Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes

By: Sabaa Tahir
Pages: 464
Published: April 28th, 2015
Published by: Razorbill
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
My Rating: 4/5 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.”


Add AN EMBER IN THE ASHES to Goodreads right here! 

The main reason I finally picked up this book was because Sabaa Tahir and a bunch of other Razorbill authors are coming to Toronto in about a week and a half and I was pushed to read this book because it’s one of the ones that looks interesting for me. But anyways, I really liked it. It was a gripping sort of dystopian fantasy adventure story that set up for future books to come which is why I rated An Ember in the Ashes with a 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked the world building and how the world Laia and Elias live in is a very, very dark world. I like worlds that are dark and gritty, and don’t try and hide all that bad stuff. In this world, it is very evident where people are often abused emotionally and physically. The author treated this subject with a lot of care too, so it was well handled.


I also really liked the concept of the Trials and how the characters had endure these obstacles. In a way, I found it similar yet different to the concepts of Divergent and the Hunger Games, but the author was able to make it original in the end.
The characters and their motives were pretty well done as well. They were both really interesting with their backgrounds and the obstacles they had to endure throughout the novel. They had distinct voices and different worries in their heads. However, I felt that while they were different from each other, they often kept repeating their goals which made it sort of annoying to read. Laia was always going on about saving her brother, and Elias was always about freedom… so that’s one part of the negativity.

Overall, the book felt sort of cliché in lots of places with its dystopian fantasy feel and I know that didn’t work with a lot of people. However, it worked okay with me, and I loved it because it was two of my favourite genres together. This is why I kept going back and forth on my rating for this book, but I feel four stars works for this book.Final Verdict:

An Ember in the Ashes is a compelling competition set in a dark, fantasy dystopian world with intriguing characters who just want to be set free. This book can be a hit-or-a-miss, and for me it was on target. I’m hoping the next book will be able to build on these character developments that were set in this book.



Will you be reading An Ember in the Ashes?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s