Book Review: A Torch Againts the Night by Sabaa Tahir

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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.

arrows★★★★★(5 stars)

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After the horrors of the trials and the seat of the newly crowned emperor, the Empire is bound to hunt Elias and Laia down after escaping the wraths of the traitor’s beheading.

With Helene as the newly assigned Blood Shrike, she must choose between her heart and her family while battleing with the crown and the Commandant who only greeds for power.

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  • Helene’s narrative. I was surprised when I saw Helene having her own narration in the second book. It makes me understand more of her character and the burden she is carrying while being Marcus’s Blood Shrike.

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Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

arrows★★★★★(5 stars)

arrowsLaia has been a free person until one day, her brother is arrested for treason. Wanting to bring her brother back, she seeks aid with the Resistance. But everything comes with a price.

Elias was finest solder but the most unwilling. When his plan to escape Blackcliff on the night of his graduation falters, he must decide what is best in order to obtain his true freedom.

As the two of them meet, their destinies intertwined, the two must survive the cruelty of the world and change the empire forever.

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  • The writing style is very direct to its point. It is not your typical fantasy dystopian novel where words are flowery and full of metaphor. It is straight to the point but still, very entertaining to read.

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Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

arrows★★★★★(5 stars)

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It is Cath whom the King has chosen to be his bethrothed. With a heart as fluffy as a newly baked bread and skills being hailed in the whole of Wonderland, it is indeed a very smart choice for the King to marry her.

But her interest lies somewhere else.

When the court joker enters the scene, Cath became attracted into his talent and bravado, and with her dream of having a bakery of her own, everything seems so perfect.

Until, it isn’t.

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  • Wonderland. This whimsically bizarre place will enchant you to an idiosyncratic adventure that will leave your heart enthralled at the same time, broken into pieces with this tragic tale the Queen of Hearts has to tell.

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