Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date:  April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Giveaway via Topian Books
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

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 life is not always what we think it will be. You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.” - pg. 65
 I have so many different thoughts about this book. Between the writing, the characters, and the worlds, I was in love. Sabaa Tahir is an amazing writer and I cannot wait to see what else we get from her. As for this book, An Ember in the Ashes has been highly, highly hyped, even more so than Red Queen. As since it is a YA fantasy that is also a stand alone (as of right now), I was even more excited for it.

As for the actual book, we start out right away with action. I was immediately pulled into the Laia's family struggles and the life of the Scholar while also feeling incredibly bad for Elias and what he goes through as a Mask for the Empire. This story is told so well with the alternating perspectives and also with how the two stories eventually intertwine.

I have been really lucky this month so far with reading really amazing and well done books, and I'm so glad this book did not disappoint. I was a little bit worried about the hype ruining this book for me. But the action, the fantasy elements, and the political ramifications of the book were so engrossing, I was pulled right in and spent most of the day finishing the book. I just had to know how it would end.

And I know I said it is a stand alone as of right now, but I have to say that while it ends with many things wrapped up, I need so much more. This story is by no means done, there are still so many storylines that were not finished and still so many unanswered questions about the fate of both the Empire and the characters, especially Elias and Laia. I really hope we get at least a sequel of this book because I really want more!

I'd also like to add how absolutely stunning the book is in person. Between the cover and the initials under the dust jacket, it is gorgeous. However, the best part for me is the end pages with the maps. You have the Empire in the front and Blackcliff in the back and they are gorgeous black and white pictures. 

Let me know if you've read the book and what your thoughts are in the comments! Or if you plan to read the book!

No comments:

Post a Comment