Author: Amy Tintera
Narrator: Emily Rankin
Running Time: 11 hours, 7 minutes
TRIGGER WARINGS: PTSD
Goodreads Summary: 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 vow to 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. 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 coloring her judgement.
Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she 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.
Last year Ruined was a book I enjoyed greatly, but I must say, Avenged was the push I needed to cement this as one of my favorite series! Avenged didn’t falter or slow, widely avoiding the Second Book Slump. There’s so much to love about this sequel, from the romance to the action to the politicking! Here’s why I loved Avenged by Amy Tintera…
I’m not gonna lie: I’m a sucker for romance! I love a good ol’ swoon or two–and luckily for me, Avenged had plenty to give!
Cas and Em solidified themselves as one of my new favorite OTPs in this! There were plenty of sexy moments (but not over-the-top or smutty), but there were also tender moments in which they showed not just how much they loved each other, but also how much they respected each other. I love Em and Cas’s dynamic–they complement each other perfectly. I love how Cas softens Em and how Em pushes Cas to be a strong leader. I just…*melts into a puddle of lovey-dovey mush*
But Cas and Em weren’t the only couple who won my heart–I gotta give a shout out to Aren and Iria’s sloooooow burn. I loved all of their moments together so much! I especially loved how Iria set a great example of how a friend and/or partner can deal with a person’s PTSD. She never pushed Aren to do more than he could handle and she grounded him and came up with practical solutions to his issues and never asked for anything in return. I just loved everything about their partnership!
All hail Olivia, Queen of Muder!…erm, I mean…Queen of The Ruined! Honestly, the way Olivia kills with such glee, it’s an easy mistake to make.
We ended Ruined with Em and co. saving Olivia and then Olivia promptly rips the queen of Lera’s heart out. That’s…not a metaphor. She literally rip’s Cas’s mother’s heart out. If you thought that maybe Olivia might, ya know, cool her jets a bit with time and distance from Lera, you would be wrong.
^ basically Olivia, tbh
Sooooo…yeah, Olivia’s basically a psychopath. Filled with rage and vengeance and a misguided desire to “do right by the Ruined,” Olivia feels the most joy when she kills humans. And, in her mind, no human is innocent. Hence, she pretty much wants to kill every human. And she’ll do so cheerfully.
As you can imagine, this complicates things for Em on many fronts.
The thing that made Olivia so interesting to me is that I could never quite figure out where she stood until the very end. She clearly loves her sister and her people, but at the same time she’s dead set on killing every human. Would she listen to Em’s requests or would she give in to her bloodlust? I never knew and that meant that for the vast majority of Avenged, I was unable to categorize Olivia as an ally or an enemy. This created an underlying air of unease for me, ratcheting up the tension in the book.
Personally, I think I deserve a gold medal for keeping track of the constantly shifting alliances in Avenged because it was a lot, y’all!
A large portion of Avenged was spent politicking, but I stayed impressed because Tintera managed to make it interesting. How so? Oh, ya know, she just made sure that we never knew where anyone’s true allegiances lay…if they lay with anyone at all, that is. And on top of it, everyone had ulterior motives, our main characters of Em, Cas, Olivia, and Aren included! I was always on the lookout for any of the characters to try and make a sneaky move.
A Sensationally Swoon-Worthy, Gloriously Gory Fantasy Romp!
All in all, I loved Avenged! I can’t wait for book three in the series to be released, especially with the killer of a ending that Avenged had! Five out of five stars to this awesome book.