by Amy Tintera
Series: Ruined #1
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (May 3, 2016)
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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.
I recommend this series to those who liked the Defy series by Sara B Larson (which I loved). To help protect her people and stop the mass murders, Em murders and then assumes the position of the arranged marriage to Prince Casimir, in hopes of killing him and his family as well to stop the war. The Prince finds Em's behavior and opinions do not match what he has been told his fiance should be. But, he seems to enjoy the spontaneous and unexpected reactions his new wife exhibits.
One thing that Em did not expect was that her opinions might worm their way into the Prince's mind. She unintentionally gets him thinking about how is Kingdom is being ran and how peace can be obtained. It's not too long before one of Em's childhood friends is taken prisoner and being torchered by the King. This leads all of the plans to speed up a lot of action and traveling beings as Em and her companions must make a run for it.
From page one the atmosphere is immersed with this ongoing war. People are fighting, dying and risking everything they have for a chance at a better life. In Em's case it's not only to help her people, but to find her sister who was kidnapped. It is very fast paced and always something new happening to change the plot and put Em in danger of being caught. In the meantime she gets to know the King, Queen and Prince Casimir better all very strong characters and obstacles for Em to overcome. She and the Prince have to spend a lot of time together and they soften to each other, a spark of real romance, in one of the most difficult of situations.
I really enjoy the stories of the put upon rising up and fighting against their oppressors. It gets even more exciting when both sides feel they are the ones being put upon. There is not a lot of drama that happens in this story, just straight forward people fighting for the ones they love and doing what they have to do to survive. It's very action packed and a lot of great characters. I find stories like this a lot of fun, I had a great time reading it, cannot wait for the sequel!!
AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: (By Andye)
I received a copy of the audiobook for review but found early on that I was not liking the voices the narrator chose to use to represent the characters. It was something that just didn't quite mesh with me and I turned to the physical book, which I highly enjoyed.