Reviewed by Shannon, Windsor Library
I’m not even sure how to summarize this book because so much happens and it’s so good. It takes place in a fantasy world kind of like ancient Rome where there is a caste system. The story is told from two perspectives: Laia who is a Scholar slave and Elias who is a Mask soldier. Although they start out very separate from one another, their stories end up crossing paths more than once and getting entangled in multiple ways. Both of them have a potential love interest of their own, but they are also drawn to each other, which provided an interesting love square rather than the typical love triangle. Their relationships are all complex and honest and confusing. But, the story is so much more than romance. It’s about survival, family, friendship, magic, and bravery. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel in April.
As for the Printz award, I think this one could end up with an honor because it is so unique and so well written, and it was one that made me feel a lot of different emotions (always a good sign). Since it is high fantasy though I’m not sure that it can get the win.