Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, Laia watches as her grandparents are killed and her brother is arrested for treason. Narrowly escaping with her life, she seeks out a group of fighters known as the resistance. Once there, she agrees to risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for help rescuing her brother. 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 wanted to give the book 5 out of 5 stars, however, the book was very brutal to its main characters. With the amount of physical abuse and torture (not overly graphic but a constant event in
almost every chapter), I end up giving it 4 stars.
This was a very character-driven story. Intrigue came from trust or mistrust between the characters. What is someone's secret motivation? What does one character know that another does not? There were lots of fascinating characters that drove me deeper into the story.
Tahir is an excellent storyteller. She established her setting and society well. Then she placed multi-layered characters as guides for the readers to journey beside. Rich story with strong atmosphere and varied characters who go through lots of development. Laia was definitely my favorite by the end. I look forward to the next book!
Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse