Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

Series: Ruined #1

ruined -amy tinteraEmelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

4 Drink Me Potions

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

**Ruined comes out May 3, 2016**

I am a huge fan of Amy Tintera and her latest novel, starting an epic new trilogy, is no exception. Ruined is the fantasy book I’ve been waiting for this year. It is action-packed, brimming with betrayal and love and fear, as we follow one young woman’s quest in taking down a nation who nearly wiped out her whole race.

Em was a kick-ass heroine. She is one of the last of the Ruined’s royal family still alive. In this land where Ruined were graced with immense power and magic, they are now sought out and hunted as the other kingdoms feared what they are capable of. Out for revenge, she plots this absolutely crazy plan to take down her enemies, almost single handedly.

And the craziest thing of all? She doesn’t even have any Ruined magic in her.

Yes, this book sounds a little like Red Queen but in ways, I like this better. Its simplicity makes it more intriguing without all the unnecessary back twists and unforeseen events. The romance was also very believable and sweet.

Cas had never really understood what it meant to be hunting down the Ruined. They were being tried and caught for crimes against their people, right? Unfortunately, he had to learn the hard way that things weren’t as they seemed, and he would have to pick a side. Em pushed him to open his eyes and see, really see, just what he was allowing to happen. And amidst her misgivings about who he was related to, Em found it hard not to fall for him. He understood her more than she thought he would, but would he really feel the same way once he found out about her true identity?

I loved their interactions and the build-up to the events at the end. I wished Ruined was longer because I felt there could be so much more to flesh out if given the chance. Cas’ royal family was easy to dislike, while there were complicated feelings for the supposed “good guys” fighting on Em’s side. At the end of the day, everyone has an agenda or motive for what they do, and they’ll have to pick whose side they would stand by. As for Cas and Em, they made a good pairing. They complemented each other in areas the other lacks. And they did what they did because they believed wholeheartedly in their reasons.

Oh boy, and that ending! It wasn’t necessarily a cliffhanger, but it made me wish for the next book already. I wish I wouldn’t have to wait a whole year for it, but I’m pretty sure that I do. All I can say is, whether you were a fan of Tintera or not, this book is worth checking out as soon as it hit stores.

Overall Recommendation:
Ruined was full of action, forbidden romance and secret agendas as kingdoms come to war against each other. Hunted for who they were, Em sets off with the most dangerous plan to get back at her enemies. By impersonating and marrying into her enemy’s family. Little did she know, things were about to get a whole lot more complicated with Cas than she anticipated. Following the POVs of both characters, Ruined was an easy and fast read as the tensions built up. I was flipping hastily to figure out how it would all end – how Cas would react to her deception – and all too soon, it ended explosively. This is one beautiful novel that you don’t want to miss if you’re a lover of fantasy.

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