SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):
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.
Goodreads Rating: 4.41/5 Stars (As of 9/4/2016)
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I have to say, this is probably one of the best sequels that I have ever seen – no, it’s one of the best sequels that I have ever read. Sabaa Tahir is truly a master storyteller and I am so honored to have had the ability to read her books (and to anticipate the new ones coming soon!).
Just like An Ember in the Ashes, this book had the perfect pacing. I never wanted to put it down – for there was a great amount of interest built into every chapter and every character. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next, no matter if it was a slow or fast moment. Every page, every word carried importance, and that is something I truly respect.
More than that, though, I was in awe by the amount of character development was saw within this book. Since it was told within three different perspectives – Elias, Laia, and Helene – we got to see all three of these characters grow and evolve (this wasn’t as greatly seen on the minor characters end). These three learned the truth behind their mistakes, courage, love, and being unmade. Usually it takes a few books to see this level of character growth, and to see it all happen within 452 pages left me awe struck.
In addition to that, we were also witnessing a nice set up for the antagonists for the next two books. We have two different antagonists and it is going to be interesting to see where their plots ultimately take the reader. I know I am experiencing a great amount of frustration when it comes to them two, so it’s going to be interesting to see where we are taken on that journey!
However, the most surprising aspect, for myself, is how much I enjoyed exploring the world with the characters. Normally I detest books that spend the majority of the time travelling across the world, but that was definitely not the case with this novel. Was it because the plot was progressing along with the world exploration? Or was it because every place carried an important piece of information that the characters and readers needed? I don’t know what it was, but Sabaa definitely used the world as a tool to progress her story along, versus it being something that just exists and doesn’t function well with the plot.
I simply cannot wait for the third book to come out – and I am so happy it was expanded into a four book series! Sabaa leaves me breathless every time I finish one of her books and I can’t wait to return to the world of The Empire alongside her three main characters.
An Ember in the Ashes (Series)
- An Ember in the Ashes
- A Torch Against the Night
“Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant ones have a purpose. Don’t lock them away. If you ignore them, they just get louder and angrier.”
― Sabaa Tahir,