Author: Saba Tahir
Published on: 28th April, 2015
Goodreads Rating: 4.31
My Rating: 5/5
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.
This is a fantasy series, set in Rome, revolving around two societies, scholars and martials. Scholars and martials had a war with each other, in which martials won and hence they took their lands and made scholars their slaves.
The book is told from two perspectives, Laia who is a scholar and Elias who is a martial. So we get to see the lives of these two characters in their respective situations and how they are affected by it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it’s very fast paced and each chapter ends at a cliffhanger (making it even more interesting!).
The world building is one of the important aspect, it just takes you so many places, so many emotions and feelings.. ;_;
Honestly, it was so fascinating to know about the world and the history, everything felt so real!
The Romance in this book is not the main focus in the story which I liked. It’s definitely there but it’s not on the face.
The character building is also phenomenal. I absolutely loved how Laia’s character emerges from a scared, weak girl to this revolutionary courageous character who is determined to get her brother back from the prison. I like how Elias Hates that martials are brutal and ruthless, and he doesn’t like the whole system.
Also the villain in this story, is so well portrayed that anyone will definitely HATE this person.
otherwise the friendship is amazing and the fight scenes and basically EVERYTHING IN THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!
I absolutely love this book and I cannot wait to read the sequel! I highly highly recommend it!