In a Kingdom of Ruins, The Elements Are Alive!

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Celebrate Lit strikes again! This week is Kingdom of Ruins, an out of this world adventure. This’ll be unforgettable for me, which is awesome, considering the forgetting that occurs throughout!


? Please note that I received an Advance copy of Kingdom of Ruins, which does not affect my review. My take is just that. My freely given review. Also, this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here


About the Book

Title: Kingdom of Ruins

Author: D.C. Marino

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: July 27, 2018

In the Lands Within, history does not rest. Each archaeological layer communicates with the living generation, choosing its friends and enemies—and its kings. But an alliance has been struck no one could have anticipated, and an ancient evil is soaking into the soil. History is being erased, purchased and re-written at a terrible price. And a kingdom that shouldn’t have been forgotten is fading from memory.

In the Lands Without, archaeologist Lori Brickland has found a pottery shard with a heartbeat. The pulse might be a trick of the mind, or it might be the first sign of life in a world of ruin. An exiled traveler will say she shouldn’t search for the truth, a calculating ruler will say she’s the one he’s looking for. And the kingdom? The kingdom will need her before the end. It’s time to accept what she’s always known…

This isn’t archaeology.

This is war.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Kingdom of Ruins, My Take:


A pottery shard with a heartbeat? Okay, that would freak me out! Here in the “Land Without” that’s just not normal!


Jumping into the Land Within, well, as much as I Love Narnia and a host of other stories where people from here are pulled into another world, I don’t believe I would be brave enough to go!


Miller Coutry of the Land Within is a kingdom of ruins. A small, remote community of peaceful country folk. Lots of ancient ruins scattered about, and people can actually communicate with the elements. Wind, water, soil, trees… Even the past! How cool is that!?


And yet, not long ago it looked much different. War is coming soon, can these peaceful country people stand up to the challenge?

Kingdom Examples

Meridian is so much fun! I think she is my favorite. Her spunk and energy. Determination, and loyalty to her family and her community.


Lori’s courage stood out to me because it was little decisions to work through her fears and anxiety. She would step back, talk herself through it, and try again. She had no “reputation” to protect in this place so Lori was more willing to attempt to conquer her phobias.


Makes me wonder if I would be more likely to try things if I didn’t feel like I have to maintain my reputation as the good Baptist secretary Christian homeschooling housewife…


The idea of “if these walls could talk” has always intrigued me. Now I know the answer. To be able to witness the history of a place just by walking into the room? Definitely something that could be used for good or bad. Which is very well demonstrated in Kingdom of Ruins.


What’s next? I hope to see this one become a movie! It will need major CGI talent, but I would love to see it played out on the big screen!


I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventures, archeology, mystery, and somewhat medieval settings.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the elements could communicate with us?

About the Author of Kingdom of Ruins

Kingdom of Ruins Author

D.C. Marino is a dedicated reader of history books and fantasy novels, both of which occupy an equal amount of space on her bookshelves. But it wasn’t until she realized how one breathed life into the other that she became addicted to finding the intersections of the real world and the fairy story. Still more: what those intersections about us as a creative, curious people. Kingdom of Ruins is her debut novel.

Guest Post from D.C. Marino

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share Kingdom of Ruins with you! This story has been on my heart and mind for over ten years now, so this feels a bit surreal. I’d love to tell you a bit about why I wrote this book. But in order to do that, I need to tell you why I almost didn’t.

Fantasy. It isn’t real. Why should I spend time writing a story that doesn’t grapple with the actual issues of the day? Why not speak plainly, instead of inventing another world to explore the real one? These were the questions I asked myself every night before I fell asleep. I adored fiction that transported me to factual events, or introduced me to historical figures, but every time I picked up a pen, the fantastical wiggled out of it.

I was afraid I was writing the wrong story.

This story oddly (or not so oddly) enough began with Lori, an atephobic archaeologist. Meaning she had a passion for archaeology, but a phobic fear of ruins. Why would she shrink back from the work she loved? Because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make whole the broken. Life ends in dust, and that’s all there is to it. I felt the same way. Not only was I writing something I wasn’t sure would be relevant, but could it mend anything? Make a difference? Or was it futile, like trying to resurrect the past?

What I found was exactly what Lori begins to find in Kingdom of Ruins. That even though things seem unfixable, it isn’t the end. The world Lori enters is full of darkness and peril, but it also holds a chance for her to heal from more than just her fear. While I wrote, and especially as I neared the last chapter, I realized she and I had both overcome a great challenge. I won’t tell you her conclusion, but I will tell you mine:

I wrote the right story.

I hope you enjoy every bit of the journey as I did, dear reader.

D.C. Marino


Bonus Interview

D. C. Marino did an interview recently on an authors and writers podcast. I had so much fun listening to it, that I’m sharing it here for you also.

Kingdom of Ruins Blog Tour Stops

All told this is The best way to check out a book before you buy! 

Carpe Diem, July 31

Remembrancy, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Fiction Aficionado, August 2

Multifarious, August 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 3

Connect in Fiction, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Bibliophile Reviews, August 5

A Reader’s Brain, August 6

Just the Write Escape, August 7

Margaret Kazmierczak, August 8

Aryn the Libraryan, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, August 10

proud to be an autism mom, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12

Janices book reviews, August 12

A Baker’s Perspective, August 13


To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!  Kingdom of Ruins Giveaway

10 Comments on “In a Kingdom of Ruins, The Elements Are Alive!”

  1. The neat thing about Celebrate Lit is, it’s a Tour! So we see the same book presented multiple times, from different perspectives. This one, I thought, was not to my liking, but you have tatalized me with your review.

    1. I’m glad I was able to pique your interest. That means I did my job. Which is only possible because Kingdom of Ruins is So Good!

  2. Love this review, and if I was not on the CelebrateLit tour reviewing this book I would want to after reading your review!

    1. ?? I hope you will give it a try. It’s not so far into fantasy that there are a ton of new words to learn and *most* of the characters are human. And yet, Kingdom of Ruins still stretches the imagination very nicely!

  3. When I come upon books like this I hop on it. It is hard to find clean fantasy I don’t mind morals in a story as so often clean fiction seems to have. I just don’t want them to be so obvious. Morals should be hidden within fiction not so apparent.

    1. Melissa, I’m glad you found this interesting! You’ll be glad to know that Kingdom of Ruins does not feel preachy at all.

  4. Pingback: The Best 52 Week Challenge: Join The Vintage Wren • Aryn the Libraryan

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