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Publisher's Summary

Sistina awakened after millennia of dormancy, her memories in tatters and born anew. Residing in the ruins of an ancient city, she finds herself drawn into a war between two elven nations and the slaver kingdom of Kelvanis when she rescues a princess from slavery.

With her domain containing hints of forgotten knowledge, Sistina becomes a dungeon, stronghold, and source of hope all at once. And perhaps, just perhaps, she could finally find love in her new life.

This is a dark fantasy novel suitable for adults.

©2017 Benjamin Medrano (P)2017 Benjamin Medrano

What listeners say about Ancient Ruins

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Another boring intelligent dungeon novel.

Book Type: Audible Book
Length: 12h 53m

Have you ever wondered what would happen to an intelligent dungeon living in part of ancient elven ruins, while slavers and elves fought on and around her property, then this is your book.

Otherwise it is a remarkably bland version of the new trope of intelligent dungeons (see my review for Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests). It is better than Morningwood, but strangely enough while there is a ton of writing about women being enslaved, and forced into sexual bondage (and a whole ton of rapes) there isn't anything consenting except between two of the women characters.

That is where it lost me. It is a tired trope to rely on the horror of slaver villains and what they will do (or rapist generals) to make them a bad guy. Meanwhile there really isn't any positive sexual encounters except one really boring relationship.

I don't think I will pick up the sequels unless they hit the $3.95 or $5.95 sale, it might be ok for that. There has to be better books out there like this, if you find one let me know.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Some really good things but...

What I didnt like is that a solid 1/4 of this book is filled with really creepy characters that are into abusing women. Now when it's not focused on rape the story is really good, the politics are pretty interesting, and the main character is super cool.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Great premise - Rapey and Unlikable POV characters

This concept has phenomenal potential, however that potential was squandered into mediocrity due to the amount of time the reader spends reading through boring, offensive, villainous POV characters. Weak authors want to ensure that you passionately dislike the antagonists so fall on the tasteless writer's crutch of making these characters offensively rapey. There are two problems with this. The first of which is that I dislike the author for subjecting me to this equally as much as I dislike the antagonists. The latter is that a reader should like the antagonists, but the reader absolutely MUST like every POV character - otherwise those sections are offensive, boring slogs.

I will say that while the author only seems to have 1 voice for all his characters, he adeptly sidesteps the issue by keeping our main protagonist mostly speechless and wrapped with a veil of mystery. However, by the 2nd book the communication disconnect between our protagonist and other characters ceases to be charming. All the wonderful nonverbal communication that brought life to these interactions is replaced by elementary writing such as the commonly used cringe-worthy phrase from this book: "Words hard."

35 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but .... yea... lesbians everywhere ...

First let me say i do not intend to keep this book. In fact as soon as i'm done with this review i plan on returning it for the credit. This is not because i think its trash, no it is a well written book. But, because i don't want it in my library, or to keep it. Just that simple.

I will break this review into Pros and Cons.

Pros
- Fascinating characters
- Intriguing and deep history and world building
- Mana based magic system that was and is really cool!
- Good bad guy writing and good guy writing (usually you only find one or the other).

Cons
- Literally every character in this book is a lesbian, and all the males are horny bastards or window dressing. Including the celibate nuns(including the high priestess of their order)... who for some reason just Embrace becoming lesbians.... like...wtf?
- The main character promises to cheat on her lover.... like... wtf? And the princess is okay with this... seriously!
- Everyone is either an elf or succubus.... or a weak human male who is there only to be the horny bad guy. Or a dwarf, randomly.... There are like three good male characters, all secondary, and all have extremely limited roles. Literally every other male character is evil.

Honestly, the sexual fantasies of the author are so frustrating because they keep getting in the way of an otherwise absolutely fantastic story! Look, if you want a lesbian main character, okay that's cool, i'll read a good story with a good female lead whos lesbian... cool.... But EVERY character is Bisexual and / or lesbian? Even the hyper conservative and SELABITE priestesses? Wtf?

Over all 4/5 because every other thing about this story is fantastic.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not for me at all...

The story started well and I really love the main character. But almost every other chapter is about Slavers capturing, enslaving and brainwashing women. The salve brand makes it impossible for these women to even resist commands. It's mentioned at one point that most women enslaved are given to the Orcs for sex (the reason wasn't stated). From the start I knew that rape was a part of this book but the fact that hundreds of women are enslaved and raped senselessly was something I did not expect.

32 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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3 Quarters of the way through. And loving it.

I do not often give reviews about books. Who am I to judge. But I have to say that Benjamin has put together a rather compelling story. The high point being the interaction between the supporting characters. The way they look at their lives as if they are real is what truly set this book apart. Give also how the female characters behave like women, any true fan of the fantasy genre can understand my statement, with a very in depth protrayal of the significance of feeling. This is far from the usual dungeon core.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent elaboration of the fantasy genera

What made the experience of listening to Ancient Ruins the most enjoyable?

