Debut author D. c. Marino does this exact thing, taking the world we know and combining it with one of imagination in such a way as to draw the reader in and invite her to stay a while.

Lori Brickland fears ruins. Her inability to put together the pieces of history hound her, at times making her physically ill. A most unfortunate malady for an archaeologist—and an excellent archaeologist at that.

When an artifact at an exhibit and a man who attends said exhibit capture her notice, she finds herself entering the Lands Within. Through a wormhole!

In this new land, nature reacts, reaches out, listens, and draws out secrets. Here, the past speaks to Lori, but sharing with her new friends causes dire consequences.

Marino peels back the layers of the land and people to reveal the mysteries surrounding them after the reader has become friends with the characters, making you root for them.

With rich, expressive descriptions and characters that leave an impression, Kingdom of Ruins held me captive until the epic culmination of everything leading up to the climax. And hints at things to come in the future of this series.

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