The first book in Amy Tintera’s new trilogy, Ruined, follows the journey of Emelina, or Em as she likes to be called. Her home of Ruina has been destroyed, her parents killed and her powerful sister taken. Em who is powerless unlike the rest of her people, comes up with a plan with her two best friends, to rescue her sister and bring justice to the royal family of Lera, who ruined her life. She disguises herself as a princess to marry prince Casimir of and seek her revenge. But her plan becomes more dangerous when she starts to fall for the prince, who she is supposed to kill.
Once I read the premise of this book I was automatically intrigued, especially by the Throne of Glass vibes I was getting. This book has an interesting plot and world, as well as a nice star-crossed romance, because who doesn’t love that? Unfortunately, the execution was a miss for me.
The characters were carrying a heavy emotional weight through this book. With Em’s parents and people being killed and risking her life to save her sister. As well as Casimir who is dealing with conflictions of what he believes is wrong and right. Both Em and Casimir are also dealing with their uncontrollable feelings for each other. Although the characters are dealing with a lot and you should feel sympathy for them, I didn’t. There were about three times in this book where I felt true emotion or connection to the characters. There feelings and thoughts were strong but hard to connect to, leaving me feeling unemotionally attached from the story.
The world in Ruined is fascinating, filled with magic and warriors. But the world building fell short for me. We only got short glimpses into these worlds, this left me slightly blinded and confused as not much was explained. We only got to see what was exactly relevant to the story, which was a shame because the world, especially Ruina was very interesting. Unfortunately in the book, we didn’t get to see too much of this world or their powers, but hopefully in the next two books more will be explained and we can delve into this fantasy world more.
The book is only 350 pages which isn’t very long but still long enough to tell a good story. A lot happened in Ruined. The plot moved quickly and so did the character development. But everything felt a bit rushed. There was no time taken to truly develop the story and characters. Event though there was always something happening and always some action, it just felt to me to hurried. But for others, this may be a good thing. If you enjoy a fast paced book that doesn’t really slow down with something always happening, then you might enjoy the plot movement in Ruined.
Towards the end, there were some interesting parts to me that I would love to see how they develop in the next two books. For example, Em’s sister who is due to take over Ruina but seems to have psychopathic traits and no empathy for human life. I am defiantly interested with how this will effect Em, who has more empathetic emotions and is technically the rightful heir to Ruina. Also, how that will play out with Casimir and how their love will work out. If you’re looking for a book that is easy to read and constantly moving, you might want to pick up Ruined. If you love longer books, with more in depth world building and emotions then this book might not be for you. I only gave it 2.5 stars but in total it has a 3.8 on Goodreads. If you’re interested in Ruined, I would suggest giving it ago, it isn’t very long and you never know, you might just love it.