After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives Elias and Laia 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 Scholar’s 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 Kaur, 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 tortuous 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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read An Ember in the Ashes, the review of its sequel may spoil some of its story.
Failure doesn’t define you. It’s what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.
Ok, I normally don’t love stories told from multiple points of view. But, as with the first book in this series–An Ember in the Ashes–it works. We get two from the old crowd, Laia and Elias, but we also get to hear from Helene Aquilla in this book. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel about Helene in the first book, but I totally fell in love with her in this book. I loved hearing her story even more than Laia and Elias’s.
I did roll my eyes at the blossoming love between Laia and the jinn. I rolled my eyes quite a bit at that plot twist…
But other than that, I loved this book. I have a lot of exciting hopes for Helene and her new ally. I am curious to see how Laia and Elias stay connected. And there are TWO more books to read after this one!! TWO!!!
If you liked An Ember in the Ashes, keep reading the series. I think it’s only going to get better!