I'll admit it: I started to read them because of the covers. I mean, look at them! I'd read about them in several blogs before but I thought it would be just another novel for teenagers and wasn't that interested. And, while that's exactly what this trilogy is, it has a very enjoyable story.
Rubinrot (Ruby Red), Saphirblau (Sapphire Blue), and Smaragdgrün (Emerald Green) are the original titles of the three books written by German author Kerstin Gier. They tell us the story of Gwendolyn Shepherd, a 16 year-old girl from London who has the ability of seeing ghosts since she was a child. Her family does not believe her despite the fact that her cousin, Charlotte, is thought to be the twelfth time traveller mentioned in Count Saint Germain's prophecies.
So when it's Gwen and not Charlotte whose powers are revealed after she unintentionally jumps in time, Gwen is taken to the Lodge of Count Saint Germain, a secret society that has been gathering the blood of the twelfe time travellers, as they are supposed to be the key to the salvation of humanity. Gwen is the last of them and also the Ruby, the one time traveller that plays an essential role in all of this.
However, Gwen is sent to travel to the past on several missions to gather the blood of her cousin Lucy and of Paul de Villiers, who stole the chronograph, the instrument that allows time travellers to control which point in the past they are jumping to, in order to close the blood circle. And she won't be alone: the arrogant but handsome Gideon de Villiers is going to be her partner. Could love get in the way of their mission?
I actually enjoyed this trilogy. I've always liked the whole time-travelling idea and fantasy in general. While the main plot is not the most innovative plot ever, the author brings to life a creative setting and some very lovable characters. The lodge, which reminds of a sect, has a very interesting back-story. It's good that the author includes excerpts of the Annals of the Lodge, as they give us not only "factual" information, but also clues to what is happening without the main characters knowing.
The time-travelling itself is not bad, although deep down I wished for Gwen and the other characters to be involved in main historical events, at least indirectly. Or that they were mentioned, maybe? However, this is justified by the fact that time travellers are not allowed to change the course of history.
But I didn't like some other things. Gwen herself, to begin with, at some points was annoying, being more preocupied with how handsome Gideon is and also what a big a-hole he is most of the time and how much she hates him and how badly she's falling in love with him. I don't think I'm spoiling it for anyone here by saying that it's obvious that, despite the first impressions, they are inevitably going to become an item. Their romantic involvement becomes too big of a sub-plot, especially in the third book, during which more lodge-related action should be happening. I know it's a novel for teenagers, more specifically for girls, but still...
I actually didn't mind that the books are somewhat predictable. Some major plot points that are supposed to be big, shocking revelations, were easy to figure out in the first book. There are some parts of the time-travelling chronology that had me confused, especially in the second book. And I don't understand why Gwen's family, who is perfectly aware that "supernatural" things happen in that universe (they are carriers of the time-travelling gene, for crying out loud!), fail to believe her when she claims that she can see dead people... especially when this is mentioned in the prophecies. Oh well, I guess our main character needs to be some sort of outcast/socially awkward penguin because that's how female protagonists roll these days. Apparently.
And I didn't like Xemerius. Nor Gideon. There, I said it. But I declare my inconditional love for Leslie Hay. YA literature needs more best friends like her.
However, my inner 15-year-old enjoyed this trilogy enough and I know that I would have loved it and obsessed over it at said age. It's not really meant for adult readers to give it a go, so if you do, don't expect something very deep and mature. Maybe it will help you find out if love really stands the test of time.