Gwen keeps hoping things will get easier, but it seems the universe has other plans. She and Gideon kiss, only to be interrupted by a gargoyle demon who imprints on Gwen and insists on following her everywhere she goes. If her new friend wasn’t enough, Gwen runs into her grandfather in 1948. The two bond and hatch a plan that may just keep Gwen alive.
Strong characters keep the Ruby Red Trilogy interesting. Gwen’s best friend Lesley uses the internet to run down leads for Gwen. James, a ghost (who doesn’t know he’s a ghost), teaches Gwen how to survive in the eighteenth century. Gideon is full of contradictions, which frustrates and confuses Gwen.
The second installment of the Ruby Red Trilogy, Sapphire Blue keeps the mysteries coming. Woven into action are dynamic relationships that make the characters seem real. Gwen’s relationships with her gargoyle friend and her grandfather are rich. A count, who could be evil, is thrown into the mix which will keep the reader interested in the story.
- Ruby Red ended with Gideon and Gwen kissing, which is where book two begins. Gwen thinks, “Wow, could Gideon kiss! I instantly felt green with jealousy of all the girls he’d learnt to do it with.”
- When traveling to the past, Gwen tries to explain how in her time period, she’s not too young to kiss a boy. She tells her grandfather that, “All the girls in our class are on the pill but me. . . Oh, and of course Charlotte won’t have anything to do with sex either. That’s why Gordon Gelderman calls her the Ice Queen.” When her grandfather asks, “What kind of pill?” Gwen thinks, “Oh, my God, in the year 1948, they probably had nothing but cow-gut condoms, if that.” They then decide that neither of them wants to talk about sex.
- Gwen gets upset because she thinks Gideon is “snogging” with Charlotte and her at the same time. At the end of the argument, Gideon kisses Gwen. “His hand began stroking my hair, and then, at last, I felt the gentle touch of his lips . . . It wasn’t a gentle kiss anymore, and my reaction surprised me. I had no idea how, but at some point in the next few minutes, still kissing without a break, we landed on the green sofa, and we went on kissing there until Gideon abruptly sat up. . . ”
- Charlotte is jealous and tells a boy that Gwen’s best friend isn’t “very discriminating. Particularly when she’s had a drink. She’s done the rounds of almost all the boys in our class and the class above us. I’d rather not repeat what they call her.” The boy asks, “The school mattress?”
- When Gwen travels back in time to attend a party, a woman talks about Lady Brompton, who is flirting with Gideon. Lady Brompton is a widow who, “found consolation long ago in the arms of the Duke of Lancashire, much to the duchess’s displeasure, and at the same time she’s developed a taste for rising young politicians.”
- At the party Gwen attended, she is surprised when one of the men, “made a grab for my décolletage from behind.” Later, the same man, “was unashamedly groping Lady Brompton’s bosom, on the pretext that she had a stray hair lying there.”
- When someone offers Gwen alcohol at a party, she thinks, “My only experience with alcohol date to exactly two years ago.” She then remembers how a drink that consisted of vanilla ice cream, orange juice and vodka. She recounts the different effects it had on different people.
- At breakfast, Aunt Maddie tells the group, “You can always leave out breakfast and save the calories to invest in a little glass of wine in the evenings. Or two or three little glasses of wine. The gargoyle ghost replies, “A liking for the bottle seems to run in your family.”
- Gideon kisses Gwen and she thinks, “the kiss was more intoxicating than yesterday’s evenings punch. It left me weak at the knees, and with a thousand butterflies in my stomach.” Later in the book, Gideon kisses Gwen several more times.
- One of the characters tells Gwen that Gideon’s goal was to make Gwen fall in love with him. Then the man tells Gwen that Gideon is with Lavinaia who “is one of those delightful women who enjoys passing on the benefit of their experiences to the opposite sex.”
- At the beginning of the book, a character kills a man, but the murder is not described.
- When Gideon goes back in time, someone hits him over the head, but he is not seriously injured.
- Gideon sees men fighting with swords. When Gideon recognizes one of the men, Gideon jumps in to help him. Gideon, “ran the man through the chest with it. Blood spurted from the wound, flowing profusely. . .” The remaining man runs away.
Drugs and Alcohol
- A journal entry tells Gwen about a time when two people went to a party and, “had unfortunately landed in the goldfish pool after the excessive consumption of alcohol.”
- In a journal entry, a novice went missing and when he reappeared, “unsteady on his feet and smelling of alcohol, suggesting that although he failed the test, he found the lost wine cellar.”
- When Gwen and her grandfather pass a sleeping guard, Gwen’s grandfather said, “I’m afraid he’ll never make the grade to Adept if he goes on drinking like a fish. . .”
- When Gwen travels back in time to attend a party, a woman offers her punch saying, “No one can endure this fully sober.” At first Gwen “sipped the punch hesitantly,” but then she proceeds to get drunk.
- When running across a river, a character said, “Bloody hell . . .We must run if we don’t want to fall into the middle of the river.”
- During an argument, Gwen tells Gideon that he is “such a shit.”
- A gargoyle ghost yells at Gideon, “Leave her alone. Can’t you see she’s unhappy in love, bonehead?”
- Profanity is used in the book, usually in times of emotion. The profanity includes: hell, damn, and shit.
- Gwen can see ghosts. A gargoyle ghost, Xemerius, explains how he is different than a ghost. “Ghost are only reflections of dead people who for some reason or other don’t want to leave this world. But I was a demon when I was alive. You can’t lump me in with ordinary ghosts.”
- James is a ghost who Gwen can see. However, James, not realize he is a ghost, thinks he is sick and having “fevered fantasies!”
- Xemerius gets angry when someone calls him a ghost and yells, “I’m a demon. . . A powerful demon. Conjured up by magicians and architects in the eleventh century, as you reckon time, to protect the tower of a church that isn’t standing any more these days.”
- When Gwen goes back in time, she opens a book with the picture of “a demon of the Hindu Kush, who brought disease, death and war.” Gwen is surprised when the demon begins talking to her. They have a short conversation. When Gwen turns the page, the demon disappears.
- One of the people that Gwen meets in the past said, “There is nothing the church fears more than the discovery by human beings that God is not sitting far away in heaven, determining our fate, but is within us . . . It is always refreshing to discuss such blasphemous notions with you children of the twenty-first century, who do not bat an eyelash at the thought of heresy.”