Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Avenged by Amy Tintera

Title: Avenged
Author: Amy Tintera
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Allen & Unwin
RRP: $16.99 AUD

Prince Casimir has taken the throne in Lera and Emelina is back in Ruina, but brokering peace between the two warring kingdoms might mean betraying her family in this outstanding YA high fantasy sequel to Ruined, suitable for fans of Sarah J Maas.
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 have devised a plan that will 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, 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. 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 colouring 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.
Review by Nara

*Mild spoilers for Ruined*

From what I recall of Ruined, the main problem I had was that the world building wasn't that great. To be honest, this issue wasn't really fixed in Avenged. I still don't have a clear picture of the world of the Ruined. The magic system isn't well defined and I'm still not sure of why the various alliances have formed between particular nations. The other minor negative that I could bring up was that the romance wasn't as engaging, possibly because I have a bad memory and couldn't remember the first book as well, and the progression that the romance had previously made.

Other than that, Avenged is an excellent follow up to Ruined. I'm quite intrigued by Olivia, and it seems that she is the off-villain of the novel. It's interesting to see the dynamic between Olivia and Em, and see how Olivia has no insight into how little empathy she has. Also Aren- not going to lie, I couldn't remember a whole lot about him from the first book, but he very quickly became one of my favourite characters in this novel. It's great to see him think about his powers and how best to use them for "the greater good".

I do like that the overall story is morally ambiguous. It's not clear who the "good guys" are in this book. Everyone is killing everyone else, and all sides are trying to take revenge. There isn't one clear enemy in one side either- villains are hidden everywhere.

Overall, a very nice sequel by Tintera. I'm very intrigued to see how it all ends in book three.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5