Review: Allied (Ruined #3) by Amy Tintera

Title: Allied
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollings 5/1/18
Length:   416 Pages
Series:  Ruined #3

Overview

Emelina Flores and her sister, Olivia, were determined to bring peace to the people of Ruina. But as the war for liberation raged on, what triumph and freedom meant to Em and Olivia slowly changed. As Olivia’s violence and thirst for vengeance became her only ambition, Em was left to pick up the pieces.

But it’s not only Em who is upset by Olivia’s increased violence. Other members of the Ruined army are beginning to see the cracks, and soon a small group of them defects from Olivia’s army and joins Em instead.

The two sisters are soon pitted against each other in an epic battle for the kingdom and the future, and only one will win.

My Thoughts

Such a great bit of closure to this story – one that i forgot about if i’m honest because i read the first 2 in quick succession and then had to wait for the third to come out.  Looking back, it’s been about a year – and should have honestly been shorter had i not had baby brain and realized that the final book came out back in May.  anyway – it is what it is.

So here we are, at the finale of the series – really wondering who was going to end up where, what friendships and romances would stay intact, if families could remain true.  Which kingdoms would come out on top and above all else, if good would overpower evil.

Em has too much pressure on her shoulders.  Ever since she took on the role of pretending to be the Vallos princess in book 1 to get into Lera and marry Cas – we saw that she was meant for greatness and that it would also mean that she would have to sacrifice a lot.  she lost a best friend back at the beginning, and found herself in a world where she was feared, yet had no power to back it up, cherished but uncertain that she was cherished for the right reasons and so ambitious to make the world a better place.

In this third installment, Em is with the rest of the Ruined, including Olivia as they plan a way to overpower Olso, stave off that attack, find a way to truly get peace with Lera through the help of Cas, and then figure out how to potentially find a way for the Ruined to have some type of life.  Olivia of course makes things impossible since she’s got a huge chip on her shoulder.  She was locked up for so long and yet no matter that Em got her out, she’s still looking for blood.  Em can’t even control her and we see throughout this story that even those who were on her side begin to question if there’s even any point to going her route.

Em and Aren continue to try to pacify her while building peace, and i think that had it not been for Aren, we would have seen Em crack.  Thankfully he’s the most powerful Ruined ever and that means that people stand on her side because of trust.  In this story too though we get to see more of Aren evolve.  We knew that he was a great and solid friend to Em, but we see a side of him where love comes into play – Iria is who he wants yet she’s taken back to Olso, thrown in jail and potentially left to be killed.  Seeing the side of Aren where he will go against his best friend to go save Iria, well it shows a softer side.  Add on top of that the friendship that starts to bud with Galo, Cas’s head of the guards, and you have to wonder if the world has flipped upside down.

The nice thing about this third book is that it’s not all about battle scenes,we get to see depth and engagement between the characters.  there are so many supporting story lines with Galo/Matteo, Aren/Iria ,Cas/Em Em/Olivia, August and everyone.  There’s a new generation trying to make the world into something different and while everyone is inexperienced in how to gain and hold power, we can see the best of intentions.

Of course though, we know that it all comes down to a huge battle, where characters that we’ve spent time with throughout all the books are shot at, killed, potentially changed forever and seeing how quickly the end pulls up once we get to the final chapters brings us to a conclusion like a bullet.

I think that we got all the resolution that we needed.  The smart thing here that our author did is that she didn’t give us a happy happy ending with everything all resolved.  We never find out a few answers on things, both for the main characters or the secondary folks.  Without spoiling things too – we never find out why Em is useless and if she really is useless.  part of me was really hoping that there was some trick like how Aren’s power worked that we would learn.  but i guess it’s not meant to be here.  oh well – but on that note – hopefully you guys take a read through this and enjoy!

Review: Avenged (Ruined #2) by Amy Tintera

Title: Avenged
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 5/2/17
Length:   416 Pages
Series:  Ruined #2

Overview

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 their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to 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. And now that Cas has 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, Em 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.

My Thoughts

I was so happy to jump right into Avenged after reading Ruined, and now i’m bummed because Allied doesn’t come out for a bit.  NO FAIR!  there’s so much greatness going on in this story that there’s really too much time for me to have to wait.

