Thursday, June 6, 2019

Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

Book: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Ruined #1

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.

This was one book that had been sitting on my TBR ever since I heard of it, way before it even came out. Yet I somehow didn't read it, even as the rest of the series came out...until now. And I will be the first to say how much of a fool I was for not jumping onto the bandwagon when it was still hot, because this book smashed my expectations!

The synopsis set up a very intriguing plot, but the very first chapter sold it for me. It's no secret that Em somehow was going to worm her way into poising as a prince's betroth. But then the book began with her very casually murdering the princess, and everything took off from there. I was hooked!

I haven't read a lot of revenge plots for a while since the last one I read left me unsatisfied, but this one was quire refreshing. I loved Em's sense of dry humour, loved how it paired so nicely with the irony of her true identity as she posed as another person. But more importantly, I very much enjoyed how though it was a revenge plot, it didn't get overly complicated or political. No passive revenge, like humiliation or drawn-out ploys, just straight up black-and-white life or death.

I was definitely a big fan of how all the women were warriors. Specifically, I loved how there was a custom for all women marrying into royal families having to fight a public battle to prove their worth. No helpless or inherent damsel in distresses here; all the women were fierce, smart, and very, very deadly.

As was inevitable, there was a falling out between Em and Cas. I was wary of this, as that's typically where I lose interest in these plots, where the angst and sulking and overall lack of communication drags the plot on and on. So I was extremely grateful that Em and Was made up very quickly, how they saw the best in each other, which quickly overthrew any further suspicion or hatred. Seeing them work together and willingly for the majority of the book and not against each other definitely was one of my highlights.

Overall, the pacing was fast (especially since I originally thought it was a duology!), characters likeable, plot simple yet detailed. It was a serious breath of fresh air. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book! It looks like things are about to get extremely wild, especially with a potentially unstable and bloodthirsty monarch now on the loose...


  1. Aaaa I also read this recently - I'm glad you liked it! I had a little bit of a hard time with it (mostly because I found it cheesy) but I'm sure I would have loved it a few years ago! It did have an amazing YA feel to it, and I am looking forward to reading the second book as well! I hope all is going well with you!

    1. Thanks, Caro! I agree, it was a smidge cheesy, but for some reason that just made me love it more. I hope all is going well with you too :)