Summary: 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.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommendation:Yes! Please read this so we can talk about it, I beg you!
Disclosure: Borrowed from my local library. No spoilers.
Insert shocked emoji here. For the first book in a series you don’t expect it to be as crazy as the sequels (ex. Throne of Glass series) but for a 355 page YA novel (first in a trilogy) Ruined takes the cake. From the very first chapter we go on this crazy ass journey with Emelina to take back her kingdom.
Told from Emelina and Cas’s point of view we see a healthy mix of political intrigue and swordfights. Amy Tintera created a good mix of the two, so you never got more or less of the two. I felt the characters were great but with some typical cliches thrown in. Emelina’s devotion to her sister Olivia is admirable, very rarely do YA novels (especially fantasy ones) put emphasis on the importance of family.
Now, when I first saw that Emelina was going to fall in love with the Prince I was very skeptical. But as my love for Emelina grew I was willing to let her fall in love with the stereotypical Prince. (forever team Damian!) As much as the synopsis put emphasis on the two falling in love, we barely saw the romance grow in my opinion.
The story overall was fantastic, the sequel has a lot of explainin to do (Yes, I am a huge ‘I Love Lucy’ fan sue me.) The one drawback to this book and why it doesn’t get five stars, is that I felt there was very much worldbuilding. We were just kind of told the Ruined were very powerful and the humans didn’t like that, the Ruined felt very underdeveloped in that aspect.
Everyone should read this book its fantastic and well worth your time.