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Countdown to ATATN: 2 Reasons Elias Wasn’t Cut Out To Be A Mask

So it’s Sunday, and that means there’s only two more days until A Torch Against the Night is released!

I am so excited. 

But before we get to Torch, Allie and I have to finish our countdown. She took care of our favorite love triangle yesterday, and today I’m here to talk about the one, the only, Elias Veturius of Gens Veturius.

Let’s be real: Elias is a terrible, terrible, terrible Mask. But why?

1. He’s empathetic. Masks are not meant to have empathy; they are not trained to care or to feel or even to think. They’re trained to kill, and kill well. And sure, Elias is pretty great at the killing part. But he’s got a heart. As Laia says, he’s got a soul. When he has to live his greatest fear, he’s brought face to face with all of the people he’s killed. They are still people to him, in a way they aren’t to other Masks. Everyone he kills matters to him. This is extremely problematic for his Mask fate. Elias doesn’t want to kill people, which is fundamentally against what he’s taught for over a decade at Blackcliff Academy. When a deserter is whipped to death, he doesn’t cheer – even if that will get him in trouble. He himself wanted to desert, so how could he cheer when someone like him was killed? It’s that empathy that stops him from being the Mask Helene or Marcus are.

2. He’s loyal. Now, bear with me here because loyalty is technically what got Elias almost-killed. But that was what others believed was his loyalty to the Empire – not the people in his life. He may have not been as loyal to the Empire as people wanted him to be, but Elias was incredibly loyal to the people around him. Whether it was Helene or his friends or even Laia, Elias made sure he did what was right by people. When the Trial of Strength came, he tried to save his own group as well as Helene’s, but he couldn’t. Only when he knew what he had to sacrifice could he save everyone. He risked his own life for Laia and Izzi after the Moon Festival even though they were slaves, because he knew they didn’t deserve to die. That’s true loyalty. That’s loyalty to others just on the basis that they are human too. Elias understands that loyalty isn’t just about following orders, it’s about doing what’s right in your heart and soul.
So there we are! Two days to go! Now I’m going to go finish my reread while I’m relaxing this weekend. I’ll swoon and sigh over Laia and Elias and when I cry at the end I’ll only have to wait until Tuesday for more!

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