Okay lets all agree on one thing- just ignore my actual stars rating because I have no clue how to rate this book.
THIS. WAS. SO. INTENSE. Pretty sure I still have whiplash??
If you think you’re gonna get a breather or a nice little break in this book from the craziness of book one, think again. This book picks up literally moments after the first ends. Laia and Elias are running for their lives and being chased. Marcus is the Emperor, and Helene the blood shrike. Lets not forget about Elias’s lovely sweet woman of a mother.
Honestly there were lots of ups and downs in the plot. There was so much action that I kinda wanted to it to simmer down at times- but that made it impossible to sit down. I think the oddest thing to me was even though this felt extremely intense and jam packed- the pacing at times still felt a bit laggy in certain areas. Yes, yes… I know that is contradictory…
**** MILD SPOILERS BELOW (but the big ones are hidden) ****
Here are some things that stood out:
I did not expect to enjoy these or like her this much (even though they were painful). Sure, we can tell that she’s more than a pretty face and a brute enforcer in book one – especially after she makes the decision to heal Laia. She’s a much stronger woman than I realized- and my heart just broke for her after hearing her side of the story. I’m almost sad that she’s not one of the original two POVs from book one. I’m actually quite sad about the whole love triangle thing because I just adore Helene so much now.
I mean for real. Can this dude be any more honorable? The guy thinks of everyone but himself. (Though okay- he’s still hella attracked to almost any female in his path and it just makes me lol). His story is just riveting and he’s constantly trying to do what is right. My heart just crashed thinking “there is just no way”[ we find out the Commandant has poisoned him and he only has months to live (hide spoiler)]. Ugh.
I think that leads me to my biggest complaint and why I didn’t immediately jump to 5 stars, even though many parts of this book felt like 6 stars. The ending just made me feel odd and a bit unsatisfied. Of course, this is not where the story ends so my perception of these events with Elias might greatly change. But for now, I just don’t quite understand it and I can’t help but feel a little icky. Maybe I’m just sad. Maybe it will end up being totally awesome in book 3.
I find that I can’t talk about Laia, her decisions, Keenan, or any romance without spoiling everything. Perhaps once this book has been out for a while, I can finally bring myself to talk about it.
Which leads me to my next point…
Holy PLOT TWIST Batman…
Nope, I’m not even going to write what happens even in a spoiler tag for this. I was completely floored… shocked… I think I actually jumped out of bed. Don’t even try to guess it. You won’t. I’m still sitting here like… whaaaaaaaaaaaat just happened and now I need to reread everything!?
This is the only other thing that felt odd to me. We still have our Roman inspired world but it is much more focused on the paranormal now. The first book gave us plenty of warning for this- so it shouldn’t be a surprise. Yet, I still have a hard time grasping everything. Parts of it were really interesting but I’m still pretty much clueless. Oh well.
This was nuts and good luck with your feelings. I recommend popcorn, a big teddy bear named Elias, and some candles for further enhancement.