I stood in a wonderfully long line to get the ARC this summer at ALA and boy was it worth it. I didn't think that this second book could be better than the first, but I was proved wrong. Tahir is a masterful storyteller and world builder. This book will set your heart racing and then squeeze it till it hurts leaving you breathless in anticipation for the next book.
Laia and Elias are on the run from Helene, Marcus and the Commandant. Hunted at every turn they must find a way to get to Kauf and free Laia's brother while evading almost certain death. Throughout the story we get to know the characters, and their back stories. We learn to understand their motivations better and what drives them. Then everything that we think we knew gets turned on its head with plot twists you didn't see coming. The book will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions - from Elias' sacrifice to the tormented Helene. Your heart will break with the Commandant's wanton murder of the Scholars and a new enemy will crop up with the sadistic Warden of Kauf. Highly recommended. Fantastic world building and character development in a story that will definitely have you taking sides. Due to graphic scenes of violence I would recommend this book for 14 and up.