Book Review

Book Review: Reign & Ruin (Mages of the Wheel #1) by J.D. Evans

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 420 pages
Author: J.D. Evans
Publisher: Whippoorwill Press LLC
Release Date: January 18th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


“All magic is beautiful,” she said, “and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.”

She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy.

She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man’s place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people.

His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war.

Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion.

They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm…

Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.


Uhm, this was fine.

But I realize I don’t love a fantasy standalone series (turns out each of these books is a different couple). It makes the romance pacing feel too fast, but the larger plot and world building feel to slow. It is not a match made in heaven.

The book gets off to an awful start. Completely thrown in without any clue to the world and I was lost for at least the first 10%. Once I got a hang of things and settled in, the story was much more enjoyable. I liked the story and the general concepts of the larger overarching plotlines. The elemental magic, a woman rising in power, a wheel that needs to keep on turning, all things I like.

I did find that the romance grew on me (even if, as I mentioned, too fast). It was kind of an instant attraction but not instant love. They definitely got to know one another and figure out what side of the line they stood on, and if that was going to be together. I really think a slower burn would have helped over the course of multiple books, but it is what it is.

I don’t have plans to continue this series.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: open door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, a parent losing their memories, battle themes

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph || TikTok

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s