Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth have grown up in enemy countries locked in a long-standing fight for dominance over their shared planet. When Akos and his brother are kidnapped by the ruling Noavek family, Akos is forced to serve Cyra, the sister of a dictator who governs with violence and fear. Cyra is known for her deadly power of transferring extraordinary pain unto others with simple touch, and her tyrant brother uses her as a weapon against those who challenge him. But as Akos fights for his own survival, he recognizes that Cyra is also fighting for hers, and that her true gift—resilience—might be what saves them both.
When Akos and Cyra are caught in the middle of a raging rebellion, everything they’ve been led to believe about their world and themselves must be called into question. But fighting for what’s right might mean betraying their countries, their families, and each other.
When the time comes, will they choose loyalty or love?
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book but from the beginning I was pulled in. The story flowed well, and I quite enjoyed learning about all of the different characters and nuances between the different countries. It was neat having a heroine who didn’t need to be saved, at least, not physically. The way Cyra and Akos counterbalance each other is unique and refreshing. The way that grief and guilt is dealt with is realistic and heart wrenching; in a word, perfect. I quite enjoyed reading and I cannot wait to read on, so much so that I made sure to buy the sequel (since I had the first in paperback) before finishing this one!
An interesting note here is how Cyra’s situation mirrored rather similarly that of Katsa in Graceling, and yet the stories are not at all the same.
Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