Where we left off in the first book was that Em was able to locate her sister Olivia and free her and then all hell broke loose.  We don’t know who’s going to survive at this point, how Ruina will survive v. Olso and Lera and even against Vallos – and well the alliances that we thought were in places are showing frays at the edges.

I don’t know about anyone else who read the first book, but i loved the development of the relationship, friendship and potential romance between Em and Cas.  there’s something great that could be there but now that they are on opposing sides, it’s real a big question of what will happen.  There are others who are introduced in this second book that makes us wonder if they are fated to be together.

Consider Violet, she’s the daughter of the southern governor and upon her father’s death, she’s put into that role.  We also know that she was an original choice for Cas’s wife, so there’s tension there.  She’s clearly got an affection for Cas after their journey is rough and we see there is something coming from Cas as well.

Then there’s August, the youngest son of the King of Olso who seems to have intentions towards Em.  He’s proposed marriage and it’s something that she’s considering.

While all those are interesting and good things, there’s the fact that Olivia is a force that cannot be reckoned with.  Her Ruined power is so strong and potent that no one stands a chance against her.  She’s got so much hatred towards the world and has no regret of killing people that you know that no good can come of it.

This second book, the bridge so to speak is a great one filled with anxiety, war and romance.  I think that it’s always hard to find the linking points between the first and last stories since you want to keep momentum going.  Our author Ms Tintera does a really nice job of keeping us interested because there are so many characters that are now pulled into the forefront that you see so much more depth than before.  We’re left wondering who truly are allies and who are in it for the immediate gains instead of long term.

I’m on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen to Em and Cas, what will happen to Aren, Violet, Iria, and even Olivia.  IT seems like it’s almost impossible to stop this train of commotion that’s going on but i hope that we get to see some happy endings.  Enjoy!

Review: Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera

Title: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher/Year: Harpercollins 4/4/17
Length:   243 Pages
Series:  Ruined #1

Overview

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 everything 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.

My Thoughts

The summary doesn’t do the story justice, but luckily it was more than enough to get me sucked into this new series.  Em, she’s the heir to the throne in Ruina, the kingdom of the Ruins, a people who have some type of power to control just about anything.  And because of those powers, they are feared.  Em’s parent’s had been murdered, along with much of the royal family and she’s now out for vengence.  She’s created this plan with a bunch of others both in her kingdom and across the warriors of Olso to avenge her parent’s death, and to get power back some how.  Em also wants to find her sister Olivia who was captured when her family was killed.

So…the plan was developed for Em to kill Mary, an heir of another kingdom and take her place to wed Prince Cas, who’s family was behind the order to kill her family.  Mary’s role in all this is that in order to wed Cas, she was ordered to kill Em’s family, Her own parents were murdered, so it seems to be going around.

Once Em infiltrates the castle, we see her role expanding.  Feelings that she never knew were possible were developing for Cas, making it that much harder since the end goal was that she was going to kill him to so that she could save her sister and overthrow the ruling family.

Throughout this story we have an interesting mix of relationships forming and developing.  There’s Em and Damian, one of the men from her home who’s in love with her, yet she’s not sure that she can reciprocate. He’s the acknowledged ruler of Ruina since Olivia has disappeared, and Em’s lack of powers makes her not worthy. Damian’s captured, and then things go all pear shaped.

Then there’s Cas – someone that you want to hate, yet a man who’s showing that he’s got different opinions than that of his family, and you want to think that he can be on the side of good.  He and Em have a roller coaster of sorts and where we see things go makes you wonder if there’s too much against them.

Then there are the sub stories.  Galo and his friend, Olivia, Aren…Iria.  All in all,lots of great stuff to take us through out.  Ms Tintera does a fantastic job of creating this world where power is the ultimate goal, either in magical power or assumed authority, and there’s really no clear sense of who’s going to make it out of the story alive and who will be in control.

Cas’s mother and cousin seem to have their own objectives, while the warriors from Olso make things tough.  It’s definitely a battle to the death and too many die at the end of book 1 to really make us feel like there’s going to be much left afterwards.  The cliff that we’re left at towards the end though is one that makes me really excited to see what’s coming next.  So on that note – i hope that you guys give this one a chance and i can’t wait until book 2.  Enjoy!