Series: Ruined #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on May 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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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.
Em is on a mission of revenge, to destroy the royal family responsible for the murder of her own. She has infiltrated the palace by impersonating the future bride of Prince Casimir, intending to kill him soon after the wedding. There’s just one problem – she’s falling for him instead.
You can probably guess what happens next. Drama, betrayal, battle, etc. While this story sounded so promising, it sadly didn’t deliver anything new.
Ruined did have great dialogue. The sass between Cas and Em was hilarious at times and their romance very sweet. Battle scenes were also fantastic, especially once a few more of the Ruined magic-wielders come into the story. I also liked the fact that there were no clear-cut good or evil rulers in this world – there was plenty of ambiguous morality. About the only character I did really like was Casimir. He genuinely wants the best for everyone, and ends up suffering for it.
I’m not sure exactly what it was that I didn’t like about this story – after all, it has all the elements that I usually love in YA fantasy! Perhaps it was just the predictability. It could also have been the fact that I didn’t really like Em – she was just so good at everything! Other people have raved about this book in their reviews, so perhaps it’s just me!
I did genuinely enjoy the last few chapters, and for that reason I will most likely read the second book when it comes out.
Read this book if you’re after a fantasy full of intrigue, betrayals and romance. I hope you enjoy it more than I did.
I received a copy of this book from Allen & Unwin in exchange for an honest review.
Australian RRP: AUD$16.99