"But it doesn't matter. For now, these steps are enough. These first few precious steps into darkness. Into the unknown. Into freedom"
"Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day single moment comes along to define every second that comes after." -Laia
"The field of battle is my temple. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release."- Elias
First of all I would like to say something about the cover of this book. It is so stunning, I was simply obsessed with it. The black and golden combination was apt. I basically bought it as cover buy. But it was totally fruitful as I started reading. It got me hooked from the very first page to the last. And now it left me in suspense and I can't wait to read the sequel.
Here's a short synopsis- Laia is a seventeen year old girl who lives with her elder brother Darin and her grandparents Pop and Nan in the Empire. They are Scholars, the one who are weak and ruled over. Her parents who were the head of the Resistance died and so did her elder sister few years ago. After all these years, one night, a Mask came and attacked them. The Mask and his men killed Nan, tortured Pop and captured Darin. Laia somehow escaped. She fled away as far as possible from her quarters and the Resistance took her. After a lot of confusion she was able to explain who she was and that she needed their help to save her brother. The head of Resistance, Mazen made a deal with her, she would have to be a Slave Girl of the Commandant and work as a spy for them, in return she would get back Darin. Then her journey as a slave began in BlackCliff. On the other hand Elias was training Mask who was the son of Commandant, was planning to desert because he doesn't like the Empire and it's cruel rules. He wants to be free. Now that he is graduating, her mother wants to kill him in the trials of the election of the new Emperor. Not knowing the conspiracy Elias being a brilliant boy was selected as an Aspirant in the trials and took part. This is how Elias and Laia would cross each others path. They would save each other in various situations. Will Laia be successful in saving Darin? Can Elias win the trials and be the emperor and free himself and save the Empire from the inhuman clutches of the Masks and Commandant?
I hope that I could make a clear,simple and brief description of what the story is about. The one who have already read it will know and the ones who haven't they will surely get an idea.Now I come to my own thoughts. As I said before this book is really captivating. The story is said in two points of view - one is Elias' and other is Laia's. My favourite characters are Elias(obviously), Laia and Helene. I even liked the augur Cain at some point. This book is inspiring in many ways. It describes the struggle of a girl who fights for her brother's life and never gave up for a single instance. So, the best thing this book has taught me is to have courage , however tough may the situation be one needs to keep eyes open and calm. The next thing is the right kind of friendship. Since I'm not a fan of unnecessary romance, I loved this plot. Even though there were many places where things could have gone more romantic, the author stayed on the right track.Then there is the elaborate description of the characters. The character of Helene is so heroic even being a girl she no less than a boy. Elias on the other hand is perfection in every aspect. I bet all the readers fell in love with Elias. No matter what the trial was he always fought bravely with just and yes, he has tremendous kindness even being a Mask. That's what make him different from the others. Along side there is many adventures and actions. Then there are many supernatural and mythical characters which I really liked.
So, I highly recommend this book to any bibliophile. If you haven't read this book yet, you definitely should. It won't be a waste, I tell you.