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I Belong


Review: Avenged by Amy Tintera

AvengedTitle: Avenged

Author: Amy Tintera

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Ruined (Book #2)

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062396633 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062396631 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Tara

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & Dirty: Darker than the first and still a wonderful read full of magic, royalty, and love.

Opening Sentence: The remains of Em’s home sat at the bottom of the hill.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Avenged took everything I liked from the first book and expanded upon it. The story became significantly darker and more complex. At times, it felt almost like a chess game due to the political machinations and sneaky plans. The pacing was slightly slower than the first book but allowed me the time to fully understand everything that was going on in the plot. There was still plenty of action but until the last few chapters, there wasn’t quite as much suspense as the first book.

I loved how the relationships between all of the characters deepened and grew throughout this novel. It was so interesting to see how Em interacted with her sister Olivia. It was actually quite refreshing to have Olivia be so unapologetic about her actions, despite how horrific some of them were. The tension between the two sisters felt very realistic and I loved how Em struggled to reconcile her current beliefs with her memories of her family. The friendship between Em and Aren was still perfect.

Going into this book, I was incredibly nervous that there would be a love triangle. Em does have another suitor but the fact that her choice is between her love of Casimir and her duty to her people was made very clear. As for her relationship with Casimir, I loved how it developed in this book. Even if I didn’t like the other characters as much as I do, I would probably read the next book solely to find out what happens with Em and Casimir. Also, there was one other romantic relationship that developed that I had been hoping for since the first book. It was absolutely heartbreaking and sweet.

Additionally, the world was developed a lot more in this book. The reader got the chance to see exactly how desolate and inhospitable Ruina is as a home. Additionally, I found it fascinating how Oslo developed technology in order to combat magic (and how slimy their royal family was). I really hope that we will see more of that in future books. It was also interesting to see how easily Cas’s people and council accepted him as mentally unfit to rule. Throughout the first book and the first half of this one, I hadn’t really been able to envision him as a strong and capable ruler. However, he truly grew in his subsequent journey throughout the book.

I would have liked a few more details about the magic and for the last third of the book to have been longer. Despite these few flaws, I couldn’t put this book down. I would recommend to fans of young adult fantasy who love political intrigue. Particularly after that ending, I will be eagerly awaiting book three.

Notable Scene:

“The Ruined will never allow someone useless to rule them.”

“What if we ruled together?”

Em’s eyebrows shot up. “What?”

“There are some parts of being queen that I’ll be very good at. Commanding armies. Training Ruined. The dresses.” She grinned when Em chuckled. “I’m a fighter. You’re a politician. You can actually sit in a meeting with warriors without ripping their heads off.”

“What are you suggesting?”

“A diarchy. We rule Ruina together, as queens.”

“A diarchy.” Em’s mouth formed an O, and Olivia smiled.

Ruined Series:

1. Ruined

2. Avenged

3. Allied (May 1, 2018)

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeens provided me with a copy of Avenged. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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