By: Amy Tintera
Genre: Y - Children's, teenage & educational
Published by: Allen & Unwin
Published: 01 May 2016
ISBN: 9781760290641


Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined - completely lacking any magic - she is determined to get revenge…

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy's kingdom, posing as the crown prince's betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everyone he holds dear, including his son…

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life - and her family - on the line, love could be Em's deadliest mistake.


Ruined is a great new young adult fantasy novel that ticks all the boxes.

Our main character Em is a heroine in every sense of the word. Ruined follows one side of a three kingdom power struggle between the kingdroms of Ruina, Vellos and Lera. The Ruined are from the land of Ruina and show varying degrees of magical ability. The story revolves around Em’s quest for revenge, but hers is a dangerous world - full of murder, kidnapping and torture. The story also has an element of magic and intrigue and quite a bit of romance, in particular a very forbidden love.

Em’s big opportunity arises when she takes the place of the betrothed of the enemy prince of Lera - putting Em right in the middle of her enemy’s kingdom without them realising. Em now has her chance to really exact her revenge. But now that she knows the prince, she isn’t so sure. Will Em go through with it? Or is there another way?

Vellos is the least explained of the three warring kingdoms, but as this is part one of a trilogy I am sure that their story will take shape in the following books. This was a great read, and I can’t wait for the follow up.

Reviewed by Rob