Review + Giveaway: Avenged by Amy Tintera

Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC, ALA mw
Status: book 2 of the Ruined trilogy

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In the sequel to Ruined, 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 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.

HO-LY SHE-IT I AM SHOOK. Ruined ends on some pretty big moments, and Avenged just keeps it going. Em is such a cool MC. What I like about her is that she is the anti-special one. Her sister Olivia is this world's super-powered The One, but with it, she's basically sacrificed any empathy and possibly her sanity, and she's basically a murderous psychopath with a major superiority complex. Em, in contrast, is the level-headed one with a plan. She reminds me of Lia from The Remnant Chronicles. Em uses her head to get... well, ahead, and is super good playing the political game. She's decently strong physically and can fight, but she's not The Best Fighter Of All Time. No, she's a teenage girl with skills that came from several years of training and hard work. These two sisters as foils is everything. Saving a sibling is a super common YA trope, but Avenged really explores whether rescuing the sibling was a good thing.

Avenged is super interesting with the political mind-f*ckery going on, although at some point, I just want to be like, "okay, guys. Yes, YOUR PARENTS murdered HER family, and SHE murdered that OTHER GIRL's family, and that OTHER GIRL murdered your MOM, but then that OTHER DUDE murdered your DAD because your DAD murdered THAT ONE GUY so you're all just going to have to get over it." The web of deceit and treachery is VAST with this cast. These four kingdoms just can not be happy without murder, which is interesting, but come on. At some point, literally everyone is going to be dead because they can't stop seeking vengeance. The title is super apt because this book is exploring at what point avenging a loved one or your kingdom is too high a price to pay. But watching the behind-the-scenes and having people learn to step up and be good leaders is pretty cool.

I still really like the world. It's got an interesting feel to it. 1. I do wish that there were a map because the positioning of the kingdoms is confusing to me so seeing it would make so much sense. 2. Avenged takes place super shortly after Ruined so I didn't understand how it was super hot in Ruined, but really really cold in Avenged? Like, I get that Lera has some jungle, and Ruina is in this barren wasteland, but if they're close enough that these people can walk to the other kingdoms in a matter of days, not weeks, the temperature differences shouldn't be QUITE that drastic.

I love all the relationships in this series. Not only do we have foil sisters suddenly in the weirdest diarchy of all time and suuuuuper swoony romance (seriously, Cas and Em kissing is just my favorite), but we have platonic friends, a new out-of-nowhere-but-I-dig-it cross-kingdom romance, political intrigue, a fun group of royal bros, and the Ruined suddenly respecting the hell out of Em for her ability to lead them. ABOUT DANG TIME.

Avenged is a really solid sequel, and honestly, I have zero idea how I'm going to survive until book 3.

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About the Author:
Amy Tintera is the author of Ruined as well as the duology Reboot and Rebel. She has degrees in journalism and film and can usually be found staring into space, dreaming up ways to make her characters run for their lives. She lives in Austin, Texas. You can visit her online at
Author Links:

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  1. I would want the power to control the winds.

    1. Oh, that's cool. You could even control tornadoes!

  2. I would want power over Water! Thank you

    1. ME TOO! And so much of the earth is covered in water that you'd be very powerful!

  3. I like how you've described Em's sister because at the end of the last book I was like hold up, I'm not sure this chick was worth all the trouble she has caused and will continue to cause... but Cas and Em...thank goodness that's still being mentioned because I need more!!!

    1. Oh, man, Olivia is soooo intense. All these YA books have the kidnapped sibling being a complete saint. Avenged totally flips that trope on its head, and I really like it. AND YES, I LOVE CAS AND EM TOGETHER TOOOOO!

  4. I would want the power to teleport. I know that probably wasn't an option in the book. I can't remember what other powers there were in the book. I think I will definitely have to have a reread. I'm having amnesia or something. Thank you.

    1. Teleportation would be super fun! You'd never have to pay for an overpriced flight or cramped, smelly bus ride again!