Book Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera
Ruined by Amy Tintera
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined – completely lacking any magic – she is determined to get revenge.
Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everyone he holds dear, including his son.
The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life – and her family – on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
I received a review copy of Ruined by Amy Tintera from Allen and Unwin in exchange for an honest review, this has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
A couple of years ago I read Reboot by Amy Tintera and enjoyed it, I was fascinated by the world that she builds and how unique the characters were so when I heard she was writing a high fantasy, I knew I had to read it, and I was not disappointed. Actually I was quite surprised with how much I liked it. It’s been hit or miss for many people so I was nervous going into it, but like I said I was so surprised by how much I did like it.
Ruined follows protagonist Emelina Flores as she begins her revenge on the kingdom that murdered her parents and kidnapped her younger sister. She infiltrates the royal family, impersonates a royal and marries Prince Casimir, the next in line for the throne.
Ruined is told in a dual point of view, one being Emelina who is thirsty for blood, ready to deceive and kill anyone that stands in her way. And then Casimir, who is sweet and sometimes naive, but as the story goes on he sees that everything isn’t always what it seems and maybe things that you were taught aren’t always true.
I adored the world of Ruined, it was captivating and I wanted to know more and more as the story went on. The magic was fascinating, but also terrifying. There is no real ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in Ruined. The Lera Kingdom kills a ruined they see on site or hold and torture them, they have basically persecuted them. However the Ruined have such strong powers that they have tortured the humans of the world.
Emelina is a ruined, but without powers and even she does some pretty horrible things throughout the novel, and even thinks about doing some more, yet you sympathised for her as the story goes on and you understand what happened.
And even though Emelina is full of revenge, I loved being in her point of view. She was intriguing and I wanted to know more and more about her. She cares for all the ruined and wants to be able to make them proud, and nothing will get in the way. When she was dancing with Casimir at their wedding, she thinks of ways to kill him and I could not help, buy laugh – because of the contrast.
I also enjoyed Casimir as a point of view – he is the total opposite of Emelina, but they click with each other in a way. Casimir has been brought up to think that the ruined were horrible people, but with the help of Emelina and a few others he sees that might not be the case.
There was many twists and turns in Ruined and I was kept on the edge of my seat, you didn’t know what was going to happen next and I managed to read it in a couple of hours.
I disliked Casimir’s family with a passion all of them. They are controlling, annoying and I wanted to hit them all across the head. They never took anything Casimir said into account and anything that he said or did was automatically wrong.
The romance in Ruined was slow burning and sweet and even then they didn’t truly get together. They both are so strong and as the novel goes on we get to see them care for each other even when secrets were revealed.
The ending – holy moly. It was so intense, I was turning page after page. I cannot believe the way it ended and I am in so need of the next book – like now. I need to know what on earth is going to happen.
Overall, I loved Ruined. The world was fascinating, the characters, both intriguing and entertaining. Ruined explores what people would do for revenge, how our thoughts are created by our surroundings and how our feelings can change for people they you think that you hate. It was a brilliant, high fantasy and I am ecstatic to read more.