“Curse this world for what it does to the mothers, for what it does to the daughters. Curse it for making us strong through loss and pain, our hearts torn from our chests again and again. Curse it for forcing us to endure.”
Rating: 4/5 stars
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.
It’s amazing how we willingly pay to be traumatized, but honestly I’d do it all over again if I could. I have to say, there is no one in the writing game quite like Sabaa Tahir when it comes to opening up EVERY book with heart-pounding intensity. With that being said I was already terrified to start this book knowing that and also because, let’s face it, Sabaa is also not the kindest to her characters. When I read the first 80 pages of this book I NOPED and put it down so fast not because it wasn’t good, but because things were not going well for the characters and I knew it was about to get SO MUCH WORSE.
Spoiler alert: it did.
After almost a month of a hiatus from this I decided I just needed to rip the bandaid off and get it over with. So despite knowing that my heart was about to get stomped on I willingly dove myself back into the story of Laia, Elias, and Helene for the third time and I was not disappointed. Heartbroken and absolutely terrified for book four? YES. Disappointed? Never. I honestly don’t think there is a word that can accurately describe how afraid I am for book four. I think after this book I may actually like Laia a little bit more. If you know me you know she and I never really connected and forget about me shipping her with Elias. It’ll never happen. But nonetheless, I did find myself feeling something slightly other than nothing for Laia. Helene, on the other hand, oh how my heart bleeds for her. Some things will never change. She is my queen.
Anyway, I really struggle with writing reviews multiple books into a series because just about everything is a spoiler, so I’m going to keep this as simple and as vague as possible. Laia, Helene, and Elias are all doing their own thing. The Commandant is still being a selfish bitch. War is coming. People are dying left and right. Hearts are breaking. Necks are snapping. War is now here. The Nightbringer is trying to wreak havoc on the world. NOTHING IS OKAY. Yep, that’s basically a summary of the book.
Three things I loved most about this book are:
1.Finding out Cook’s backstory, if you know you’re probably sobbing with me
2.Helene and Harper’s slow burn romance?!?! SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY
3. The wild ending battle absolutely annihilated my hopes that this will have a happy ending but ya girl is still trying to gather the pieces of my shattered hopes and dreams. They might be slipping through my fingers, but I’ll never give up on these characters, especially my queen.
“Pain is a choice. Succumb to it and fail. Or defy it and Triumph.”
“Strange how monsters can reach from beyond the grave, as potent in death as they were in life.”
“Mercy, Blood Shrike. That is my order. I do not deserve it. I do not even wish it. But you’ll give it to me anyway. Because you’re good.”
All in all, this book will take your heart on a treacherous journey of emotions and you will never be the same. But you still need this book in your life. If you haven’t started this series I would HIGHLY recommend it and if you have started this series just know I’m sorry and you’ll probably need a large dose of therapy by the time it’s over!
Until next time!