Countdown to ATATN: 4 Reasons We Can’t WAIT to Read Helene’s POV

Okay, so obviously, Allie and I are pretty excited about Sabaa Tahir’s new book. But you already knew that. What I’m here to do is continuing proving to you guys that you all should be, too.

What we’re excited about today is the fact that Helene Aquilla, of Gens Aquilla, is going to have her own Point of View chapters in Torch. And that is pretty fabulous. Why? Well, here’s why…


  1. Helene is BADASS. Seriously, she’s got to be. She’s the ONLY GIRL in Blackcliff Academy. The Augurs (creepy immortal guys who choose the entrances to the crazy academy) only choose ONE girl (or none at all) to attend Blackcliff at a time. And they’re never surprised when that girl fails. But you know who didn’t fail? Helene.She not only survived, she thrived at Blackcliff, becoming one of the top four Senior Skulls and therefore a nominee to become the EMPEROR of the Martial Empire at the Trials. That’s a huge deal! The only girl at the school has the opportunity to not just become one of the highest ranking positions in her family and in the empire as a Mask, she’s got the chance to LITERALLY RULE IT ALL, or be the #2 to the person who does. Girl’s got it going on.
  2. Helene knows things. Specifically, she knows things about Elias. After they’ve both been picked for the Trials, Elias wants only to find Helene because she knows him best. She knows that he writes the family he grew up with once a month, she knows that he’s the one who plays nasty pranks on the people they dislike at Blackcliff, and she simply knows him best. With Elias on the run in Torch, I can’t wait to see how Helene handles that knowledge. She’s going to use it to her advantage because she’s also incredibly smart. She’s proven herself deserving of all of her accolades, because she’s knowledgeable about what she’s doing.
  3. Helene is honorable. She knows what’s expected of her, and she does it to the best of her ability -no matter what. But you can also tell it causes her pain. When we meet her in the beginning of Ember, there’s a deserter on the loose from Blackcliff. Though she doesn’t seem to enjoy it very much, she knows it’s her duty to cheer on as that deserter is whipped to death. It’s the first time we see Elias and Helene in such a stark difference – Helene is going to be a Mask because she has her honor, and she’s someone who follows the rules. Even if we don’t agree with what she believes in, the fact that she is so loyal to her cause and so honorable she’d never break the rules, that, in a way, it’s remarkable and admirable; in another, it’s really horrifying. She really serves as a foil to Laia in this way, as well. Laia is literally always breaking rules as a Scholar – she knows how to read. When she becomes a slave, she disobeys and sneaks out. But Helene? She wants to turn Laia in when she discovers it, much to Elias’ chagrin. She’s on the straight and narrow, even if she doesn’t know where it will lead her. We can’t wait to see what goes through her head in these moments.
  4. Helene is special. We don’t know it as first, and she doesn’t seem to either, but Helene has some crazy super healing power! When she sings, she makes a difference. And it’s something we don’t fully understand, so it will be great to learn more about her ability and see her work through what this ability means as she journeys throughout Torch.

And there you have it! Four reasons we CAN’T WAIT to read Helene Aquilla of Gens Aquilla’s POV in Sabaa Tahir’s forthcoming bestseller. (Let’s be real, we know that’s not an exaggeration either!)


(Pics in this post via Pintrest)


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