This book is about a girl named Laia and a boy named Elias in Rome ruled by the Martial Empire. Laia’s brother is arrested for having drawings of Martial weapons and to free him, she goes to the Resistance. They make her spy for them in the Blackcliff Academy where she and Elias become romantically involved. Elias is a student in the Blackcliff Academy and close to graduating and becoming a Mask. He and three other students will partake in the Trials to recognize the next emperor. The plot dwindles down as Laia and Elias are faced with challenges and Tahir throws plot punches around every corner.
The book was very good, but it was rather odd for being a fantasy novel. Since the setting is Rome this book doesn’t leave too much to the imagination which is common in other fantasy books. Also the battles, and scenes of torture in this novel were very graphic and although it provides a sense of reality, at some point it gets too much. On the whole, however, the book was riveting and definitely recommend it.
The memorable thing about this book was some of the battles that happened here were so very graphic.