Title: Avenged (Ruined #2)
Author: Amy Tintera
Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
A war that will fuel her. A bond that will destroy her.
Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.
But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.
Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.
Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.
If you like intense fantasy worlds that feel real, magic, castles, a prince, two queens and an epic battle, then you will probably like this book – this series. Amy Tintera does not disappoint.
I first listened to Ruined back in 2016, so listening to Avenged more than 2 years later – it took me a few chapters to remember what happened. It also doesn’t help that when I listen to Audiobooks, I’m usually listening to multiples right after each other, and when they are all fantasy it can sometimes be hard to keep them straight.
But with that being said, after a couple chapters, I was back in the swing of things, and remembered most of what had happened in Ruined and I was ready to dive back into these characters. I had forgotten how much I loved the world, and the characters.
I enjoyed this book so much, that the moment I finished listening to it, I went and bought Allied because I needed to know what happened next, how this story would come to an end.
While I loved this book, there were certain characters (Olivia, Jovita and August) that just rubbed me the wrong way, and I ended up not liking, even hating these characters.
The review becomes mildly spoiler-y at this second part as I got a little more in depth.
While I loved this book, there were certain characters that just rubbed me the wrong way, and I ended up not liking, even hating these characters.
Olivia, Em’s sister, being the main source of my annoyance. Her idea of keeping her people safe, is literally putting them in harm’s way, and sinking as low as the Lera King. Taking the eye for an eye approach, she chooses not to listen to any pleas for peace, instead decides to hunt down non-ruined the same way her people had been hunted for so long. Her going crazy at the end of Ruined was only the tip of the iceberg. Olivia is just getting started and by the end of this book she has made some choices that she won’t ever be able to take back.
I HATED how she treated Aren – actually I hated how she treated everyone like they were incompetent and/or unable to understand her crazy. Aren suffered the most. Olivia used him and twisted him until he was so terrified of her that he wanted nothing to do with her. I’m just glad Aren turns out the way he does.
And then there’s Jovita. What. A. Bitch. I just wanted her dead. Like Olivia, Jovita didn’t want to change. She didn’t want to foster a new future of peace, where people on neither side died. But no, she’d rather cause more problems, make the people of Lera doubt Cas, and ruin the tentative alliance that was in place between Ruina and Lera.
Another character that annoyed me was Prince August of Oslo. He’s not as horrible as Olivia in my opinion, but he also makes some shit choices, and can’t really make up for them. August was seriously two faced, and I just wanted to scream at everyone who couldn’t see it until it was too late. He comes sauntering in, all princely, like a gift from the gods, with a marriage proposal, a way to seal the agreement between Ruina and Oslo.
But of course, Em doesn’t want to agree because of Cas. Torn between him and her duty, she chooses to think about the proposal. Which we can all guess how August takes it – after all, he’s the Prince here to save the damsel in distress, but Em can handle herself.
As for Cas, I still love him, and I cannot wait to see what part he plays in the finale of this series. Though, as much as I love him, Cas did disappoint me a little bit in this book. He gives up so easily, but at the same, I think about everything he’d been through, and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can pull yourself up and out.
On a happier note, I love him and Em together, and I think – when they aren’t fighting – they complement each other very well. I wanted Em to choose Cas, but her duty to her people and her crazy sister keeps her from doing just that. Though, I found that I couldn’t fault her for choosing her people over Cas, I just wish she didn’t have too.
Personally, I don’t think she has to, I think that if they were to be together for real, then a true alliance between Lera and Ruina would be the best outcome.
There wasn’t much I didn’t like about this book – but I think my strong negative reactions towards Olivia and August are keeping me from giving it a full five-star rating. I’ve always loved the world that Amy Tintera created in this series, the characters are engaging (even the ones that annoy me). By listening to the audiobook, I really felt like I was in the story, experiencing it. I felt for the characters. I loved that the characters weren’t perfect, and some were significantly more flawed than others, but they were all flawed. Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book, and cannot wait to read the next one.
I plan on reading Allied soon – it’s probably the next book I’ll pick up. It’s sitting on the table next to me, staring, demanding I read it.