Review: The Elemental Ruins (Circle the Square Book 2) by Sam Burns

Rating: 5🌈

Ten out of ten. Happily recommend. Isn’t that how it’s done? Although for me that not nearly enough for this outstanding work by Sam Burns.

“The magic filled every cell of my body to bursting, and the scorching, white-hot pressure made me want to scream. Born a fire mage, I’d never been burned before. I could jump into a bonfire naked, and it wouldn’t even feel overly warm.

For the first time in twenty-five years, I truly understood what it meant to burn.”

So begins , The Elemental Ruins, the second book of Circle The Square’s two – story arc, a tale that involves no less than the dark magic, twisted murderous family histories and labyrinthine secrets, and four brothers whose fates and bonds will save two worlds.

Burns’ first novel was set on Earth on the day it was about to die, the birthday of Blaze Keys, water mage, twin brother to fire mage (and criminal king), River Keyes.

A fabulously detailed, exciting, adventure filled story, it ended on a cliffhanger. Which this book starts out on.

There’s no way to go into the specifics of this intricately written, fabulously woven, adrenaline rush of a story. The characters are beautifully achieved in terms of their personalities and backgrounds, they have great storylines, and each is memorable in their own right, from the main characters to the supporting cast that have just scenes scattered throughout. They are solid and purposeful.

While I wish we could have spent more time throughout the world here to see how it differs from Earth, if any, what we do get is fascinating, so much so I hope Burns revisits this universe in the future.

The drama, the action, the downright white knuckle suspense? Amazingly well written. Especially racing towards the conclusion, where there’s fast action, shocking moments, and a great ending that awaits!

I love these characters, their journey to each other’s hearts, the race to save the Kingdom and the people. I wanted to linger to get to know them better. Especially the ones who had such an impact in such defining scenes. Grandmother, I’m looking at you.

So to the people left on Earth, there’s a chemistry and appeal to them that’s lasting. Crossover anyone?

Until that occurs, I’m highly recommending Circle The Square two book series. They must be read in order. What an absolute joy! Read them now. Then read them again, savoring the journey.

Circle the Square- 2 books

✓ The Elemental Keyes Book 1

✓ The Elemental Ruins Book 2

Buy Link:

The Elemental Ruins (Circle the Square Book 2)


This blurb contains spoilers for book one, so proceed with caution!

What do you do the day after the world doesn’t end?

If you’re River Keyes (yeah, me), you try to figure out how you’re going to live without the internet. Because we might have kept two worlds from being destroyed, but now I’m trapped in a place with no electricity, no takeout, and no phoning home.

Worse, it’s a world where my absent father is not just present, but in power, and even more of a jerk than I remember.

At least if I’ve got to be trapped away from home, there’s Lasya Zarani, hot elven general and best eye-candy ever. Once he decides whether he wants to cut me to ribbons or take me to bed, things might get interesting.

But that’s only if my father doesn’t kill one or both of us first.

The Elemental Ruins is the second of two books featuring travel between two very different worlds, a snarky criminal trapped far from home, the angry elven general he’s lusting after, his terrible father, and a few surprises along the way. It concludes the story begun in The Elemental Keyes with happily ever afters all around.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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