Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Ruined #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication date: May 3rd, 2016
Emelina 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.
“I certainly have never had to pretend to be weak. But your mother is right. There’s a benefit to being underestimated.”
I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages because I’ve only seen positive things about this and it made me even more excited to pick it up, so because the last book in the series will be releases in a couple of months I decided it was about time to do so. And I’m so glad I made that decision, because it was an amazing book.
I don’t know what I was expecting about this book, but somehow I pictured something that ended up being entirely different, in a good way. I like when I’m surprised like that while picking a book, because not only it creates a better reading experience, but also it keeps me interested. And that’s mainly what happened with Ruined.
“Kind, reasonable, thoughtful. It wasn’t ‘love’ or an admission of wild, passionate feelings, but he realized he liked her three words more. ‘Love’ would have been easy, another easy lie in a long line of lies. ‘Love’ would be easy to dismiss.”
This book was more a character driven type of story. Because most of the times it took place in the palace, there wasn’t a very complex world building or anything else. At the beginning, we were explained how magic worked and the wars between the Ruined and the non magical people, yada yada yada. It was a bit slow just because of that, and it took a bit for the plot to finally start to develop.
Like I said, it was mostly focused on the characters and their dynamics during most of the time. I didn’t have much problem with that, since I enjoyed their interactions throughout the story and the relationships formed between them. I think the romance wasn’t fast or insta love-y, and it took its time to happen, and I loved the interactions between Em and Cas, mostly because they were adorable and so pure (if we forget what happened at the very beginning and Em’s first intentions).
I enjoyed Em’s development so much. I know that she has very completely different ideas at the end of the novel than at the beginning, but I liked how it was done and put in the story. It was easy to understand her reasons, and I was happy to see that she was a non magical MC, just to make the story a bit different.
“The only way to find peace was to kill everyone who threatened it.”
It was a bit hard to get into at first. I don’t know if it was me being in the middle of a reading slump had anything to do with it, but it took me a while to really focus on the story. However, once I did I flew through it (it sometimes happens, I can’t do much about it).
And guys, what an ending! Remember what I said about the book being slow burning and a character driven story? Well, the ending was so action packed and with lots of twists and turns that I was shook and at the edge of my seat. It created a very interesting feeling for me to immediately want to pick up the sequel (which I did), and I was glad to see that.
Overall, I think Ruined was a very intriguing and political book, and though at times it was a bit slow and there wasn’t much world building, I still enjoyed it so much, and spoiler alert: I enjoyed the sequel even more!
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