Okay, so. This isn’t going to be the most traditional post ever. But that is okay! Because it’s going to be ALL about fangirling and fantasy, and I know you all like that stuff. We all like this! What could be more fun?!! Anyway, a little bit more about what prompted this fangirling session in particular. Here you have a little screenshot of a page of Goodreads. Please direct your gaze right to the ‘read’ markers on books by Ruthanne Reid, and keep in mind that there are, in fact, no books without one (if you see one without a star rating, that’s just me being lazy!)
An screenshot of all the books Ruthanne Reid has listed on Goodreads, with the markers saying that I’ve read all of them
Anyway. Do you know that that means?
Yes, my dear friends, that means utter and absolute OBSESSION.
I am obssessed with Ruthanne Reid’s books at the moment. And tough luck, because as it seems to me and might be evident to you from the above-mentioned screenshot, that I MAY HAVE RUN OUT OF HER BOOKS.
While I know Ruthanne has one in the works, I am still WOEFULLY LEFT WITHOUT ANYTHING TO READ BY HER in the meantime.
A hand drawn illustration of a comic me, crying a lot of tears
Aaaaanyway. So the next best thing, my ultimate solution to this is… to post a fangirling post.
Isn’t this what we generally do in this community in cases like these??
An image of books by Ruthanne Reid lined up: The Christmas Dragon, Strings, The Sundered, For Daws to Peck at and Half-Shell Prophecies
I fell in love with Ruthanne’s writing back when I first tried The Sundered, a sort of dystopian fantasy of hers. You might remember me raving about how wonderful it was in this post. The book was so smart, colorful and inventive, it completely blew my mind. However, I didn’t jump straight to reading her other books right away. The Sundered is a book that needs time to sit in your head. I couldn’t just jump straight into another plot.
And now I’m happy I didn’t! Because as it so happens, The Sundered is sort of set in the same world as the rest of the books by Ruthanne Reid, but it’s not part of any common story. And the rest of the books are wildly different from that one, although mostly just in the feel and attitude, not in the tension, adventure, buildup or imagination. They excell in those! Now that I’ve read all the other books, I’d like to tell you more about them, and why I love this whole Among the Mythos series so much.
Now the funny thing is, I’m not exactly a fantasy reader much.
There’s something decidedly weird about not really being a fantasy reader, but falling neck deep into a world of dragons, vampires, warlocks and whatnot (I say whatnot, because Ruthanne’s fantasy world is about the richest one I’ve ever seen, in terms of types of magical folk! And while I say I may not enjoy fantasy much, I’ve read it to know the typical fantasy creatures and races.) It’s all the stuff I never cared about in books! But somewhow, Ruthanne just makes me dig it all. I don’t get it!! WHAT IS THIS MAGIC, AUTHOR?? (See what I did there. *wink*)
So why should you read this series?
I really don’t want to go into the plot of either of the books too much because I didn’t intend for this to be a review, so what I’m going to do instead is list all the things why you’d want to pick this series up! And here they are.
#1. Ruthanne Reid has really fleshed this world out
I really love it when authors create these incredibly independent imaginary universes, and all their books only continue to fill those worlds up! It makes them so very real. As for the Ruthanne’s magical world, I truly believe it exists out there somewhere: a world with tiny oblivious humans who don’t know what’s right under their noses (maybe not our world. But it’s out there somewhere.) Ruthanne Reid has chosen the best way to write a fantasy series, in my opinion. If you’re writing SFF books and you choose to write every book of yours, ever, set in the same universe – then it’s altogether a completely different beast from any other SFF book out there. I wish more authors did this. It’s just so magical.
So the world Ruthanne writes is called The Mythos, and the series is called Among the Mythos. That’s because it talks about all the creatures ‘Among the Mythos’ (actually, it is also the polite way to introduce yourself, if you’re one of the magical folk in this series.)
An actually accurate depiction of Merlin in these books – wearing the funny robe and hat, and wielding a magic want. The Mythos Merlin is the kind of person who will wear such a robe and hat because thinks it’s funny. You get to do that when you’re hundreds of years old.
This world has quite a few different species of magic users, and each books goes into more detail about one or the other race of magical people. But apart from that, there are also a handful of major characters which we will be following throughout the books and novellas – pretty much all books switch to a new characters that we’ve met before as a side character, which makes the world so much more real and allows you to understand it so much better.
#2. It’s all so well thought-through
Part of the same reason, but the author seems to have thought things through so well. There seem to be no loopholes, and yet there’s so much detail and intricacy! Ruthanne, do you spend days daydreaming about this place? How DID you manage to build it up so logically?
And what I like best about it is that when an author has thought things through like that, it always seems like they have so much more up their sleeve that they’re not telling you – which is what makes that world seem so real. By reading the story, you’re only glimpsing it – the story world exists independently of you, the reader. Thats what makes all the difference for me!
#3. The characters are really awesome
It’s funny, but basically, I’m in love with every single one of the larger characters in this series. (Okay, maybe not Ravena. But JUST her. You’ll know why when you read it!) But I love them all in different ways and for different things! They’re either relatable, or charming, or awe-inspiring… All so unique. It really is impressive that Ruthanne Reid made me fall even for the guy who was really something of a villain in the first story. Go figure!@RuthanneReid makes all of her characters so irresistible - some are relatable, some charming or awe-inspiring - all so unique! Read more reasons why you should pick up the Among the Mythos #fantasy series: Click To Tweet
#4. It’s the dream of a fantasy reader, in terms of magical people
All the magical beings this world are so varied and interesting. It’s got EVERYTHING! Like Fey that are bards and basically eat your emotions. Vampires, but ones that are just so much classier than most of their other renditions. Dragons (no explanation needed!) Then she’s got a whole pantheon of creatures and races I’ve never even heard of – like these weird angel-like time-crazed Guardians, or people of the Sun or the Dream. They’re all so interesting to learn about, and they’ve all got backstories. I swear, Ruthanne, your dreams must be pretty damn interesting! Because where do you even get an this. So much imagination!
