Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill (US), Harper Voyager (UK)
Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Synopsis: Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
This book was SO good and I can’t believe I didn’t pick up this book sooner.
It was very hyped up when it came out. I thought I would be disappointed because I had extremely high expectations, but I’m so happy it surpassed my expectations – this book was incredible! Sabaa Tahir’s writing is impecable, the way she describes the world makes you feel like you are there with the characters. I also loved the alternating chapters, seeing things from both characters point of view definitely brought more to story and even though they were complete opposites, I felt scared/happy/sad for both just the same.
This book had so many amazing parts, there was never a dull moment, but my favourite scenes were definitely those where Elias interacted with Laia. I just found Elias to be so sweet, especially in such a harsh and cruel surrounding. As for my least favourite character I don’t think I could say, there were so many of them – the Commander is probably up there on my list of most cruel, but I think she may have an interesting back-story about Elias’ father that may explain why she hates him so much, maybe we’ll learn more in book 2…
Moreover, I enjoyed this book so much I read it as part of my own Bookclub group I run on Goodreads (Read with Tessa – linked below) and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel. 100% would recommend to any YA fiction lover!
Disclosure: Thank you so much to Razorbill (Penguin Young Readers Group) for sending me an e-ARC Sampler in exchange of an honest review.