Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ruined (Ruined #1)
by Amy Tintera

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

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.

If you haven't read this book yet, then you need to stop what you are doing and read this book ASAP. I had this book on my kindle for a long time, but I never got around to reading it until recently. I HATE THAT I PUT OFF READING THIS BOOK FOR THAT LONG! 

Anyway, time to actually talk about this book. 

The world in this book was AWESOME. I really liked the world Amy created and the way she introduced the new world. The world building felt natural and well paced. She revealed enough information so I could understand what was happening, but she did leave me wanting more. I do think some things were a little vague, so I am hoping for more explanations in the next book! 

I LOVED learning about the different cultures in this world. I found it so interesting that each group of people in this book could be viewed as morally grey. It was so interesting to look at the conflict in the book from the two battling sides. It was easy to sympathize with both the Lera and the Ruined. THEY ARE BOTH BASICALLY EVIL (well more like some of the rulers are) BUT I ALSO SYMPATHIZE WITH THEM AND I LOVE IT. I thought that was a brilliant move on Amy's part because it makes it hard to root for one side of the conflict. I am so excited and scared to see where Amy takes that part of the story in the next book. 

The two main characters, Em and Cas were just perfect. Cas was literally the epitome of a cinnamon roll who could kill you. Cas was adorable, caring, and just so loveable. HOWEVER, he was also super sassy and a skilled swordsman?! Seriously, he was so freaking witty and sassy. I LOVED IT. His banter with the other characters, especially Em, was on point! He was a little too trusting at times, so I hope he works on that. 


Em was a freaking badass. I loved how Em was constantly thinking about ways to kill the people around her. She could play being polite to those around her but on the inside, she was like "oh, I am going to STAB THE CRAP OUT OF YOU." She did NOT let the powerful men (or women for that matter) push her around, especially when they tried to say she was weak. Em stood her ground and proved she was not someone to be messed with. 

It was awesome, to say the least. I liked how passionate she was for her people, the Ruined, and how desperately she wanted to save them. She was also quite witty, which is why she had great banter with Cas. 

It was so heartwarming to watch Em open up her heart and start to care for Cas. Cas and Em helped each other grow and think about things they never considered before. They are so good for each other! I SHIP THEM SO HARD. I know they have a lot of obstacles in their way but I still ship the HECK out of it. I will riot if Cas and Em do not end up together. THIS SHIP WILL NOT GO DOWN, I REFUSE IT.

Some readers said the romance felt like insta-love for them, and I understand why they said that. I am a HUGE fan of slow burns, but I found myself really loving the romance between Em and Cas. I was expecting the romance to be a little slower of a burner, but the romance still made me swoon. I know some people won't like the romance as much as I did, but I think there is enough going on in this book that everyone will find something they like. 

I liked that the romance in this book wasn't the main plot. The romance was obviously there, but it never took over the entire plot. There was plenty of murder, blood, plotting, and intrigue to balance the romance.

My one big complaint was that the main plot of the story was a bit predictable, especially for YA fantasy fans. I feel like there are a lot fo YA fantasy novels with similar plots. It made this story feel a little bit like a recycled story. Despite that, I still really enjoyed this book! 

Overall, this was a great YA fantasy. I am so excited to continue with this series! The ending of this book left me DYING for the sequel! I cannot wait to see what happens with Cas and Em. I am really looking forward to learning more about the world and the magic. BRING IT BOOK TWO. 

If you are looking for a new YA fantasy, then I would recommend picking up this book!

4.5 / 5 Fangs

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