OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH. I TRIED SO HARD NOT TO WRITE THE TITLE IN COMPLETE BLOCK LETTERS.
I AM FOREVER CHANGED DUE TO THIS BOOK.
EN EMBER IN THE ASHES? PFFTTTTTT, PLEASE!
YOU THINK THAT BOOK WAS BRILLIANT? WELL, SISTER, YOU GOTTA LOT TO CATCH UP ON!
Okay, so now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can finally right a review FOR THIS AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, so maybe I need to calm down just a little more. I finished it about 3 hours ago and I am still super caught up in it. The cliff-hanger was TOO HUGE TO COMPREHEND. You are literally left thinking, “WHAT NOW?” And, we all have to wait until 2018 for the third book! NOOOO! I will be in college by then! WE need the third book now.
I buddy-read this book, and it was so much fun! We were literally screaming at each other over messenger as we read, ahah!
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
I can’t even try to explain how vague that synopsis is. . . SO MUCH MORE HAPPENS.
The Characters (spoiler-free).
Elias. My sweet, Elias. I love him. You think he’s amazing in An Ember In The Ashes, but in this book he is just 200% amazing. Honestly, he was brave, selfless. . . Basically Elias Veturius. In this book I felt all the possible feels you can feel about a character without self-combusting. Honestly, every time that Elias’ PoV came up I was so desperate to know what was happening. I think that in this book so much was focussed on him, I love it!
Helene. My heart hurts. I loved having her point of view, and I think it made me love her even more, as we really got inside her head — I love detail! My heart went out to her literally the entire way through the book as she was so courageous through out and was facing an impossible situation. I loved the focus on Helene and in how much depth it went into, as you really got a sense of who she is, because overall, we didn’t really get that much of her in An Ember In The Ashes.
Laia. I love her, but she sort of annoyed me a little with the Elias related aspects, it felt like she was just using people to save her brother in the beginning, but as the book progressed, I thought that she was an amazing character and was so brave — she isn’t a mask/ part of the Black Guard, but she could have fooled me!
The Commandant. Gosh, I loathe this woman. She really is the Bitch of Blackcliff. I wanted to smack her in the face. She was so brutal, and emotionless. I love the ability to make such a dark character, but I LOATHE HER. She’s just horrible.I feel like we didn’t get to know more of Keris Veturia, but a lot happened with the commandant at the same time. If that makes sense? I feel like in the next book we are going to get a lot from her, and her back story.
The Plot/ The Pace.
Obviously, it’s Sabaa, so the pace and plot were amazing.
The plot was crammed with so much, without it being a total info-blast the entire way through. There were cliff-hangers, plot twists, and loads of “WTH?!” moments: they were all so unpredictable, and apart from the main plot, we had no idea what was going to happen next. I loved how action packed this book was, I wasn’t expecting so much so soon, we were literally thrown in from the very beginning!
The pace was fast, but still had adequate detail/ emotions. I felt like we didn’t get as much detail in places, but I sort of liked that fact that your imagination could really run wild with the settings and make them really extravagant places.
There were so many feelings put into this book, I think I’m on a feelings-over load right now, which is great, but terrible, at the same time. I only get this feeling when the book I’ve read is SO AMAZING. So, yeah, this book was SO AMAZING!!
I can’t really say much more with out spoiling it for those who haven’t read it yet.
SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!! AVOID THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK AND SKIP TO THE END!!!
Keenan. I hate him so much. I don’t like him. I really don’t. And this book seriously amplifies my hate for him. Not because of Sabaa making a terrible character development, but because he is horrible and there is so much character development that I can truly hate him. I felt something was off with him, from the very beginning, and then BOOM! He’s actually the night bringer, an also responsible for the death of Laia’s family.
And when they had s✳︎✳︎, I was screaming “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KISSING ME!” I mean, how dare Laia choose KEENAN OVER ELAIS!? WHO IN THIER RIGHT MIND WOULD DO THAT? AND TO HAVE SEX WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN’T THE ONE SAVING YOUR BROTHERS LIFE? And in that exact moment, Elias was getting tortures by the Warden (but she couldn’t have known , really, could she?)
Lizzy. I cried so so so much when she died! She was positive, and SO BRAVE. I can’t even process what happened to her, and it felt so early into the book, too. She was such a great character, and I totally shipped her and Afya’s brother! I thought that they would have been so cute together :(. I loved seeing her again in the Waiting Place, and even then she was lovely, and giving Elias support. I’m happy that she was able to move on.
Cook. It was really nice to have her in the second book, and know what was going on with her. If she wasn’t included then I would have been wondering about her even more. Does she know about Izzy dying? She’ll be devastated and I feel really bad for her as Izzy was her family.
Avitas Harper. I just KNEW that he wasn’t really with the commandant. I really liked his character, yes he has secrets,but who doesn’t? I thought that he and Helene would happen, I mean, wouldn’t they be greta together. But then came the fact that he was Elias’s brother! SO. . . MAYBE NOT?! And I think that it was him who spoke to Laia,before they broke into Kurf, wasn’t it? I hope it was, that would make my heart so happy.
The Warden. What a character. I think that you get to know him really well, despite him not having much background shown? I hated his quotes, I thought it was good for the character, I just hate when people quote in real life constantly like he does. In the beginning, I had hope that he could have been semi-nice, but nope. There he goes, torturing Elias. He was so mean, I loved it, but hated him.
ELIAS DIED. I HAD A FULL-BLOWN MELT DOWN. I was crying like crazy, and right now I’m not even embarrassed about it. Then he went to the waiting place, and I got worried that he would move on, but he’s Elias, so of course not! Right now I don’t know if he’s alive, or semi-alive? Will he age, or is he stuck at his present age?
Things that I probably won’t get over for a while:
- The Keenan situation, it won’t take me as long as the other things as I really don’t like him, but it will still take a while.
- Elias being tethered to the Waiting Place. I’m just. . . yeah not getting over that anytime soon.
- Izzy’s death — pretty explanatory.
- Helene’s parents and Hannah being killed by Marcus, then Marcus marrying Livvy. Just EW.
- Mamie Rila and the tribes. That whole event was just WOW.
Basically the entire book.
END OF SPOILERS !!!
PRO: The plot.
Have you read it? What do you think of this book? If you haven’t, are you planning to?
I’d love to hear what you think,