by Amy Tintera

Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: May 3rd 2016
by HarperTeen




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, 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. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.


Ruined is a strong start to what is sure to be an amazing trilogy. Tintera manages to have just the right balance of action, romance, and revenge to keep you glued to the pages.

For the past year, Em has been planning and preparing for the moment when she can get her revenge against the man who murdered her parents and kidnapped her sister. Now, she’s finally ready to put her plan into action. Her plan is simple: she will sneak into the enemy’s palace by impersonating the Prince’s wife, and then she will kill the royal family.

Em is an extremely strong and capable protagonist. She knows what she wants, and she knows how to get it. She is equal parts determined and fierce, yet she has a soft side underneath her strong exterior. She’s the type of heroine you can’t help but root for.

Em’s plan goes wonderfully, except for one unexpected element: she finds herself falling in love with the Prince, Casimir. The romance between Em and Casimir is absolutely wonderful. There is no instalove – everything is slowburn and wonderfully written.

If anything, I would have liked just a little more development on the topic of the Ruined – dangerous people with magical powers. There isn’t any backstory as to why the Ruined are so feared by society, or where their powers come from, and I would preferred if that was explained just a touch more.

All in all, Ruined is a high-stakes fantasy that fans of Throne of Glass and Red Queen are going to love.


68 thoughts on “Ruined

  1. I somehow never gave this one more than a cursory glance but it seems like I’m really missing out on a fantastic read! I love a good fantasy novel and though Throne of Glass isn’t a favorite of mine, I sense a lot of potential with this one. Thanks for putting it on my radar, Zoe! 🙂

    1. Definitely give it a try Keertana! I wasn’t a huge fan of Throne of Glass either (it was pretty meh for me), but this one is absolutely amazing. 🙂 Thank YOU for the lovely comment! <3

  2. AHHH I’M SO GLAD YOU LIKE THIS ONE!! I was really excited for it because I adored her zombie duology, but then that was years ago and I wasn’t sure if maybe my tastes will have changed too much? But I’m sure I’ll love it now. ;D You make a grand guinea pig. JUST KIDDINg. YOU’RE AWESOME.

    1. I read her zombie duology too Cait (based on your recommendation, of course) and have to say that this is much better than her zombie duology. And haha…I suppose that’s fair considering how many times you’ve been the guinea pig for me. 😉

    1. Thank you Ruth! The plot may be a little typical, but that doesn’t take away from the entertainment factor of the story.

  3. I’m happy you really liked this one, it’s on my TBR! I haven’t read Tintera’s first duology but this one totally intrigued me. I’ve seen negative reviews on this one but seeing you liked it makes me eager for it all over again. Thanks for your review, Zoe! 🙂

    1. Definitely give this one a try when you’re in the mood for a fantasy story Lucie. Thank YOU for the lovely comment!

  4. I was intrigued by this one, but I was seriously worried about the potential for instalove in it. I’m finding it more and more off-putting these days, so it’s a relief to hear it isn’t the case in this book.

    Looks like I’ve got another one to add to my wishlist – great review, Zoe!

    1. I can completely see where you’re worry is coming from Hannah. There isn’t much instalove here, so you don’t have to worry about that. 🙂 Thank you!

  5. Oooh this sounds quite intriguing! I love the whole slow-burn romance thing, and it also sounds like it’s almost forbidden love too, since her plan wasn’t to fall in love! Em sounds like an amazing character too. I am definitely wanting to read this one. Fabulous review!

    1. I have a feeling you’d really like this Shannon! 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you think of it if you decide to give it a try. Thank you!

  6. I freaking love the Fake Marriage trope and I am ecstatic to hear that the book delivers on the romance front. I have also heard great things about the heroine of this novel. Thanks for the review, Zoe – it’s beautifully written as always.

    1. Thank you Aentee! This sounds like it would be right up your alley then – hopefully you end up enjoying it as much as I did!

  7. Although it’s more of a romance story rather than one of revenge, I’m glad you enjoyed it because of Em’s strong character and that the romance was a slow burn one. Wonderful review Zoe – and I love the new blog theme!