#5. The adventure and action is so well-written
Every single story that I’ve read by Ruthanne Reid has been packed with just the right amount of action. Aside from not being a fantasy fan, I’m also one of those readers that kind of struggles with action – there are many books where I have to go back during an action scene and try to work out what’s going on and why. Not so with these books! There were so many places where I zoned out things my family was saying to me because I was glued to the page. And yet I didn’t get lost! This action reads just right.Just the right amount of action, loads of magical creatures with backstories, an immersive world and witty, charming characters - what more could you want in a #fantasy book series? Read more: Click To Tweet
So… Anyway. I could go on!
But this post is already getting seriously bloated and I have my honest reasons to believe none of you will even read it to the end! So just find out for yourselves! Just know that this series is really worth your time.
And now that you’ve decided to heed my words and read it, where should you start? It can be kind of confusing, so I thought l’d give you a handle on that too. Actually, Ruthanne Reid has a little guide on where to start right here, but she sort of also says they may be read in any order and are standalone – I wouldn’t agree, because had I started elsewhere, I would have got very confused about the characters! You can read The Sundered as a standalone, but for the rest of the series I suggest you stick with the series numbers!
So where DOES it start?
It all starts out with The Christmas Dragon, a novelette about a dragon, left to hatch on the doorstep of a young woman who would really, really, REALLY love to NOT to be part of the family that came from Merlin! While the guy himself is pretty great (and still alive and kicking), the rest of the family really balances him out with their pettiness – and we don’t even need to meet them to take Katie’s – the main character’s – word on it.
I won’t spoil the first story for you – it’s short, and it’s a sweet introduction to Ruthanne’s wonderful world of deranged magic wielders. Since it’s short, some of you might think it’s fine to skip it – but it’s not (I almost did – I have this thing where I prefer full-length books.) Well, don’t! You need to read it – it’s a great intro. I enjoyed it, and while I didn’t love it as much as I loved the books that come next, it’s completely instrumental in introducing you to the characters. Plus, the little dragon is just way too cute!
Is it all just novelletes and short stories?
No, but this next one is as well (you can think of it as a year-end “reach my Goodreads goal” boost!) It’s called Strings, and oh god, it’s so much fun! Strings branches out to talk more about one of the characters we met the first story, and since I LOVED him in that one, I had no trouble gobbling it up. Grey is a Fey that’s essentially a very attractive magical bard, who works his magic through song and music, making it into raw emotion. He’s such a fun character! Full of himself, but in such a sweet, adorable way. Seriously, Ruthanne writes it better than I do, and I’m afraid to mangle all the names and terms, so just read Strings yourself!
But aside from that, the story also makes some important character introductions. If I loved Grey, I absolutely ADORED Notte. He’s this ages old super refined vampire gentleman with impeccable style, and he owns everyone with his charm – despite being on the other side of the page than he is, I was wondering whether his magic was working on me!! You’d think it’s bound to be corny, but it’s just so classy instead (I am fawning.) Seriously, Ruthanne, how did you not fall for Notte as you were writing him? Or did you? He’s an irresistible character, I’ll give you that. And I am happy, because I know Ruthanne is currently writing something about him!!! (CAN. NOT. WAIT.)
I also loved the tone of the book, and a lot of that is to do with Grey being the main character of this one. (The tone changes slightly from book to book due to that!) Strings is a very whimsical novelette and it goes down super well for the kind of story it is. It reads fast and pleasantly. And it’s not just that – it is also a truly touching, even heart-breaking story.
No, but seriously, novelettes all the way down? NO!!!
Here we finally come to the first full length book! It’s called The Half-Shell Prophecies. This one just carries on with the plot that was hinted at in the first two, and let me tell you, I couldn’t get my nose out of the book. I finished it within two days. It’s full of action, snarky characters, could-be romance between enemies to lovers, no less (pulled off really well! You might know that I normally hate this trope, here’s why) and all sorts of other wacky things. It was great!
And after that there’s a ton of short stories…
As we’re waiting for Ruthanne Reid’s next book, Beloved, Notte – we get to learn more about this wonderful world of hers through a lot of short stories, most of which are accessible on her website. Tons of them! For free! What are you waiting for?
This post is already as long as it needs to be (and, in fact, maybe even a little longer than that.) So I’m just going to stop here, hope against hope that you’ve read till the end and wonder if you’ll buy the book so we can fangirl together! I also SWEAR that Ruthanne Reid has nothing to do with my incredibly over the top fangirling – yes, I have received the books from her for free in exchange for a review, but some of those I received maybe 3 years ago and I honestly should have reviewed them earlier. My fangirling is completely voluntary and only initiated by my crazy NEED FOR THE REST OF THE BOOKS TO JUST BE PUBLISHED ALREADY! Hah. My monster side came out. Figure that. Maybe I’m Kin myself (read it and you’ll know what that is!) Anyway. Please read these books!!!5 reasons why you should read the Among the Mythos #fantasy #SFF series by @RuthanneReid: Click To Tweet
Have I convinced you to try any of the books by Ruthanne Reid? And have you read any fantasy series you’re just as fond of as I am of Among the Mythos?
I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.