feel as though I was stepping into a piece of African mythology. Despite military conflict being at the heart of this story, it pays homage to various beliefs and practices that make each tribe unique. The way each character understands and embraces their culture and identity drives their choices and makes them dynamic. I was not only captivated by the story, but also feel I learned a lot on the journey. 

Though the reader is led to favor one side of this conflict over another, this book does a good job creating sympathy and understanding for everyone involved. Each character has unique beliefs, flaws, and internal conflicts that drive their choices. This adds emotional depth and complexity to the larger conflict.

In military books, there are often those ‘defining’ moments in a battle where a strategy is executed to either great or catastrophic effect. Whether these are spur of the moment or something that is set up over the course of the book, we usually get to see these strategies come together. It is in this process that we become more intimate with how the characters think, what they value, and where they struggle. In this book, we miss a lot of this development. Most of the key strategies are not mentioned until they have already been executed or foiled. Other times, the plans are mentioned or the characters go through the motions of strategizing without sharing much detail. As a result, what might be defining moments for the characters and/or conflict lack the level of impact they could have had if the reader was more invested in the process.

Overall, this book is well worth the read and I recommend it to anyone that likes historical and/or military fiction. Naturally, there is some graphic violence in this book but I do not feel it is gratuitous. Though this book is labeled as “fantasy”, the magical elements are extremely limited and it reads more like historical fiction with mystical elements. Those looking to enjoy a high fantasy read might want to consider other books.

Reviewed by

As a teacher and writer, I have a deep appreciation for books of all kinds. To me, stories are not just an escape, but a way to help us explore parts of ourselves we might have never discovered. Through my reviews, I hope to give my fellow writers a boost and make their stories known.


About the author

Tony Adebajo is a Civil Engineer and writer. He has a passion for reading books about ancient civilizations and the allure of their traditions and mythologies. This has been the inspiration behind his Fractured Kingdom series, a retelling of African folklore, drawing on the culture of his heritage. view profile

Published on March 22, 2021

130000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Fantasy

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