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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Story

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.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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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."

Despite all this the book isn't terrible. The 2nd book will compound the above stated issues greatly, so don't get your hopes up for THIS series. However, I predict that this author will be someone I strongly recommend to others several years down the line.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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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.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great plot, cringy love between females.

It has a great plot, but a cringy love between female main characters distracts from it a lot. The author just needed to force his kink into the story.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book

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

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Found a new author!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Depends on the friend .. would have to be someone that can actually finish a book ..

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sistina .. enjoy watching her develop

What does Gabriella Cavallero bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She does an excellent job of creating different voices that works for both make and female

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Elves and Bears .. oh my!

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if book two were ready I would be purchasing that immediately.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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WONDERFULLY WELL WRITTEN

I really enjoyed the fresh word use "mana" , "golum", an a few other words not in usual fantasy context. And, excellent descriptive termanology. And actually, the writing seemed to be in a female voice. (Excluding that the narrator was female!) I had to keep reminding myself the author was male. That says something great about the authors abilitie to gender identify. Can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy. I would love to see book 2 as a reclaiming of the land's as the princesses domain and clearing out of all the mountain that covers their civilization. Especially with that intact library. ^.^ 😂

3 of 5 people found this review helpful