Kill or be killed. Love or let go.
In a world divided between the Hunters and the Warriors, the prisoners who have fallen prey to King Cyrus's decrees are forced into the arena to fight until death. The winner is granted mercy and the privilege to see another sunrise–for the loser, it’s death unto the weak.
Seventeen year-old Princess Echo races towards freedom to find out who she really is, and to put a world that has been swallowed by lies back together again.
And then there’s Ayden. His very existence as a Hunter is forbidden, and with his otherworldly, violet eyes Echo is finding it hard to stay away from him. When death threatens their forbidden love Echo and Ayden are forced to do the unthinkable–how far will they go to be together?
*If I could give this book a million stars, I would. Unfortunately the max is 5, so 5 it is.*
Do you believe in second chances?
Not until I met you.
This book y'all. THIS. BOOK. I can't even.
BenjaminofTomes on YouTube described this book as An Ember in the Ashes meets Romeo and Juliet, and I agree almost completely, except that there is a bit of a Gladiator air to it as well.
I simply could not put this book down. There were hardly any "stopping points" throughout the story. It was so fast paced and had me on the edge of my proverbial seat for 98% of the story. I lost count how many times my heart raced either from fear or swooning. And trust me, there was a lot of swooning going on. Ayden just might be my new book boyfriend.
"I think I love you, Echo Abbeny. It's not about freedom. It's about how I am with you. I'm no longer a tortured soul, Echo; I have hope. You make me want to try harder, and not just for myself, but for my family and for you. Always you. You're so damn stubborn, but you make me look forward to the next day, whereas five weeks ago it was hell to think about the next week. You've given me a second chance."
Echo was a force to be reckoned with. She has never felt like she fit in with her family. She doesn't want to be Queen. She just wants to be free to make her own choices.
"I am a disgrace! I'm pitiful, Mother! You and Father have this hideous image of who you expect me to be, but I don't have the same mindset. I'm different, and forever will be. I don't want to be a princess; I don't even want to be here right now!"
This book had everything. Forbidden romance. Drama. Twists and turns. The ability to make you hate a character in the first half of the book and then sympathize with them in the second half. It also left me wanting more. I need to know what happens next! My only regret is that I didn't buy the whole set of books from the beginning. I don't know what I was thinking only buying book 1. Now my poor mailman is going to be traumatized by my less-than-secretive stalking.