TITLE: An Ember in the Ashes
AUTHOR: Sabba Tahir
TRIGGER WARNING: mentions to rape, lots of murder
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: HarperCollinsNZ sent this to me in exchange for an honest review!
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.
So when I picked this book up, I expected to sit down and enjoy a fantasy, nothing different from any other fantasy i’ve ever picked up. But as soon as I started reading this fantastic novel, I fell in love.
An Ember in the Ashes follows Laia, a slave who is trying to save her brother, and Elias, a mask (someone who is apart of the oppressive government so to say, & kills whomever they ask) who tried to desert. It shows their lives intertwining and crossing over, before finally blowing out as the world turns upon it’s head, leaving them in a precarious situation.
Overall, it did take me a while to really get invested in this novel, but by the second half of it, I was en wrapped in this story of djinn and efrits coming back to life, & a bloody battle to the death for many. I think the pacing of this novel was good, and that my lack of interest for the first half, was the fault of me and my crazy work hours, not this beautiful story that Sabaa Tahir has woven.
Personally my favourite part of this was the world building, it was so intoxicating to see a well built world again, one where it is silently woven into the seams of the story, never too obvious but obvious enough when you think about how much you know of the world she has built
all in all, this was a GREAT read and I enjoyed every moment of it right up to the end. I can’t wait to start A Torch Against The Night sooner rather than later.
until next time,