Daughter of Chief Ruin, Breen is one of the most fearsome warriors in the Southern Delica Tribe, but nothing can stop the Emperor from reaping the Savage Lands for soldiers.
When her village is attacked, Breen is taken from her home and her family to the Seaburn Academy, where southern savages are broken and chained into a life of service to the Empire. Through the beatings and torture, Drakkone, one of the few Seaburn-born soldiers, brings solace to her days and gives her hope for the future.
Once freed of the Academy dungeons, Breen is sentenced to daily training between her plots for escape. But one night of unexpected passion turns into a problem bigger than either of them could have imagined.
Breen and Drakkone must risk capture and flee the city or death might be a blessing compared to eternal imprisonment.
In Book 1 of this series, we encountered the Kingdom of Seaburn that was ruled by a council but there was a mention of the past when Seaburn was ruled by an evil Emperor. This book takes place in those times. You can find my review of Book 1, Haven, by clicking the cover below!
Breen is a fierce warrior and an ideal representation of the tribes. She’s fierce, loyal and takes pride in the warrior-like nature of her tribe which Seaburn insists on calling “Savage.” But for them fighting skills are a birthright and suddenly it turns out that those same skills are the cause of the target on their heads.
“We have to stay strong.”
“We will,” she assured. Her fingers clenched.
“We can’t go down like this.”
The Seaburn Empire gets its soldiers from the Tribes people. Every now and then, they attack the tribes and take away the warriors back to Seaburn where they’re tortured mentally and physically until they submit themselves to the service of the Seaburn armies. To the extent that those ex-tribal warriors even help in capturing other tribe members because they’re completely empty inside. There was excellent world building in that aspect.
“There is no honor in this death. There is no fight,” he continued. “There is only suffering. There is only pain.”
I did really love Breen! She was fearless and despite everything she had to go through, she never lost sight of who she was and didn’t allow herself to break under the endless torture. Drakkone had to be the sweetest character ever! He faces an inner battle between his morality and his duty towards his country. He knows what they’re doing to the Tribe people is wrong but how can he betray his country and in turn put his family in danger? We got to see a really soft side to him that we didn’t really encounter in Haven.
But for me, just like Haven, the romance developed a little too fast, It wasn’t insta-love exactly but it still happened way too fast. And i wasn’t really feeling any romantic chemistry between the two characters. It felt like Drakkone did love Bree but she wasn’t really as in love with him as he was with her. We were told she loved him instead of being shown.
And i have to say, the story started out PERFECTLY!!! I was immediately gripped and sucked into this horrible world and i could not put it down and then suddenly halfway through the book, the pace changes completely to a faster one and we kind of leave the plot behind. It was just a continuous cycle of escape and being found. So the story kind of lost its grip on me halfway through.
Can it be read as a standalone? Yes! But if you want a concrete ending to some of these characters then read book 1! So would i recommend these books? Yes! Because they are still good and quick standalones and god knows we need more YA standalones!
Hope you guys have a great week :)!