At Zalindov, the only person you can trust is yourself.
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan is a survivor. For ten years, she has worked as the healer in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, making herself indispensable. Kept afloat by messages of hope from her family, Kiva has one goal and one goal only: stay alive.
Then one day the infamous Rebel Queen arrives at the prison on death’s door and Kiva receives a new message: Don’t let her die. We are coming.
The queen is sentenced to the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals. Aware the sickly queen has little chance of making it through the Trials alive, Kiva volunteers to take her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
And with an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
Well damn, this book was good!
Should know anything that is Maas approved it going to be good but I really enjoyed reading this book.
Kiva Meridian has been banished to Zalindov prison along with her father Faran for suspected crimes against the crown.
10 years have passed and Kiva, the new prison healer has the unenviable job of branding each new inmate to Zalindov with a Z scarred onto their hand. Warden Rooke oversees the prison and favours Kiva for any information she can give him about the rebels.
Kiva spends her days healing prisoners with the help of a young boy called Tip who Kiva takes under her wing after the death of his mother.
While going about her duties, three new prisoners arrive, two deceased and one alive, but badly wounded. Escorted by guards and constantly watched, Kiva must heal this new prisoner and make him ready for prison life. Under the watchful eye of the new female guard Naari, Kiva can’t understand why this new prisoner Jaren is so taken with her.
Kiva communicates with her family outside the prison through coded messages that are sneaked into the clothing of new inmates. A missive arrives for her along with a new inmate telling her to keep this person alive, this prisoner is the Rebel Queen who seeks to take the crown of Vallenia.
With the Rebel Queen too unwell to partake in the Trial by Ordeals in which you are tested through trials of the four elements, Kiva takes her place. Now both of their lives are at risk, but if Kiva succeeds, they both go free.
Zalindov is a cruel place and Kiva has survived ten years there. Now there are four trials between her and freedom. A mysterious Prince who seems keen on keeping her alive with the help of his sister and rebellion on the rise. Not to mention a mysterious illness that surfaced 9 years ago which is making its rounds through the hospital and Kiva can’t find out why. All of this is a powder keg for a hell of a book.
This story was honestly so good! Kiva is such an interesting character and I love Naari, Tip and Jaren. Even the smaller characters such as Mot and Olisha provides a more expansive view of prison life, as grim as it is, they are all beacons of light in the darkness.
I was hooked on this story from the beginning and MY GOD I did not see that ending coming. I was anticipating that there would be something but I didn’t expect that.
Lynette Noni, you have left me in awe and wanting more!
This is a must read for 2021.