Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “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 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.”
Review: THIS IS NOTHING I HAVEN’T READ BEFORE. Geez. Props to Ruined for being a relatively fast read and for actually involving characters who aren’t afraid to kill people (somewhat of a rare find in the YA fantasy/adventure genre). But that’s where the good things end. Firstly, so many aspects of the Ruined plot rely inexplicably on the characters being idiots. Am I really supposed to believe that no one in the entire kingdom of Lera has ever seen the real Princess Mary before, thereby making it easy for Em to murder her and steal her identity? Is Cas, the HEIR to the Leran throne, really that unrecognizable that he can be put into a wagon of castle staff by enemy guards and not be recognized? I also felt like Tintera didn’t spend enough time world-building. The reader is provided with a very minute picture of the Ruined world, with little to no backstory on how the Ruined people gained their mythical powers or why the four different nations are fighting a costly war. Em does a pretty terrible job of actually pretending to be Mary and her almost instalove with Cas was laughable. He pretty much forgives her for engineering the murder of his father within three days. I can understand why Ruined has drawn some comparisons to the Red Queen series but, in my opinion, it has none of the humanity, intrigue, and depth of Red Queen and Glass Sword.