Book Review: THE RUBY KNIGHT by David Eddings

Title in yellow on red wit
Genre: Fantasy (quest/classic)
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - second book in trilogy

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE DIAMOND THRONE*

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE RUBY KNIGHT: title in yellow below the white name on red with fancy swirls

Time is running out for Queen Ehlana. If she is to be saved, Sparhawk must find the only cure – a powerful artefact called the Bhelliom – before it’s too late.

But finding the rose-shaped sapphire is no simple task. No one has set eyes upon it since it was lost in the heat of a legendary battle.

To make matters worse, Sparhawk and his allies are not the only party questing to find the jewel.

Synopsis taken from the back of book. Add to your Goodreads shelves here.


Review:

This is my least favourite of the trilogy, because it’s the most “traditional” quest fantasy. Sparhawk now knows what he’s searching for and is on the hunt for it. Enemies are on his tail, and it’s not as easy to find the Bhelliom (the sapphire rose, hence the next book’s name) as he’d hoped. There are multiple attacks on them from disposable attackers.

I do, however, like the trail they need to follow in order to find Bhelliom, as it requires a bit of work (and for the noble knights to interact differently than they might usually.) They are pretty lucky to find the first bit of information, but I’m a bookworm and lover of stories, so it’s more fun than “go past the big blue rock that looks like an ogre” etc set of clues.

Unlike modern fiction, there isn’t really any tension within the group, beyond one incident (which is magic-induced.) Coming from this modern perspective, it does feel a little bit like a missed opportunity to add some dynamics within the long travelling section. They just all get along and do the job as they’re military men knowing they’re working for the wider good? However, the group are well realised and I enjoy their various forms of humour.

We start to get hints of what exactly the final conflict is going to be. The prologue of Book 1 gives a pretty big clue, but this one starts to show what Sparhawk’s role will be. It’s a nice use of the very deliberate (and kinda obvious) form of foreshadowing that is so characteristic of this sub-genre.

The “relationship” is starting to be set up/hinted at in this book (and the language of “beautiful girl-child” gives you an idea of what’s going to happen and, yup, it’s EEEK in a bad way.) There’s also a fair bit of sexism again. Women are maidens or whores/seductress, and “not like other women” comes up a few times.

The next book, though, is my favourite of the trilogy, so onwards!


Read my reviews of other books by David Eddings:

The Elenium (this series):

The Tamuli (chronologically after the Elenium):

The Belgariad:

The Malloreon (chronologically after the Belgariad):

Companions to the Belgariad and the Malloreon:

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