C.G. Drews's Reviews > Ruined

Ruined by Amy Tintera
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, best-of-2016, epic-fantasy, read-2016, young-adult, foodie-fiction

I am here to graciously update your (otherwise boring) day with the knowledge that: THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT. THE END! Hhahhahah. Just kidding. I have so much more to say than that. But I actually shut this book, looked at my dog and said, "So so so good." (FYI: my dog is uncultured swine and didn't care and just left the room. Do not be like my dog.)

I had a feeling I would adore this before I started because a) epic fantasy, and b) Amy Tintera. About 900 years ago Amy Tintera wrote Reboot which I FREAKING ADORED. So I basically will emblazon upon my forehead that I am an Tintera fan. I'll read whatever she writes. ABSOLUTELY. (Do we get a fandom name? Tintera Horde? Tinterai? Tinterathans? <--- THAT ONE CLEARLY


An epic world that was actually EPIC.
Excuse me, my name is Fussy. I read a lot of epic fantasy were the worlds are poorly built, but this? THIS WAS SO GOOD. (It was only missing a map, seriously...where was my map????) It managed to give me THREE races of people that all stood apart, didn't have confusing names, and had interesting and different cultures.

Let us just FLAIL for the morally grey!
Um, wait. That sounds bad. HERE ME OUT. I really love when their are races pitted against each other: but in Ruined you honestly can't pick which is the "Good" side. WHICH I LOOOOOVE. The magical people (the Ruined) are being hunted and killed by the Lera. But the Ruined are like TORTURERS and they're brutal as vicious killer whales. (More killer than whale though, fyi.) And then the Lera? They're all into colours and good times BUT THEY ARE VIOLENT AND UNFORGIVING TOO. The Lera King is bad news.

So honestly everyone was evil and I am a fan.

• We have the most adorable stabby cinnamon rolls of protagonists.
It's dual narrated by Em (who is actually non-magical BUT still a Ruined) and Cas (who is the future king of Lera). Em is like "STABBY STABBY" and Cas is like "NICEY NICEY" and hold me while I adore them both so so much. Em literally meets people, acts all polite, and meanwhile is plotting how to kill them. Like, don't we all? Totally. Cas is super NICE and also a wicked good swordsman and SO SARCASTIC I CANNOT EVEN WITH HIS ADORABLENESS.

Naturally, Em is pretending to be someone else (in order to take down his kingdom) so she ends up married to him and HAHHAAHH. OH DEAR. They're basically doing the wedding dance and she's thinking how she could stab him. #shipit

• Did I mention the SARCASM yet?????
Because I AM IN LOVE WITH SARCASM. AAAAALL THE SARCASM OMG. The dialogue is perfectly ON POINT. I laughed (out! loud!) several times and I just enjoyed how flawlessly the banter wove in with the tense moments and how perfectly dry Cas could be. It is my favourite. The sarcasm was LETHAL. I wanted to quote every bit of dialogue here, honestly.

My wife didn't smother me with a pillow. Must be love!

• Okay so just let's face facts that this book is everything.
I had perfectly interesting plot. It managed to use a LOT of average-epic-fantasy-tropes and yet twist them to be unique. It gave us the cliche "tough female protagonist who don't need no man" but also made her super relatable and venerable. (Also she's on a quest to find her little sister!! SISTER GOALS!!) And it gave us the super nice prince who is a LITTLE BORED OF EVERYONE'S FACES but also entirely winning. The murder and mayhem were BIG. Like blood is shed, folks, lots of blood, lots of shedding. It didn't shy away from killing darlings. THERE IS TORTURE AND JUNGLES AND RUNNING AND BLEEDING AND SNEAKY KISSES. The romance never drowns the plot, but it's a gorgeous addition. And the magic is stunning and vicious. The Ruined can like split people from the inside out. They are freaking awesome.

Oh and the ending?
aHHHHHHHHH. BEST ENDING EVER. It's nearly a cliffhanger (I mean, it is) but it's also satisfying. And I'm 100000% in need of the next book. LIKE IT HAS OPENED ITSELF UP FOR SO MUCH AWESOME. Mad characters prevail. All the Ruined are gnashing their teeth and getting ready to pop skulls. THERE WILL BE WAR. I CANNOT WAIT.

...So basically perfect book is perfect. And my only teeny tiny comment is that Em and Cas were VERY like Wren/Callum from Reboot. But then. I adored them and I adore Em/Cas. SO. I ain't complaining.

GO READ THIS BOOK BASICALLY. For everyone looking for a GOODLY EXCELLENT 2016 epic fantasy series? This is it.

**** QUOTES ****

"Cheese bread," he said, handing one bag to her, and another to Galo. "Every time you come to the city, you buy one. It's a rule."
She opened the bag and peeked inside, the smell of fresh bread wafting through the air. She grabbed the bun and took a small bite. It was soft and chewy, with a hint of cheese flavour, and she took a second, bigger bite.
"It's delicious," she said.
"I'm glad you like it. The marriage might not have worked out if you didn't." The edges of Cas's mouth twitched.
"How tragic. The union between Lera and Vallos destroyed over cheese bread."

"If you take off his blindfold, he'll kill us all," Koldo said, shakily getting to his feet.
"Probably not," Aren said. "I'd say there's only like a sixty percent chance I kill you all."
"Aren," Em said in a warning tone.
He let out an exaggerated sigh. "Fine. Fifty percent."

