Reviewsday: Ruined by Amy Tintera

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Heir to the decimated lands of Ruina, Emelina Flores and her people, the Ruined, have been on the run ever since a neighbouring kingdom killed her parents and kidnapped her sister. Since then, they’ve waged a campaign against the Ruined, hunting them down and murdering them on sight. Finally, Em has a plan to exact revenge on the people who took everything from her and if it happens to begin with one dead princess, well, she won’t be shedding any tears.

Her plan is simple: pose as Prince Casimir’s betrothed, marry into the family that destroyed her own, find out where they’re keeping her sister prisoner and take them down from the inside. With two of her most loyal friends by her side, an alliance with the warrior kingdom the Prince’s mother defected from years earlier and all possibilities accounted for, nothing can go wrong. Em’s only problem is that her new husband is not bloodthirsty and cruel like his father, the King, and as they spend more time together, suddenly disposing of him with the rest of the royal family is something she cannot bring herself to contemplate. With her carefully planned attack looming closer and trouble lurking around every corner, Em has to figure out who she can trust before it’s too late.

Dramatic, intense and bursting at the seams with rich emotion, Ruined is a rollercoaster ride of survival, subterfuge and betrayal. Em’s crafty ruse makes for a tense read; you’ll find yourself holding your breath as she skates through tricky situations, cheering for her successes and groaning at her failures. Her confusion as she learns that her revenge isn’t as straightforward she’d expected it to be makes for intriguing character development and the majestically crafted conclusion to the novel will leave you desperate for more.