Friday, May 22, 2015

{REVIEW} An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication: April 28th, 2015
Rating: Rating: ★★★★★

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.

Oh my gooood. I finished this book 2 days ago and still can't stop thinking about the characters and everything that happened. I'm definitely in a book hangover and don't know how to get out, damnit. But I'm so thankful that there'll be a sequel (in 2016!  HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SURVIVE UNTIL THEN?!?) because that ending ... well it was cruel to end a book like that. Especially since it was planned to be a stand-alone. Thank god it isn't!

I got into this without knowing ANYTHING about the book. I had no idea what it is about or what I can expect. Usually I read a few reviews before reading a book and am definitely checking out the synopsis ... I did that once for An Ember in the Ashes, when I added it to my TBR, but forgot about it again - I guess that was a good thing! I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this book because it's not something I'd normally pick up ... a Rome-like world? Idk, that was never my thing.

However, I fell in love with the characters! The book is told in dual POV - Elias and Laia - and even if I wanted to, I couldn't decide which one I liked more. They were both very different and interesting to read.

"Fear is only your enemy if you allow it to be."

Laia is a great! She seems to be whiny and scared at first but that changes eventually and she understands that there's more about her than her fear of the Masks, amazingly skilled and deadly soldiers. She fights for her and her brother's freedom with everything she has and does things that are seriously admirable. Elias on the other hand is always strong and though. He has to be since he's a Mask. They don't show emotions or fear. But he's different ... and I liked him for that. Everyone seemed so careless and did whatever they were told but not him. I just really liked him, okay? He's a great character and I'm so, so, soooo looking forward to see more of him (especially with Laia!)

"There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that's a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It's damaged but it's there. Don't let them take it from you."

But that brings me to the one thing that disturbed me a bit ... the romance. I usually don't mind love-triangles - well, as long as they're not overpowering and weird. In this book you're faced with a love-square of some kinds ... it's complicated and hard to describe. There could be someone for Elias, there could be one for Laia but then there's Laia and Elias together and well ... I want this to work. That's one thing I'm very much looking forward to in the sequel! I have hiiiigh hopes for them and hope I won't be disappointed in the end!

As you can guess from my rating, I loved this book. So much. It was different and unique and Sabaa Tahir completely drew me into her story and her world. Her writing was fantastic and even though there were some "slower" parts it never got boring or annoying. Never. I think that says a lot! So everyone who's interested in a good read, please check out this peace of awesomeness! :D



  1. I'm so glad to see you liked it! I've heard only good things and it's getting me so excited. I always have a hard time buying hardcover because they're so expensive, but with all the love for this book I'm convinced it's worth it.

    1. It's totally worth it! There's even a map (well, 2 actually) and they're look so nice and pretty! :D

  2. YAY. Awesome review. I'm torturing myself by reading all these reviews about these amazing books and not actually being able to start them yet haha. I wish I could read faster!!! Excited to read this :D

    1. Thank you, Anissa! I know exactly what you mean, haha. I have so many unread books on my shelves and NEVER enough time to read them all, ahhh! I hope you'll enjoy it too! :D


Thank you for taking time to comment - you are awesome! I really appreciate it! ♥

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.