Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
Why I Picked This Up: Because I got this as an ARC and it’s been on my most anticipated list for this year, plus because the first book was so freaking awesome!
My Review on the 1st Book
Elias and Laia are running for their lives.
After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.
I LOVE the first book! This book has been on my most anticipated list for 2016 since I finished book one. This book for me did not disappoint. This book has to be one of the better “middle” or “second” books out there. I didn’t feel that “middle book syndrome” and I so appreciate that. Now grated I heard through another book blogger that… “Sabaa has two more books in her head and is waiting to see if they’ll be able to come out and play.” oooooh that sounds amazing!
Now I’m going to be careful in case you haven’t read the first book yet so I don’t give too much away that is spoils book one.
I really enjoyed the pacing and felt like it was a good pace. I felt Tahir did a great job when it came to the alternating character POV (point of view). Each voice and character were VERY distinct and I appreciate that. Generally I don’t care for alternating POVs but felt just fine when reading this book and it didn’t bother me. We have a new POV and that is Helene from the first book which makes this more interesting to read!
I really liked how this was completely actioned backed. It picks off right where book one ended (THANK FREAKING YOU!) which I really like so I don’t have to go through the explaining of book one. Whew! move on!
I liked the writing style it was easy to read and easy to understand. It flowed and wasn’t too flowery which I am very picky about. There were some EPIC lines in here which is important and it helps the book stand out more.
“You are a torch against the night- if you dare to let yourself burn.”
I’m SOOOOOOOO grateful that Tahir made this story more believable which the fact that there are twists and turns, there are flawed plans, and that every plan doesn’t go accordingly and that there are mistakes made and bad decisions and what-not. It makes for an overall better story, you know?
I LOVE Elias and I love his battered worn soul, hungry for freedom and redemption even though he feels he doesn’t really deserve it. I love everything about him, his flaws, strengths, desires etc. he was just well done and the character development with him was perfect. #TEAMELIAS
Laia, sweet Laia. We see more backbone in her which I LOVE and I liked seeing her struggle.
The romance didn’t overwhelm the story which I LOVE when reading any book because I like a long drawn out love story and something worth fighting for. This has a triangle? no wait….maybe a square? or… no pentagon. it’s gotta be something like that. Yeah, it’s complicated.
“You want to talk now? After weeks of not even looking at me?”
“I look at you.” His response is swift, his voice low. “Even when I shouldn’t.”
We have more characters involved and the story just continues to grow and progress. I’m so looking forward to what happens next!
Overall: Fans of book one WILL NOT be disappointed. It’s a well written book two and I look forward to more in this series and from Sabaa Tahir.
*A HUGE Thank You to PenguinTeen for reaching out to me for this ARC which I got in exchange for an honest review*