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A Heart Full of Malice is enchanting in its descriptions, alluring in the beauty of its word choice. The author displays a masterful grasp on language, every sentence serves a point and no word goes to waste.
Not only did it provide something different from the typical fantasy fare, but the prose fit the story perfectly and our judges were immediately drawn in. Once we were hooked our judges loved the characters. 
Some of which I already mentioned. I really loved the way the author handled multiple characters, the detailed world building, and some really bad-ass fighting scenes! I must give a round of applause for the battle scenes especially.
First in a trilogy from the Fractured Kingdom series, Debajo promises a fascinating, adventurous tale that deals with survival, inter-tribal warfare, sibling rivalry, retribution, injustice and familial heritage. 
Debajo has included a wealth of information in the glossary that is a valuable lesson on the culture that I’ve not gotten anywhere else.
It is a fast-paced, well-written, action-packed story. I enjoyed reading up on the royal family of Ile-Ife as they struggle to grasp their divine purpose in ancient times.
In the Shadow of Ruin is an action-packed book that is heavily inspired and based on ancient Nigerian folklore and I loved to see these stories through these characters. I’m a big fan of mythology and folklore and love when books take inspiration from them, especially when done so carefully.
This culturally rich book made me feel as though I was stepping into a piece of African mythology. Despite military conflict being at the heart of this story, it pays homage to various beliefs and practices that make each tribe unique. 
The pace of this novel flows fairly steadily with increases during the fight sequences. I found it difficult to put down and really enjoyed all the lore and back stories that added colour to the misery and determination of the battle scenes.
Tony’s writing style perfectly suits the plot. It’s concise while also evoking an atmosphere that won’t let you drop the book.
 The author did a fantastic job with his world-building.
Tony Debajo returns to the world of the Fractured Kingdom with his second installation in the series: A Heart Full of Malice. Just as lush and intricate as In the Shadow of Ruin, A Heart Full of Malice opens with the visceral reactions to the events that closed the first book. 
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