This book burned right through me. The story line, the characters' struggles and the emotions it evoked. Normally, I get technical when I'm dissecting a book. But I have to fangirl a bit.
I was excited, terrified, sad and damn near brought to tears. There were so many personal battles being fought in this one story that I felt I was going through it with them. There was a point when I had to put the book down and take a deep breath. Of course, I couldn't stay away too long. There was such anguish I felt for each character. For each moment of triumph I would exhale a breath of relief and wiggle with glee. I gotta say, "Sabaa Tahir, you got me with this one".
Ok, that was my blubbering moment. This book had a clear and beautiful writing style that struck the right notes. I could feel their emotions, hear the drums at Blackcliffs and see them in their masks as if I was there. The writing was bold and helped shape the world of Blackcliffs and Sera in a way that was believable. The changes I noted in the dialogue between the different characters was clear. You could discern the relationships as they grew and changed. That's what separates a good book from a great one. A friend of mine actually sent this book to me. Kim, you were right, I loved it.
Now let me make this clear. I am adding Elias to my band of fictional crushes. Tall, strong, masculine with the heart of a lion and soul of fire. Elias is my kind of guy. He was definitely 'an ember in the ashes' that glowed bright and hot. His struggle of being in the world of Blackcliffs but never apart of it, played out achingly beautiful. You know I love a character with a dark side. Elias was strong enough to fight the emotionless warrior they tried to make him.
In the end, it wasn't his stoic, steadfast best friend, Helena who saves him. Although she was in love with him, duty came first. She was made Bloodshrike and her first order was to execute him. Surprise, surprise the once scared slave girl Laia, who got a grip on a dagger, was the one who saved him.
After her world was ripped apart in one night, Laia, the Lioness' cub found her roar. She chose to fight back and save her brother. I saw enough tenacity in her to know that she was her mother's daughter. I mean coming out tougher than before, even after being the personal slave of the commandant of Blackcliffs, says it all.
The twists, turns and shadowy corners in this book left me gasping. I was completely engrossed in the story, the development of the characters and the unfolding of the prophecy.
I give this one a 4.5 stars. Go ahead, read it. I dare you. You won't be disappointed.
Hello, I'm Tammy and I love books! I love writing and reading them. I love them so much I just can't stop talking about them.