Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

(From: Goodreads) 

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake. 

                              It was a very funny, action-packed, and romance filled read that I really enjoyed. Amy Tintera really did an exceptionally great job in creating the characters and the politics in this novel. I love how she played around with the concept of power and how different characters respond and wield it. She also showcased security dilemma and the three paradigms of international relations through the characters. We have the realist, who are the King and Queen of Lera, Queen of Ruinea, and Jovita. They fear the power of neighboring states (kingdoms) and they are uncertain of the future actions of other states, and because of that and their goal to ensure the self-preservation of their kingdom they use military or magical abilities (in the case of Ruinea) to secure their territories. While Cas is the liberal one. He is an egalitarian meaning he sees that everybody is equal and should have equal opportunities. We see this countless of times throughout the film but this politics of him was truly shown when Damien was imprisoned and he was arguing to his father, the king, on why should Damien be punish even if he did not do anything wrong. It was also shown when he saved the slaved from captivity of the warriors. Then we have Em who is a constructivist due to her constructing her own understanding of the world through her experiences. This is evident through her changing perspective throughout the book, especially when she met and falls in love with Cas. 

                      Furthermore, I also like the romance aspect of this book. I like how the relationship between Cas and Em was not forced. The dialogue between them were very real. It was something that was believable and realistic, and that I believe happens with couples in the real life. My only problem with this book is that it lacked history about the Ruinea and how they acquire those abilities but I guess and hope the author will delve more of this subject in the next book. In addition, I love how Em was characterize. She sees her self as someone who is useless due to her lacking abilities but that does not stop her from doing something that can help her kingdom. 

                          I recommend this book for those who like The Selections series by Kiera Cass and The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. But it's different in a way that it is focused more on International Relations rather than local politics like the other two books mentioned before. Thank you so much Amy Tintera for this amazing book. I love Cas so much. I am willing to bribe him with a lot of cheese bread for him to love me! I cannot wait for the next book. I need to know what happens next because that cliffhanger in the ending was no joke. 

For more information about Amy Tintera: 

Isabel Samonte 

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