Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes 
Sabaa Tahir 

4.5/5 Stars

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.


If you're ever wondering if a book lived up to its hype, well.. this one did! 

I'm always afraid of starting an extremely popular book or series, because I feel like I go into it with high expectations and come out feeling a like I want a little more or my need wasn't fulfilled. This definitely wasn't the case for this book! The plot is completely different than what I'm used to, and it's refreshing to read something unique in the YA field compared to everything we normally read.

The plot was extremely intricate and I was truly enamored by Tahir's writing style. The woman is a genius and the story was well thought out! I also loved the pace of the book. It wasn't too fast, which is great when you're world building. Sometimes when a book moves too fast, 

It was a little tough starting out only because it takes me a while to really get fully invested in a completely different world and concept. The world building was great though, albeit I still have a few questions, which will most likely be answered in the next!

The characters for me had a lot of layers and you could tell a lot of time was spent developing them into their own. I loved getting to know each of them separately which the switching of the POV's - alternating between Laia and Elias (Elias as a solider to the Empire and Laia, a slave to the Empire - ayyyyyoo Star Wars haha!). I love when authors write from different perspectives because I feel like we truly get the whole story and understand fully. Having the dual perspectives was needed because the two characters came from different backgrounds and were forced to live according to society's standards and it was refreshing to see through the eyes of different people in one book.

In all honesty, if you haven't read this book yet, you need to move it to the top of your TBR pile.  Do it do it!!

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