Amy Tintera delivered a politically driven and romance inducing sequel that kept me turning the page for more. So much so, that I almost didn’t realize that I made it to the end. Contrary to some, I actually love cliffhanger, and Amy gave me a good one.
Starting up a few weeks after Ruined, Avenged follows Emelina and Olivia to their old home of Ruina with a pack of Ruined in tow. Both sisters want to set up a home for their fellow Ruined, but they don’t have the same concept in mind. They are two sides of a coin, with very different views on how to go about restoring themselves. After being imprisoned to their enemy kingdom Lera for a year, Olivia no doubt wants to take the more violent route fueled by revenge. Ready to kill anyone who isn’t a Ruined, she is prepared to do whatever it takes to make herself feared. Emelina, is the calmer and more rational one of the two. Being married to Cas helped her realize that not everyone is her enemy and she is prepared to start an alliance for the greater good.
This book is told in the POV of four characters: Emelina, Olivia, Cas, and Aren. Each person goes through their own journey both mentally and quite literally. Amy does a good job dissociating each person while also telling one cohesive story.
Cas is the definition of a swoon-worthy book boyfriend. His love for Em is so sweet and he was just about ready to give it all up for her. He used to give up easily, but his best friend and now captain of the guard Galo smacked some sense into him. He goes back to reclaim his kingdom from the clutches of his power-hungry cousin Jovita. I love Cas, I really do. He is a great leader and such a romantic.
Aren battles his internal emotions throughout the book and it’s a great way to show his character development. He’s gotten stronger since Ruined and starts to feel guilty about killing innocent people with Olivia. He starts to see the craziness that is Olivia and begins to doubt that her way is the right way. And let’s talk about the romance with Iria! I love them so much! As a Warrior, she is a tough as nails but she’s a softy around Aren. And though Aren tries to fight his feelings for her, he can’t help it at the end. They were meant to be.
Like I said above, Em and Olivia are on two sides of the same spectrum. Olivia is all about violence, killing and instilling fear. Em is more lucid and tries to have Olivia see her ways, but Olivia is not having it. This causes discord in their dual ruling as Queens of Ruina. As shit starts to hit the fan, the Ruined begin to see that Olivia is unstable as a queen and begin to side with Em even after initially doubting her ability as queen.
I really liked this sequel; it was an amazing follow up to Ruined. I loved the additional characters of Violet and the arrogant August. They really added to the story as a whole, even if they were background characters. Amy Tintera’s writing and storytelling is amazing. The dialogue is full of amazing dry humor and sarcasm, which I love. It can only get better from here. I cannot wait to get into Allied next and find out how this story concludes!