Rating: **** Suggested Age: 13
Summary: “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.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
“Sympathy doesn’t mean much if you don’t take action.” -Em, page 71
I definitely enjoyed Ruined and it was great pick-me-up after the disappointment I found in The Last Star. However, I noticed a few similarities to Throne of Glass and was hoping for something more original. With that said, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and found it extremely entertaining. Amy Tintera writes really well and I loved her characters I found both Em and Cas likable in their own ways. It made me pretty happy to see that Em wasn’t the same as all the other main characters in young adult fiction–self-conscious, plain, and weak. I love the new reign of main characters coming in, the ones who are inspiring and heroic. Also, Cas is another precious snowflake who needs to be protected (he’s perfect, okay?).
Other than the plot similarities to Throne of Glass, I was rather confused about the Ruined. Who are they? Why do people hate them? Maybe I missed the explanation somewhere, but it didn’t make complete sense to me. Hopefully, this will all be tied up in the sequel (which I so desperately need, by the way).
I’m glad I got this book from the library because I don’t see myself rereading it, but I did really like it. I can’t wait to read the sequel, but sadly it doesn’t come out for a while. I recommend this to fantasy fans, but if you’re looking for something new and original, turn away.