As I prepare to write my post for today, I suspect that what will emerge will be less book review, more love letter.
Or perhaps the story of a reading experience.
I'll preface this by saying that, because I did not read the Harry Potter books until I read them aloud with my son (an experience I wouldn't trade for the world), I missed out on the anticipation, the excitement, the celebration of each new release. I didn't get swept up in the Twilight craze and didn't read them until all four books had already been published. I did catch the tail end of The Hunger Games fever, only having to wait a couple of months for the final book in the series. I read DIVERGENT and INSURGENT this spring and, while I'm looking forward to ALLEGIANT and plan to buy and read it the day it comes out, I'm not, shall we say, obsessed.
Not like I'm obsessed with the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier.
The what, you ask?
I stumbled upon RUBY RED in the spring of 2012 when it was advertised in an issue of Shelf Awareness (btw, if you're not a subscriber, you should be). I was intrigued by the blurb and its lovely, London-y cover. And then I found the hardcover (with a rich, gorgeous jeweled cover) on the shelf at my local library. ON THE SHELF.
London! Time travel! Ancient mysteries! Historical settings! Romance! A spunky, sassy MC! London! Gideon! All my favorite things!
I read it. And read it again. I raved about this book. I blogged about it. I tweeted about it.
Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon—the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red is young adult novel full of fantasy and romance.I was crushed when I learned that I had to wait several months for the second book in the trilogy, SAPPHIRE BLUE.
Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.
At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.I waited. I considered learning German so that I could purchase and read all three books in the trilogy IMMEDIATELY (well, immediately after I learned German proficiently).
The day arrived. Here's a blurb from an email I sent to fellow devotee Jaime the day SAPPHIRE BLUE came out:
Okay, so I downloaded SAPPHIRE BLUE the minute it was available (at like 12:10 am). Apparently everyone else on the planet had the same idea because I fell asleep while I was still in the queue. I just read the entire thing. I'm going to write about it tomorrow, but can I just say that my heart has been RIPPED OUT. You know how people say they feel ALL the emotions? That is me, right now. I physically feel ALL the emotions. I can't wait to read it again tonight. Oh, Gideon....
And then. And then I had to wait twelve long months for the last book in the series, EMERALD GREEN.
Twelve arduous months of speculation and longing and being so anxious to find out what happens to the Ruby and the Diamond.
During this time, I was also taunted by this, video clips and trailers for the film Rubinrot, which opened in Germany on March 14, 2013:
I watched every trailer, every clip, with hope that it would be released in the US. I'm still waiting to find out.
In April, my sister traveled to Spain. Since I'd studied Spanish for seven years and was much better at reading it than speaking it, I asked her to pick up a copy of ESMERALDA. I could not wait to find out what happened, and I would do whatever it took to do so.
I failed. My Spanish skills are severely lacking, even with a dictionary.
I had to wait for October 8, just like everyone else.
Except I didn't.
This past Saturday my daughter and I were running errands and we popped into Barnes & Noble. Just in case.
And there it was, waiting for me in all its lovely emerald glory.
I read EMERALD GREEN that night.
Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.
She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.
Emerald Green is the stunning conclusion to Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red Trilogy, picking up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.
Everything I loved about RUBY RED and SAPPHIRE BLUE is there in EMERALD GREEN. The final book in the trilogy was very satisfying indeed and I'm sad that the story has come to an end.
As I sat at the table Wednesday night re-reading the last few pages, my son said, "No matter how many times you read a book, there's nothing quite like that first time you read it, right, Mom?"
It's true, but that hasn't stopped me from reading RUBY RED and SAPPHIRE BLUE several times. I want this experience to continue, so I've started listening to the audio books and I LOVE it. Fantastic. It has added even more to this reading experience.
The three books of the Ruby Red trilogy quickly and easily have found their way onto my list of favorites. I hope that they'll find their way onto yours.
Have you read the Ruby Red books? What are some of your favorite trilogies or series?
And don't forget to enter for your chance to win from this month's treasure chest!