416p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062396631.
Gr 8 Up—While rescuing her sister from imprisonment in Lera, battle-skilled Emelina Flores gained a reputation for revenge. But her ruthlessness pales in comparison to that of Olivia, whose telepathic killing power leaves a trail of dead bodies behind them as the survivors of Ruina return home. The two rule together as queens, and Em hopes that Casimir, now king of Lera after the deaths of his parents, will keep his promise to leave them alone. But his cousin, Jovita, who thinks Cas is weak because of his romantic connection to Em, defies him and attacks Ruina, with disastrous results. Adding to this power struggle is Prince August from Olso, who offers the services of his warriors to protect Ruina if Em agrees to marry him and join their kingdoms. While Em and Cas want only peace, that seems unlikely to happen when hot-headed Olivia, Jovita, and August each vie for dominance. Em again proves to be a strong, conflicted character, but the wry sense of humor she displayed in the first book is sorely lacking here. Cas and some of the supporting cast are sympathetic, and another forbidden romance propels the narrative. However, pure hate and the desire for revenge make other characters seem one-dimensional. Graphic descriptions of exploding heads and other carnage caused by Olivia as she rages out of control become tiresome after a while. Still, there is enough adventure, intrigue, and passion to advance the plot and fuel interest in the next volume.
VERDICT Fans of Ruined will want to read this installment.

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