Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Date: 4th June 2015
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.
What if you were the spark that could ignite a revolution?
For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice.
For Elias it’s the opposite. He has seen too much on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite soldiers. With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands, all in the name of power.
When Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commandant, ruthless overseer of Blackcliff Academy. Blackcliff is the training ground for Masks and the very place that Elias is planning to escape. If he succeeds, he will be named deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.
But once Laia and Elias meet, they will find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high and this time that price might demand everything, even life itself.
I read An Ember in the Ashes by the wonderful Sabaa Tahir last year after receiving the beautiful UK hardcover from my boyfriend. Honestly, if you haven’t seen it, it is beautiful. Once the jacket is off, it is this lovely gold and I am basically in love with it. Anyway, enough about how in love I am with the cover and more about this review! I thought I would do a mini review for An Ember in the Ashes before I share my review of A Torch Against the Night, the second book in this series. As I read Ember in Summer last year, I thought it would be best to post a short review, although I know that I may omit some details as I have read quite a few books since last summer.
An Ember in the Ashes was a fantastic introduction to Sabaa Tahir’s writing and the fantastic story within this book. The plot is so well thought out, the characters are so interesting to read and follow, and I really enjoyed the different perspectives. I find that with some books, the varying perspectives don’t always work that well, but Sabaa managed to make it work really well. There weren’t too many perspectives, so I think this is why it works.
I did find that the story has a lot of information, so it did take me a while to really fully understand what was happening and to actually just get into the book itself, but after I got to grips with the story, I did really enjoy it!
As I said earlier, the characters are really interesting with the two main characters, Laia and Elias, being my favourites. Both of them are my favourites for different reasons, with Elias possibly as my favourite ever so slightly more than Laia!
As I’m trying to keep this as a ‘mini review’, I will finish by saying that you HAVE to read this. Seriously, just read it, it’s fantastic, and the second book, A Torch Against the Night just continues to build on this fabulous story.