“What goes around comes around” – Amy Tintera, Avenged
Happy release day to Avenged by Amy Tintera (aka sequel to Ruined)! I’ve been dying to read this ever since I finished Ruined last year – I was so hooked to the plot and characters. Since the review I’m doing is about a sequel, it will contain spoilers of Ruined (book 1) so I recommend that you only read this review if you have read Ruined – as I would hate to spoil that for you. But rest assured, this review contains zero spoilers for Avenged! Thank you to Allen & Unwin for providing me a review copy!!!
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, but 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.
Publication Date: April 26 2017
RRP: $16.99 AUD
HOLY MOLLY, this book was my third 5-star read this year and let me tell you – it’s SUPER GOOD! There’s tons of actions, brilliant plot development and introduction of several new characters.
Let’s recall the bit the end of book 1: where we have Em, the level-headed girl with logic, who had this massive plan with the warriors to rescue her sister Olivia, the most powerful ruin around, who also has this murderous vibe and was ‘tipped-over-the-edge’ at the time. (I mean who wouldn’t be like that when they’re locked in a cell and tortured/experimented for a year? Some of Olivia’s sanity had to be sacrificed.) After the rescue took place and the sisters led the Ruined and fled the fortress – and book two picks up a few weeks from there.
Em clearly is not THE best fighter around, but she’s so hard-working and has a mind that actually function on logic (most of the time); whereas Olivia, the gal with the most bad-ass/dangerous Ruin power who is super hot-headed and will literally remove everyone in her way. I really enjoy the political aspects of the book, and having the two sisters as foils creates that unique dynamic where it got the sisters questioning whether they should continue to please each other or just do their own thing. After all, they only want what’s best for their people and kingdom.
The relationship between Lera and the Ruined is complicated and probably will be for a while, let’s look at the Royal Families for instance: “So HER parents are dead because of HIS parents, and THIS GIRL is pissed because HIS FAM kidnapped THIS OTHER GIRL, so THIS GIRL killed THIS CHICK (who was also responsible for HER parent’s death) so that THIS GIRL can marry THIS GUY (bad idea) so that she can rescue THIS OTHER GIRL, but then THIS OTHER DUDE kills THIS GUY’s dad, and in the middle of this mess THIS GUY just has to fall in love with THIS GIRL, and THIS GIRL recused THIS OTHER GIRL who also killed THIS GUY’s mum in the process. So BAM! THIS GUY is the new KING and HIS COUSIN is extremely pissed because of it. f*ckweasel. Sh*t is going down. And guess what people? Y’all gonna just have to get over it.”
*takes deep breath*
So yeah, the above is just a fraction of the problem that is faced by the characters. The amount of treachery and deceit is … you get the idea. Vengeance, as we all know, is a main theme that drives the plot, and I’m going to be honest, if this continues, literally EVERYBODY is gonna end up dead (*cough* Hemlet and his “madness” *cough*). Putting that aside though, I really enjoy seeing the characters wanting to avenge for their kingdom but also finding themselves unsure if this is the proper way to deal with the problem – price is too high to pay and not many can afford it. I pray they all can figure it out soon. But being less than 20 years old and having to rule a kingdom is tough sh*t, so I think everyone is doing a good job so far (as in they’re still breathing) – because at least they are trying their best to be good leaders (okay, maybe not everyone.)
The fight/war scenes are fantastic, I love the way Tintera paints the scenery in my head, with the forrest smell, the clashing sound of swords and people shouting, and making me feel like I’m in the battles as well – it’s so damn good. One thing that I reckon this book lack IS A MAP! I sometimes got confused as to whether it’s possible to travel from point A to point B in a day – a map would definitely be handy.
Let’s talk about the relationships between people. Since I’ve already discussed about the foiled sisters, let’s talk about the SWOON-worthy romance between Cas and Em – like I honestly don’t know if they are the only reason I wanna continue with the series? I ain’t gonna say much about these two because that would ruin the fun for you (see what I just did there?). But I can let you know that I LOVE every scenes with Cas and Em. There are also new platonic friendships being introduced as well as a NEW ship that sort-of-came-out-of-nowhere-but-dang-I-already-ship-them-so-much. You’ll also get to meet a new, fun/not-so-fun group of royal bros and believe me, I was like “omg I so saw that coming”. So yeah you’ll enjoy it a lot if you read Ruined and like it.
Some other AMAZING things about this book? The short chapters + the shift in narrations. (I flew through this book in 2 sittings – so believe me you might wanna binge read it too.)
Avenged is SOLIDLY 5-STAR GOOD!!! Brilliant sequel and Bravo to Amy!!! I’m already so down for book 3 and to be honest – I’m sensing a hell lot to happen and sh*t is gonna go further down. I already have a couple of theories so if you have read it and want to discuss with me – feel free to throw me a DM on bookstagram!
I hope you enjoy this review and I’ll see you next time!
Happy Reading! xx