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.
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.
- 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.
- There is always something going on everywhere and it is not just in one patch of land. I am very much impressed by how alive the world Elias and Laia lives in. I am amazed by how the author expands the story to each of The Empire’s territories and never focuses in just one city or place. It is really something I rarely see in fantasy dystopian novels this days.
- Impressive character development. Each characters grew into something more than what I expected them to become. From the main characters up to the supporting ones, each of them surprises me with something new as the story goes on.
- The book doesn’t have a single map in it (Yes it does but only in hardback and I own the paperback version of the book). The most frustrating part in reading this novel is that it doesn’t have a single visual in the book. I have been aching to see a map of Serra since An Ember in the Ashes and not having a map of Kauf prison and even the whole empire in the second book makes it even worst. I hope this will be remedied in the third book. (Winks)
Thank you so much for reading my post. I hope to see you soon. For those who haven’t checked this series yet, I recommend this series to you.
Till my next review!