The king sighed. "I suppose you could've done worse than Mary."
"We should ask the priest to say that at the wedding," Cas said. "'And now we unite Casimir and Mary. They both could have done worse."
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Reading Progress

October 13, 2015 – Shelved
October 13, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
May 26, 2016 – Started Reading
May 26, 2016 –
page 34
9.58% "AHHH I am having that GLORIOUS moment when I'm only a few chapters in but I know I'm going to love this book."
May 27, 2016 –
page 152
42.82% "Not even gonna lie: the best part is how Em meets someone and politely says hello...but on the inside she's working out how she'd most efficiently kill them."
May 28, 2016 –
page 230
64.79% ""My wife didn't smother me with a pillow. Must be love!"\n \n THE SARCASM IS LETHAL AND I ADORE THIS BOOK."
May 28, 2016 – Finished Reading
May 29, 2016 – Shelved as: 5-star
May 29, 2016 – Shelved as: best-of-2016
May 29, 2016 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
May 29, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
May 29, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 28, 2016 – Shelved as: foodie-fiction

Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)

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Iana Ooh! This book is also on my TBR, along with The Crown's Game. Now I'm even more intrigued to read this. I look forward to your review!


message 3: by Reynita (new)

Reynita Maharani ★ The Night Reader ★ Great review!!! Is it slow burn romance or insta love?

message 4: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole Hahahaha my goodness, pretty sure this is my favorite review ever! I'm definitely going to have to pick this book up.

message 5: by Bee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bee CURSE ME FOR NOT READING IT IN TIME WHEN I COULD. I had an eARC and I didn't get to it before it expired. *sadface*

Liz (alaskanknitandlit) That's it! *slams current book shut* I'm dropping everything and reading this now! Okay, just kidding. But, I think I'll start this one soon! Awesome review Cait! Made me laugh. :D

message 7: by Joie de Livre (new)

Joie de Livre This sounds awesome!!A killer protagonist and a sarcastic cinnamon roll?To my TBR!!The only problem is that I have been laughing all this time with the name Lera because in my country it's a curse word lol.Great review,I can see your enthusiasm!:)

C.G. Drews @Reynita: Definitely slow burn!


@Nicole: OMG YAY. And I highly approve of this life decision. ;D

C.G. Drews @Bee: OMG BEE. NOOOOOOO. You have missed out on incredibleness. *sobs for you*

@Elizabeth: MY JOB HERE IS DONE. *awards self cake for excellent convincing skills*

@Dust&Shadows: Omg, it's a curseword?!?! XD Okay THAT is awkward hehehe.

Lauren Can't wait to read this :-)

message 11: by Zara (new) - added it

Zara Woah!!! I really want to read this now. I was on the fence about this book, but your review has swayed me to pick a side - the TBR side. Epic fantasy, girl who likes to kill, boy whose nice, marriages based on revenge and death and sarcasm. Seriously, what's not to like?!?!

message 12: by Lela (new) - added it

Lela Great review. On my list of most anticipated releases of 2016. really can't wait to read it :):)

message 13: by Charley (new)

Charley Robson You make it sound like fun, but I'm still leery of the comments made in other reviews... aaaahhh, I'm torn Cait! What do??

message 14: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Joy This sounds interesting. Might keep an eye out for it. :)

message 15: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Pickle oh help I need this book like five years ago. Maybe I can try to read it next month. (now THAT'S a funny joke XD)

message 16: by Katie (new)

Katie  Hanna Sounds beautiful!!!!! There's nothing like the feeling of discovering a New Favorite Book, am I right?? (And the MCs sound beautifully annoying and heartbreakingly awesome. So yay.)

message 17: by Mironiel (new) - added it


message 18: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Lauren: Yayyyy!!


@Lela: Omg yay! I hope it lives up to your expectations too!!

message 19: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Charley: Oh oh tell me what leery things you've heard/!?!? I actually haven't seen many people reading it so I have no idea what the popular opinion is. XD

@Miriam: I approve of your eye.

@Lisa: I TOLD YOU.

message 20: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Jessica: OMG YES EXACTLY!!! I love finding books that just make reading fdjksalfd spectacular. And the last book I read was the. worst. epic. fantasy. ever. So this more than makes up for that disappointment!

@Mironiel: IT'S SO SO GOOD. I mean, I know my review was pretty reserved (HHAHAHAHH) but yes. GOOD. IT IS.

message 21: by Deborah (new)

Deborah O'Carroll SO I got so monstrously pleased/excited when I just found out my library has this. Yes. Imma read it sometime. YOU HAVE CONVINCED ME.

message 22: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Deborah: HUZZAHHHHHH!!!!! (And apologise to your enormous TBR. But eeep! I hope you like it! :D)

message 23: by Hanna (new)

Hanna Bella "Honestly everyone was evil and I'm a fan" woah that's interesting haha

Hannah Lilly I found that this was very much like The Winners Curse, roles reversed and I don't know if that makes me love it or hate it...

message 25: by Iana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Iana Holy Mother of Dragons! Your review is awesome Cait! You had me at sarcasm. I seriously need books that have sarcasm. I miss having a good laugh. The last book I read that had really good sarcasm was Magnus Chase by Uncle Rick (who btw for me is the King of Sarcasm and Dry Humor), so this will definitely be a welcome change! Thank you! :D

message 26: by Ada (new) - added it

Ada I feel totally bonkers... I stumbled upon your review and just had to read this book after reading your review.

I stil haven't read the blurb.


I like people who can do that :D

message 27: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars


message 28: by Razan (new)

Razan okay i'm sold on this book seems so fun ,now i want to read it because of your review !!

message 29: by Karyssa (new)

Karyssa Love these quotes! :)

ClaireEva I love that you love this because I feel like no one really knows about it and it's amazing!

message 31: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @ClaireEva: It's absolutely the besssst right??! It's totally underrated!

ClaireEva So underrated!!! Frustratingly underrated, more people need to know about the amazingness that is this book

ClaireEva Help! Do you do recaps? I want to start the second one but I feel like it's been so long I can't remember how the first one ended?!! 🙈

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