Rating: 4 out of 5.

Oh my gosh, you guys. This book!!! If you like dark fantasies that have mysterious sects with secret agendas, a questionable king, a brutal training process, and a strong female lead, pick this book up right now. It’s rare that a book grabs me from page 1, but this one did.

The brutality and ruthlessness of the training regiment is intense and I don’t even know where Malina, the female MC, gets her strength. Some of the training methods used were cunning and creepy and I’m dying to find out what the real story is, because the Chosen, as the remaining candidates are called, are definitely not told what’s really up.

The blurb says “When Malina is sold at an auction block, she fears life will take a turn for the worse. But even her darkest nightmares are nothing compared to the reality of what she faces when she’s delivered to the Mountain of Souls. Thrust into a brutal selection process where failure means death, Malina must train and fight not only to survive but to prove herself worthy to serve.” As Malina gets further into the selection process, the ghost of her dead brother haunts her, urging her to reject the teachings of her masters and follow her heart to do the right thing. These visits make Malina temporarily question her purpose and her role in the acts she’s tasked to commit, but her ruthless training quickly squashes these thoughts and Malina is jerked back to her training.

This book was enthralling and I couldn’t read it fast enough. It ended on a shocking cliff-hanger and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Love Book Tours and the author. All opinions are my own.