Series: Ruined #3
Published by HarperTeen
Published on 1 May 2018
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Romance, Royalty, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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In the final book in the New York Times bestselling Ruined series, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.
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.
I thought this series as a whole was enjoyable and entertaining. I read a lot of firsts in a series and choose not to continue them, primarily because a) I want to try everything and b) if it’s not spectacular, it’s not worth my time investing in reading the rest.
Ruined was spectacular. Avenged was pretty damn good. Allied, like Avenged, was only pretty good, and like the sequel, unable to live up to the special place Ruined took in my heart.
I really liked Aren’s character growth, seeing him become friends with Galo and realising his feelings for Iria. Although I am really happy shipping Aren and Iria, and Galo and Mateo, I kind of also wanted to poly-ship Aren and Galo as well? Like Aren’s character would have been expanded if he had been bi, and falling in love with two people when he thinks he’s not loveable… so I was kind of wishing the four of them were involved in this weird kind of love square. It was revealed quite casually that Iria had previously dated a woman, so I don’t see why Aren couldn’t…? Except that I guess it was already a huge deal that he was becoming actually friends with non-Ruined Galo.
Cas seemed kinda useless in this book? Like, he used to be one of my book boyfriends? And he spent the book just kind of running around his castle and not even doing anything? Even though he was Em are still totes adorbs. I ship them hard.
I liked how the stakes were raised until Em realised she had to do something terrible to stop Olivia. And this is where I was a little disappointed in the ending of the book. The start of this series opens with such a bang with Em murdering a princess in the opening chapter, going on to impersonate her with a plan of marrying Cas, murdering the royal family, and rescuing Olivia. The end of this series in comparison, was a little quiet.
Also, Violet, who played a big supporting role in Book 2, just kind of disappeared, and that makes me sad. Maybe she went back to the southern province and I just missed it.
All the characters seemed to be mature beyond their years and it wouldn’t be out of place at all if instead of 16-18 year olds, these characters were in their early twenties. I understand war ages people and there were 17-18 year olds fighting in world wars and stuff but everyone just seemed so mature. I guess that’s a good thing! I would have hated it if everyone was immature. It’s just notable.
One thing I really liked how Tintera handled was the sexual tension between Em and Cas. Like, they really wanted to bone, but they wanted it to be really special, and sometimes they were just too exhausted to do it properly for the first time, so they just made out and snuggled, which I think is adorable, or someone interrupted them with legit reasons, or duty called and they had to be apart when all I wanted to do was smoosh them together.
I really enjoyed this series and I think I’d love to reread it at some point.