First line: My brother reaches home in the dark hours before dawn, when even ghosts take their rest.
Summary: In the brutal Martial Empire any opposition is met with death. When Laia's brother, Darin, is arrested, she seeks out the resistance for help in freeing him. Her request is granted with conditions: She must enter the service of the fearsome Commandant of Blackcliff Academy as a spy or leave her brother to die in prison. Elias Veturius, a student and soldier at Blackcliff, is trying to escape the life of a soldier who will spend his life killing. Laia and Elias learn that they may have the chance to change the empire.
Ashley's thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! I listened to the first half on a drive to Colorado, but I hated having to wait to finish it. I checked out the e-book and finished it the next day. The characters are amazing; the plot is fast and intense. This book feels fresh. Many young adult books follow a similar pattern, but I felt that Tahir did a great job of taking this book to another level. I immediately had to get book 2 (also great!) and now book 3!
Note: This book is volume 1 in a series, and was released Feb. 9, 2016.
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