  8. As a completely *rabid* fan of Red Queen, I feel I MUST read this book! It sounds so interesting and fun.
    Awesome review, and thanks for stopping by @thelifeofamirkwoodelf! XD

    1. If you’re a fan of Red Queen, this is going to be right up your alley. They’re very similar (although, to be quite honest, I liked this one more than Red Queen). Let me know what you think if you decide to read it! <3

  9. Eep! I’ve heard the opening chapter to this one is fantastic. I’m intrigued by a heroine who is willing to actually kill. Not that I condone that behavior, but it definitely makes for an interesting story, am I right? You have me excited about the slow burn romance, Zoe. That’s what I live for in a fantasy. The slower the better! Thank you for the review! <3

    1. The opening chapter is INTENSE Sarah! I hope you end up enjoying this as much as I did if you decide to give it a try. Thank YOU for the lovely comment! <3

  10. Zoe, this sounds fantastic! I’m slowly, but surely, reading more fantasy; it used to dominate my reading pile, but I’ve found myself reading less and less over the years. I love the premise of this – revenge stories are some of my favorites. Thank you for sharing yet another wonderful review! 🙂

    1. Thank YOU for always leaving the sweetest comments Bella! Definitely let me know what you think if you decide to give this one a try, okay?

  11. I just got this one in the mail yesterday and was kind of on the fence about whether I wanted to read it or not. But it sounds pretty amazing… like a mix between The Wrath and the Dawn and Throne of Glass (I haven’t read Red Queen so can’t compare). I might give it a go since it seems pretty quick to read. Great review!

    1. Thanks Marie! 🙂 If you’re looking to read more fantasy, this is definitely a good place to start. xD

    1. Thank YOU for the lovely comment Charnell! I hope if you end up reading this you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

  12. Kynn actually just read and enjoyed this one too Zoe, I have a review copy that hopefully I’ll get around to reading soon. It sounds pretty good actually and I was a fan of her Reboot series and enjoyed those as well. Hopefully book two explores a little more world building and the history of their powers.

    Brilliant review Zoe and I absolutely love the new look! I do miss seeing your beautiful header though 🙂

    1. Yeah! I have a feeling you’ll really like this one Kelly, so definitely let me know what you think when you’re finished with it. And thank you so much – that made my day! <3

  13. I’m so glad you liked this one Zoe! I also enjoyed Ruined, but found it a bit lacking compared to all the other fantasies out there. The characters and story were also quite reminiscent of the author’s previous duology Reboot, which I enjoyed. So I really liked it, but couldn’t help but get a feeling of deja vu at the same time haha. I also wish that there were more world building surrounding it – it felt like a generic fantasy setting. But awesome review! The romance was really quite sweet. <3

    1. I can definitely see why you felt it was a bit typical Aila. It definitely wasn’t the most original fantasy I’ve ever read, but it was pretty darn entertaining, so I guess that counts for something? Haha. Thank you! <3

  14. Lately I’ve felt like mostly everyone has enjoyed this book from the reviews I’ve seen–but I’m especially glad you enjoyed it, seeing how I feel the same way! 😀 I recently read just a few days ago and I just couldn’t put it down. This book was SO GOOD, but you’re right, I would’ve liked to know more about the Ruined’s backstory (how’d they get their powers, anyway? o.O) as well. But all in all I loved it! Great review as always, Zoe!! <3

    1. I am so glad to hear you liked this as much as I did Analee! I completely agree – it was so action-packed and once you started it you couldn’t put it down. Thank you! <3

  15. Great review, Zoe! I really enjoyed this one. I think I read it in a day. It had its flaws, and I wished for more backstory too, but I just couldn’t tear myself away. Loved the story, and I can’t wait for the rest of the series!

    1. I completely agree Ally! Like you said, it had some minor flaws but it made up for that by being completely engrossing. 🙂

  16. What a gorgeous cover this one has. I can’t believe I haven’t heard anything about this one until your review–which I totally enjoyed, by the way. 🙂 I’m getting some serious The Wrath & the Dawn vibes from this one and could definitely see myself enjoying it as well.

  17. I’ve had this book on my tbr since a couple of months ago and sadly, I still haven’t got the chance to get it and read it! [sad face] And I thought my hype for it was dead, but God, slowburn romance you say? COUNT ME IN, SO SO IN!

    Great review! x


    1. I hope that when you do read it you end up enjoying it as much as I did! 🙂 Let me know what you think when you get a chance to read it, okay?

  18. I’m reading this atm, Zoe and I’m loving it!! (ESPECIALLY THE CHEESE BREAD ASPECT #notsorry) I really like Em as she’s all spiky AND CAS IS SO ADORABLE SO FAR OMGGG. I love him to bits, hehe 😉

    Great review, Zoe!

  19. I wasn’t sure if this book would be for me, because a lot of YA fantasies are starting to sound similar >.< But I have read quite lot of positive reviews for it, so I think I might end up giving it a go. I mean, the romance sounds like it could be quite angsty, but you also said it was slow burn, which is such a positive! It's a shame about the world building, but hopefully there will be more of that in the sequel! Glad you enjoyed this one, Zoe ^.^

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