It’s bittersweet writing this review of the final book in the Bloodlines series. Before I begin sharing my thoughts on The Ruby Circle, I’d like to thank Richelle Mead for creating not only one of my favorite YA series ever with Bloodlines, but giving me two spectacular stories to experience these past seven years. While The Ruby Circle is the last Bloodlines book, it definitely does not feel like the end, more like “The End for now…”
Newlyweds Sydney and Adrian are cooped up at the Royal Court and going crazy. Why? Because 1. Jill is missing, and they can’t do anything to help if they’re stuck at Court. 2. The Alchemists will take Sydney back if she were to leave the protection of the Court. If you’ve been following this series, you know that the latter isn’t going to stop Sydney from trying to help save Jill. Sydney and Adrian face the odds together and apart to help find Jill and bring her home before it’s too late.
From the start, The Ruby Circle is more of Adrian’s book. We spend more time in his perspective, and his chapters are much more in sync with his personality. We can’t say the same for Sydney, who felt a little more distant and preoccupied by their current situations. I love Adrian, but I wanted more of Sydney in this book. I couldn’t get much of a feel for her reactions toward major events in the book, and I can’t really compare her reactions to Adrian’s since he’s much more outwardly emotional.
It’s an understatement to say a lot happens in The Ruby Circle. Besides tracking down Jill and avoiding the Alchemists’ clutches, Adrian and Sydney face another quite interesting situation involving sisters Olive and Nina, a Dhampir and Moroi spirit user we met a couple of books ago. Olive was once a Strigoi who was saved by her half-sister Nina’s spirit magic. Olive had a hard time transitioning back, but she still managed to form a loving relationship with another Dhampir Guardian, Neil. Olive has also gone missing, and Nina overly uses her spirit to track her down. Nina enlists Adrian to help, and when they do find her, she’s in an unexpected position.
Olive is pregnant with Neil’s baby, which shouldn’t be possible because Dhampirs aren’t able to conceive with each other. But because Olive is spirit-reborn, they may have given her the capability to conceive. She ends up giving birth to Declan and soon after is killed during a Strigoi attack. Before she dies, she asks Adrian to give the baby to Neil and protect his identity. If people were to know the nature of his birth, well… that could lead to a traumatic life for Declan.
Mead sets up quite a lot here with Declan, and at first, I wasn’t sure why. By the end, it looks like if Mead was going to spin-off this series with any character, it would have to be Declan. The miracle and mystery of his existence is still unanswered, and I’m sort of dying to know the kind of person he grows up to be, especially since he’s being raised by my favorite couple.
Besides that subplot, The Ruby Circle speeds through everything else, ultimately ending with Jill being saved. Adrian’s epilogue proves that all ends well for these characters, including Rose and Dimitri. It’s a happy ending as Sydney and Adrian finally have started living their lives the way they used to dream they would. I do wish that the epilogue ended in Sydney’s perspective, since this began as her series, even though it eventually morphed into Sydrian’s series.
Although I believe that this isn’t the last story we’ll get from the Dhampir and Moroi world, I’m sad that it’s still ending for now. Bloodlines is more incredible than Vampire Academy, and I can only hope that whenever Richelle Meads returns to this world, it will be just as good or even better.
Bloodlines Series Rating: 9/10
The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead is now available wherever books are sold.
Click on the covers for our reviews of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series: