Series: Ruined #1
Published by HarperTeen on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty
eARC provided by HarperCollins
Amy Tintera’s new YA fantasy trilogy blends the romance of Kiera Cass’s Selection series and the epic stakes of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.
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 everything 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.
This book is such good fun! Our main character, Em, was born Ruined royalty in the Ruina kingdom. All the Ruined have marks on their bodies and powers, except Em. In order to not be completely useless, Em trained to fight since the time she was little. She isn’t in line for the throne due to being powerless, so her whole life has been about protecting her little sister. A year ago, the King of Lena decided to start a war with Ruina. The first thing he did was to kill Em’s mother and kidnap Olivia. Now Em will try to infiltrate the kingdom of Lena by impersonating the prince’s betrothed. Once Em gets to know Cas, Lena’s prince, she sees he is not like his father. Em and Cas develop real feelings for each other. The wheels of war are already turning and Em and Cas are on the opposite sides.
I found this story so much fun to get into. Em is such a noble female heroine. She is smart and deadly. The story starts off with Em killing Cas’ betrothed, Mary. She is completely ruthless because Mary is part of the reason her family is dead. She isn’t interested in Cas or becoming queen of Lena, she just wants her sister back. Olivia is the goal, but we don’t get to see her until late in the story. I still don’t know how I feel about her. I felt bad for Em being born to a people with cool abilities and then having absolutely none for herself. She makes the best of her situation.
I think having no powers helped her to relate to Cas quicker. Her and Cas have much in common, even though they are on opposite sides. They didn’t immediately fall for each other. Even after they were married, they still weren’t sure how to feel. I loved the slow burn romance in this story.
I wish we saw ore of the the Ruined powers and/or how they work. It could be because of the fact that Em is in a place where Ruined are killed for existing. There is a lot of fear of what a Ruined can do in this story. It was a nice build up. This story is about the people of Ruina becoming free, but since the whole story takes place in Lena, we see only a few ruined the whole time. I know the next book will have more about Ruined powers, it has to. The anticipation for the next book is going to kill me.
The one thing that really bother me, other than the death that we were suppose to feel that is explained much later, is that Em goes to the kingdom with a Ruined. The fact that he isn’t killed on sight is bothersome. He must have marks, because all Ruined do. So that’s just a little inconsistency that is killing me. It is also knocking a star off of this almost perfect ya fantasy adventure.
I have to admit in the reading of this, I thought of so many other YA fantasy books. It has a lot of familiar elements, but they are thrown together in an unpredictable way. At least I thought so. I really enjoyed this story, so much that I read it in one day. I will definitely be reading the sequel!