League of Legends hit a brilliant start in their step in the media world with Arcane, the hit Netflix show. Developing this further is the expansion of the League of Legends Universe with Ruination.
The book by Anthony Reynolds tells of the heartbreaking story of Camavor and its inhabitants. With themes of family, loyalty, pride, and corruption, this is not a light-hearted novel.
However, with the Runeterra history being large and vast, Reynolds had a tough audience to please. But for me in particular? He has done an excellent job.
So, let's take a deep dive into Ruination, the League of Legends novel and see how the book played out.
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League of Legends book detailing
Receiving the book from Riot Games was an amazing experience. Opening to a beautifully designed hardback book with a fitted sleeve which was also beautifully designed was a treat.
You can feel the weight and quality of the paper used in this book. Nothing short of perfection for the royalty within.
Character design and relationships
Jumping straight into my favourite parts of this novel. Of course, the land descriptions were great and gorgeous. However, nothing compares to how real and authentic Anthony Reynolds made the character feel.
Comparing the book to time spent in the game, it felt like an intimate viewing of the champions I have seen on a daily basis for the last 10 years. Kalista went from a few pixels on my screen to a full-blown character with relationships, emotions and life.
And boy, the struggles that she goes through are enough to make a grown man cry. The feelings and emotions I felt going through this book were so cathartic and that's purely from the brilliant character design.
Of course, the League of Legends game already has a basis for their personality, but Reynolds really made the characters his own and developed them out.
No Kalista romance
One aspect of the relationships which would have been an easy trap for Reynolds to fall into is too many romance arcs. The key romantic relationship is of course between Viego and Isolde, and adding any more to the mix would have been too much and taken away from the key plotlines.
This is why Kalista not having a blatant romantic interest is great for the plot of the play. Not only would it take away from the key lovers, but her militia-style nature would be softened too much. I think with a romance arc for Kalista, the book would have suffered.
League of Legends easter eggs
One thing that I was excited about was the easter eggs in the book. Spending years of my life playing the game felt like it had all come to something when I understood the intricacies of the lore.
Smaller characters within the book may have lead others to delve into the League of Legends lore on the internet. However, fans of the game would definitely be a little more clued up than the average fan.
The way these easter eggs were implemented was not in a pompous way. Anthony seemed to be very conscious about making the book approachable for people not interested in the game too.
Because of this, I have quite easily told friends to read this novel. Without any fear of them not understanding it.
Some of the major themes within the novel are family, loyalty, and privilege. As Kalista struggles to make decisions about her actions, there is a constant threat overhead which adds suspense to the plotline. This is an incredibly hard feat, considering the fans reading this know how the book plays out.
Despite how gently Anthony Reynolds can write, I did find that there was some clunky handline of one of the key themes. The idea of privilege and royalty was thrust in the reader's face instead of implied.
The use of metaphors and imagery to help illuminate themes is a much more effective way to get a message across. Sadly, there wasn't much of this within the story when it came to the theme of privilege.
The themes of family and loyalty really shine through the relationship between Viego and Kalista. When she is tasked between the two is when the plot really gets exciting.
The book comes in at a large 407 pages which made it quite a delivery to receive. Despite the quantity of the book, I found myself drifting from page to page really easily.
The pacing was perfect, with moments of high energy and moments of slowness too. However, one thing that never changes was how I never wanted to put the book down. This book was truly an enjoyable experience.
I wish I had a time machine to go back and read it for the first time.