Em Flores finally has what she wanted. She rescued her sister and the Ruined finally respect her, despite her lack of Ruined power. But Olivia is not the same person Em remembers from before the king of Lera kidnapped her. Ruina is nothing like Lera was and Em finds herself missing Cas and the time that she spent in Lera, but as one of the queens of Ruina, she must think of her people before herself. When soldiers from Lera attack, Em and Olivia know they must do what is necessary to protect the people of Ruina.
Cas finds himself in an interesting position. After both of his parents are killed during the attack on Lera, Cas is the new king. With a completely different outlook on the Ruined than that of his father, many of the aristocrats believe that his is unfit to rule. When his cousin manages to convince the people that he is mentally unstable following the murder of his mother, she usurps the throne and Cas finds himself in grave danger.
Can Em and Cas bring peace between their peoples or will their families manage to make it worse?
I loved this second installment in the Ruined series. Amy Tintera has created a very dynamic world with intricate settings and marvelous characters.
When I read the first novel in this series, “Ruined”, I was surprised by the amount of person to person violence. Not that other young adult novels are not violent, but Tintera went into such detail. The same occurred in book two. Tintera has created an ‘ultimate villain’ in her character Olivia Flores. I have yet to be able to find another character who can kill with such lack of remorse. And, the jury is still out as to whether Olivia’s actions are a result of her raising or her year of torture while a prisoner of the Lera kingdom.
A killer who is so vicious may be a deterrent for many readers, and usually would be for myself, however, I find the other characters are what draw me to this series. Their level for compassion and their desire to do what is best for the people they are responsible for, ultimately makes them the ones that balance out the character of Olivia. Amy Tintera has managed to portray characters on both sides on the spectrum from good to evil and has presented the readers with numerous questions regarding the acts of individuals and the condition of their hearts.
I found myself traveling a wide range of emotions while reading this novel. I was sympathetic, heartbroken, overjoyed, confused, angered, and even hopeful.
I believe this is a good read that makes the reader question things about themselves and the world around them, mostly in a good way.
I would recommend this novel to fans of fantasy.
I borrowed a copy of this novel from my local library and have permission from the publishers at HarperTeen to use an image of the cover artwork featured above.
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