Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer. When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal. Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom. But no one has ever survived.
I’ll be completely honest, the first quarter of this book had me a little worried. It was good, but it wasn’t phenomenal. But my sister told me to read this book so I knew it must get better, and I’m glad I stuck with it. By halfway through the book, I was hooked. I guessed part of the twist of the book, but oh my god did the end take me by surprise. I found myself really liking the characters, even the ones you weren’t supposed to. Lynette Noni did a really good job making you see each character and who they were.
Now I’m all about a good romance, I read Sarah J Maas after all. This book wasn’t a romance. That’s not to say there wasn’t any romance, it just wasn’t a main plot point. I really liked that. I feel like making it a romance would have cheapened the book a little. The main plot would have suffered.
Overall, I truly enjoyed this book, and I’m excited to read book two. I would give this book 3.5 stars, with the potential that the next two books in the series could be a higher rating.