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.
I read this book in a matter of days. This is the first novel I have read by Tahir. I’ve followed her on Instagram for over a year now just because she’s hilarious but now I love her even more because of this book!
I remember there was a lot of hype when this book came out but I haven’t heard much about it since A Torch Against the Night (the second book) released. I’ve had it siting on my self for about a year now and sometimes I have my husband help me pick out my next read and this was the one he picked because he liked the cover.
I feel in love with this book about 80 pages into it. Don’t get me wrong, it was fast paced from the get-go but you don’t really understand what’s happening until the backstory has been explained. It was set up almost like a pilot to a TV show.
I quickly fell in love with Elias Veturius. I like his tough, but troubled personality. He’s like the most perfect man ever! Another thing I noticed that was unique about these characters was that not all of them were young adult age. I think the novel still is considered a YA just because Laia is 17 but Elias is 20. Usually author’s stay away from characters in their 20’s because it makes the book easy to label as a New Adult versus Young Adult and supposedly the audience isn’t as big for New Adult. It is growing but I don’t think it will ever be as popular as YA.
I ordered the second novel, A Torch Against the Night, a day before I finished the book because I knew I was going to have withdrawals if I didn’t get my hands on it quick. After doing a bit of research, it looks like this is going to be a set of 4 books but the third installment isn’t expected to be released until 2018. 2018! Why must we suffer so long without it!? I’m sure Mrs. Tahir is very busy with her kids and husband but the readers are suffering!!!!
I have yet to reach the end of the second book but I have a feeling it’s going to be sad and leave us with a cliff hanger.
I give this novel 5/5. If you haven’t picked it up yet I highly suggest that you do. The Greek/Roman style world is new and exciting compared to anything else out there and you will instantly fall in love with Elias and Laia.