Fantasy Book Review: Ruined

Ruined by Amy Tintera

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.

Em comes from a race of powerful people who have been overthrown and hunted down. Though Em is without the powers of her Ruined people, she decides to get revenge for the murder of her parents and hopes to rescue her sister from the royal family. Em pretends to be Mary, the fiance of the prince and take them all out from within. It’s a genius plan – until she starts to form feelings for the prince.

Ruined is the first in a new young adult, fantasy series. I was hooked from the first exciting chapter. The characters, especially Em, are engaging. And the plot is full of incredible suspense and intrigue. My only hangup was the land of Olso (which is too much like Oslo, Norway). For several chapters, I wondered why an actual land was in a part of a story where everywhere else was mythical – until I noticed the actual spelling. It’s not a big deal, but I imagined Viking warriors up to that point. Since it’s just the first in a trilogy, the story builds to an big climax and leaves off in a minor cliffhanger that left me wanting more. I highly recommend this fantastic new fantasy.

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