This is the sequel to The Bloodprint and I just loved it so much. You can read my review for The Bloodprint here
Synopsis from Goodreads:
To fight against the cruel and superstitious patriarchy known as the Talisman, members of the resistance group known as the Companions of Hira have risked their lives in a failed attempt to procure the Bloodprint—a dangerous text that may hold the secret to overthrowing the terrifying regime. Now, with their plans in ashes, the Companions of Hira have scattered, and the lives of two brave women at the centre of the plot—Arian and Sinnia—face unprecedented danger.
Yet a spark of hope flickers in the darkness—the Bloodprint has survived. It is hidden in Ashfall, the seat of Rukh, the Black Khan, whose court is ruled by intrigue and conspiracy. Treacherous enemies ruthlessly manoeuvre for power behind the throne, including the autocratic Grand Vizier; the deadly and secretive Assassin; the Khan’s deposed half-brother; and the commander of Ashfall’s army, who is also Rukh’s oldest friend.
The Companions of Hira must somehow reunite, break through Talisman lines, and infiltrate Ashfall. A master of treachery himself, the Black Khan joins forces with these powerful women to manipulate them for his own ends. But as Ashfall comes under siege, he is forced to make a deadly calculation… one that could cause irrevocable damage to the Companions and their fight for freedom.
This book picks up right where the Bloodprint ends and it is a dark book and so painful to read at times but I loved it so much. We see what happens to each of the characters after the ending of the Bloodprint and what they suffer through as they were betrayed by the Black Khan and left as prisoners. Arian and Sinnia have been separated and are unable to help each other. Daniyar is also a prisoner with Arian and is forced to fight to the death every night while Arian is forced to watch. Sinnia has been taken and is being tortured and honestly the first half of the book was incredibly difficult to read at times. But it shows how far people will go to show their dominance and control. Even twisting holy words which advocate for justice to suit their needs.
I did love seeing that Daniyar and Arian really care for each other and that they are willing to endure so much for each. We see that they truly love each other even though Arian will always choose the companions and her responsibilities she still does love Daniyar. It’s such a bittersweet relationship because they have such immense responsibilities that means they can’t be together truly but they are also drawn to each other no matter what happens to them.
Sinnia and Arian’s friendship and sisterhood is such a beautiful thing to see in books, I love seeing wonderful female friendships. There is no jealousy or resentment between them, they love each other and support each other through everything. I also loved seeing Sinnia with the two sisters who saved her when she was being tortured. I hope we get to see more of them in the next book.
The Black Khan has the Bloodprint and has taken it to Ashfall to help with the siege by the Talisman. He is a complex and confusing character, I’m still not sure how I feel about him. At times it seems that he is trying to do what is right and other times it seems as though he has ulterior motives and will sacrifice anyone and everything to gain what he desires. He pursues Arian even though she makes it clear that she is not interested and in love with Daniyar. He refuses to allow his sister to go and study and fulfil her dreams of joining the companions and studying. He is very misogynistic but also allows women in positions of power and is very contradictory. I think he does only what will keep him in power.
This story is as enthralling as The Bloodprint. I loved seeing the characters again and seeing how they interact after everything they have been through. I also liked seeing the new characters and particularly loved the Black Khan’s sister. The ending of this book is devastating and left me wrecked me. I am actually terrified of reading the next book. But also looking forward to seeing what will happen next.