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 guess it was naive of me to think that the journey to Kauf would be a big easier for Laia and Elias. The journey was full of danger, lies, and death. I never thougth that everyone would survive this journey but, I was not prepared for all the sacrifices that were made. No one will be the same if they make it through this. Friendships and loyalty will be tested. Can Elias and Laia rescue Darin? Is he even alive? Can Helene actually kill Elias? So much intrigue! I was on the edge of my seat with the end of each chapter.
There were a lot of reviews that appeared to not enjoy Helene's new chapters in this one. I personally loved them. It was very interesting to see what was going on inside the Empire while Elias and Laia were on the run. There was a massive amount of internal conflict for Helene. Helene went through so many terrible things. She is broken now and everyone is at risk. She is going to get her revenge and everyone who has wronged her should be afraid...very afraid.
Elias...oh how I just love him. I wanted him and Laia together so much! They had so many beautiful moments. There is a cloud between them...well 2 actually. Keenan for one. A thorn in my side that boy is. I have never liked him. I figured a journey across the desert would be more romantic however they aren't alone often and Elias has a lot to deal with. I still have high hopes. With everything that's happened I am uncertain of anyone's future.
I am very sad that I have to wait until 2018 sometime for the next book in the series. That is way to long! I am invested in these characters and need to know what is going to happen with 2 more books planned. I am glad I picked this series up. It lived up to the hype and I was worried it wouldn't. So now I play the looooooong waiting game for the next book.