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.
I am actually unashamed to say that I honestly only bought and read this book because of how popular it was and how everyone said that it was one of the best books of the year.
When I bought this, I honestly knew almost nothing about it but that it was a dystopian/fantasy mix and that it was fairly clean.
So while I don’t think this will be my favorite book of the year, I am glad I read it and I look forward to the next book and the movie.
When I first started reading this book, I was kinda disappointed. It didn’t seem new or spectacular like I was expecting it to be. It took me roughly 100 pages to really get into the story and characters.
After I got past the first 100 pages, the story really started to pick up and I found myself constantly thinking about the book and wanting to read it all the time. I honestly think I read over 50% of the book in 24 hours. It just got that good.
The characters and their development was flawless. I fell in love with Laia, Keenan, and Elias and I am so excited to see them develop in the next book. Plus, The Commandment (aka the villain) was so strong and so believable… I loved her. I love how I also got a little backstory for her. I would honestly love to see a novella about her and how she got where she is now.
Don’t we all have a few of those characters that we just hate? Like you just don’t agree with any of their actions and wish that they were gone? I added a new character to my list after reading this book.
I’m talking about you Helene.
She reminded me a lot of Theresa from The Maze Runner (whom I also hate). I know, in the end, she meant well… but I can’t justify her actions. She was a horrible friend to Elias and.. ugh I could rant about this all day but I’ll just move on.
This book is not clean. It does involve some frequent uses of language and has some suggestive material. Nothing explicit, but it does talk about wench’s and things like that quite often.
I do recommend this book for the fantastic story and phenomenal writing, but it’s definitely not for kids or young teens.
Have you read the book?
Are you on #TeamElias or #TeamKeenan?