Friday, June 17, 2016

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Title: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: May 2016
Australian RRP: $16.99
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss; Allen & Unwin Australia

Em is a princess out for revenge as she infiltrates the ruling kingdom's royal family by pretending to be Prince Casimir's bride in this outstanding YA high fantasy suitable for fans of Sarah J Maas from the author of Reboot.

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.
Review by Nara

Ruined is a very nice start to a new high fantasy series from Amy Tintera. As expected from the author of Reboot, the book is well written, with intriguing characters and a relatively solid story.

While it was quite enjoyable, on closer consideration, the plot was that of a somewhat generic high fantasy, with the princess of one country trying to take down another enemy nation and in the process falling in love with the heir of that nation. But on the other hand, main character Em was so interesting that I didn't really care all that much that the story was relatively linear and predictable. It's not often that you get such a cutthroat protagonist in young adult. And not often at all that you get an opening chapter of a book where the first thing the protagonist does is slaughter a princess and her guards. I liked Em pretty much instantly, and that only solidified as the book went on and she was such a stable character- unlike many of the reckless protagonists seen in other YA novels.

The romance, while fast, was still well developed, and it was easy to see the attraction between Em and Cas. I liked how it progressed throughout the book as well, with certain events occurring earlier or later than I thought they would, and without a love triangle with one of the other characters as I initially thought would happen.

The only aspect of the book which falls quite short compared to the other aspects is the world building. While a little of the history of the Ruined and why they're hunted is given, it's not really explained that well, especially not why the other countries should or should not be aiding them. This is a trilogy though, and I hope that this will be explored in further books.

All in all, I'm very happy with the beginning to the Ruined trilogy. I very much look forward to seeing in which direction the plot moves forward.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5