This book was a joy to read as the story slowly unfolded. The author does a marvelous job in atmospheric world building. At one point when a specific point was elaborated I was initially quite surprised, as I knew most of the prudent points about it already without them being stated outright. The world is also very complex, in that it is easy to lump people together into stereotyped groups, but as the story progressed, and we learn more about them, those lines begin to blur. Even the villains are shown to have motivations that humanize them.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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it's a great dungeon book.

it's a great dungeon book. great narrator, and kinda like the Divine​ dungeon, but it's own universe focusing more on the Char's, nationwide.i love it, I hope for a book 2&3

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book

I was surprised how much I like this book and look forward to the rest.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable, highly recommend

A very enjoyable rendition of a truly fantastic book. The reading was very well done, with just a few parts that I felt good have been done better. In addition, it was a purely personal reaction so other people might have very different feelings. The parts I didn't like were few and far apart, so they did not hurt the over all telling. Would highly recommend to anyone and everyone.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-10-18

recomend read

i realy likes this Book, and highly recomend it! the only thing is tjat all female characters är quite similar, and seem confuced, weak and needy. exept the main character.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-21

Some new ideas, but lacks depth and complexity

I get why this is a contentious book for some, there is a premise of a decent story but does not quite make it.

The book starts off pretty good, the reader follows a none-LitRPG dungeon core persona, who lost her memories. We get to explore the world as she experiences her new existence. Other supporting characters are introduced and the story starts to enfold involving magically enforced slavery. Not a bad concept overall.

Then the problems start to add up with lack of detail and complexity.

About half way into the story, the perspective stays shifted, the dungeon character becomes a more unknowable and powerful being that works in mostly mysterious ways. The reader is left with following a few supporting characters, but none are well developed. The reader very rarely gets to know what is really going on in a characters head, (what is their motivation?!) but rather seem to follow a set of story tropes. None of the characters have an real complexity, everyone seems a throwaway NPC.

The same goes for the plot: Why are the kingdoms fighting? Why does only one side use enslavement magic?
Is magical slavery new is the world? But everybody knows about it, its cheap enough to get farm girls enslaved! But there is no known way to break it! This has huge implications for the world! Enslave everyone! Why would you have soldiers fight wars? There are powerful adventurers, but none care for the politics of the world! There is a 'neutral' adventurers guild, but also none-guild adventurers.

It becomes a pile-up of plot holes, that become more apparent towards the end to this book. I found the end of this book unfulfilling, and I don't have the feeling that this story is going to make more sense in the following books, its frustrating!

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  • Sky ;)
  • 02-27-20

wow

I must say I am ready/listening to this series already 2 time and I just love it. The characters the story and all the voices ale just sweet to my ears. Many thanks to all who was helping to the story's you manage to drag me in again and again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 04-27-19

Excellent Fantasy

If you love epic fantasy you'll love this book. If you like lesbian fantasy you should read the When Women Were Warriors trilogy by Catherine M Wilson.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Teitur Ásgeirsson
  • 01-26-19

I really enjoyed the audio book.

I really enjoyed the audio book. A new spin on magic and the way the system works.. I highly recommended the book. I hope the author is a fast writer...

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter Karlsson
  • 08-20-18

Dungeon core

I like books where one can listen to the views of the dungeon.
I have found the characters interesting in their own ways and hope to hear more about them.
Sadly, the same characters that I want to hear about, I do believe that some of them will be left behind in the background.
But otherwise, it's a good book.

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  • Embrakh
  • 06-27-18

Great Story of a Dungeon.

I purchased the book because I liked the author's 'Lilith's Shadow' book series. However, I found this book to be of a much higher quality. My only complaint is the narrator's inability to present distinct characters. Although, that may have been in part because of the writing itself.

Overall the narrator is talented and the book is very enjoyable.
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RECOMMENDED
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 06-20-18

Ancient Ruins

I love this book from start to finish the characters a well written and lovable the narrator did a great job with the narration and the author did a great job on the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Millsy
  • 05-30-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

Fair warning, the beginning of this story is strange to put it mildly but once you get past the background of how Sistina came to be it moves on to be normal? Anyhow I found this story creates a wonderfully interesting world for us to delve into, with many interesting and likeable characters and a story that held my interest to the very end, so much so I have already bought the following two books to listen to.

Perhaps I am a bit biased as I am a straight guy who has only ever been interested in females but I really don’t understand why so many reviewers seem to have an issue with the lesbian relationships within this story, non of which I might add is in graphic detail nor can I remember anything beyond kissing by participants. The story only suggests growing friendships of mutual kindness and love. Why should anyone have issue with someone else’s relationship when it makes no difference to ourselves outside of that relationship? To me this only suggests a hatred of those who are simply different.

I highly recommended this story for many reasons but in particular to all those that believe we should treat everyone equally regardless of someone else’s relationship choices.