This book was a fun series opener. Tintera provides the right combination of action, political intrigue, and relationship exploration in this high fantasy novel.
Ruined focuses on Em, a girl who lost everything all at once: her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. In hopes of revenge and of rescuing her sister, Em poses as Mary, a young royal from a neighboring country betrothed to Cas, the crowned prince of a nation Em views as the enemy. Neither Em nor Cas are truly committed to their arranged marriage, but they soon discover their new spouse is not what they were expecting. Throughout the book, Em tries to keep her secret, protect her heart, and complete her mission.
Tintera presents us with two good lead characters. Em is tough and relatable. Cas is charming and thoughtful. I liked how both were working through the prejudices pushed on them by society and were trying to determine their beliefs on their own. I also enjoyed the personality and loyalty displayed by several of Em’s friends, new and old alike. Where both friendships and family relationships are concerned, however, Tintera kept me on my toes because no character was safe. Everyone loses someone at some point in Ruined.
I recommend Ruined! It’s classic YA in tone, and Tintera moves the book along at a perfect pace, not too fast and not too slow. It’s the first book to keep me up reading late into the night in quite a while. I’m anxious to start on Avenged, book 2, very soon and hope it pulls me along in the same way.
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