Series: Bhinian Empire #2
Published by HarperTeen (11.4.2014)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 496 pages
Cast out of her family three years ago, Mara turned to the only place that would take her—a school where students train to protect others. But Mara is stunned when guarding a noble girl in the Empire’s capital turns out to be more dangerous than she could’ve imagined. More shocking still, she finds the boy she thought she had lost forever outside the gates of her new home.
Mara knew her life in the dizzying Imperial city would hold dangers. How could she have known that her heart, as well as her life, would be at stake?
I knew going in that this was a companion novel and not an actual sequel. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be the same without Nisha and *coughs* JERRIT, but this book was still awesome. First of all, the setting was magnificent! Miriam is a pro at bringing a world to life. She has just the right amount of detail without making the story boring. There were also little snippets of history and teachings in between the chapters that I enjoyed!
Mara was pretty freaking awesome! I was intrigued by her from the start because she was Sune, but she earned my respect with her fierce loyalty and perseverance. She was damaged, but was a stronger lead because of it. I enjoyed her journey in earning her honor back! View Spoiler »Not to mention she’s a freaking tiger! How awesome is that?! When I found out she was Sune, I was assuming she was a spotted cat as well. Pretty epic that she’s a top predator :D « Hide Spoiler
I really enjoyed Mara and Revathi’s relationship. At first Revathi seemed a bit condescending and cynical toward Mara, but as time passed they developed a very strong bond. It’s the kind of friendship that you don’t see very often in books anymore. They defended and protected each other no matter the cost. It was a beautiful relationship!
Okay, so…Mara and Emil. WTF?! Talk about instalove!! This was the one dark spot to this novel, and honestly it kind of ruined it a little bit for me. I like the idea of their romance, but the fact that they had had literally two interactions before the major turning point of their relationship (aka Mara getting injured and Emil holding her while she bled half to death and then kissing her) made it feel very forced. Mara saved his brother, he saw her for like 3 seconds; they saw each other again in the market and he gave her a carved tiger…then BAM! he loves her? WHAT?! I wanted to shake him and scream, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HER!!!! ARGH!! They were barely together at all; in fact, by halfway through I was wondering when their paths would cross so they could get to know one another because I knew from the beginning that they would fall for each other. Nope. Love at first sight, apparently. *sighs*
I do have to say that I love love LOOOOVED the way it ended! ALL THE FEELS!! The last word of the book floored me! View Spoiler »The whole time I was hoping some of the characters from the first book would make a guest appearance, and as it kept going without an appearance I started to get disappointed…until the end. EEP OMG OMG IT WAS NISHA’S PARENTS OMG YOU GUYS. I totally loved that! Squee! « Hide Spoiler
Sadly there was no Jerrit. My heart was broken a little bit :(
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5