03 July, 2017

#BookReview :: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It's a story that's literally burning to be told. LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. ELIAS is the academy's finest soldier-- and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he's ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias's paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. Vow your blood and body to the empire. Keep your heart for yourself. 

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Laia is an ordinary girl who has lived a sheltered life. But one night changes it all for her when her brother is arrested and her family murdered. She goes on the run and find the rebels to the Martial Empire. Her one decision leads her to a life where she could be discovered and killed at any moment. Elias was to a family that almost rules the country, but whether he has it better than Laia is debatable. He is training to be an assassin for the ruling body while he can see the evils of it. As Laia and Elias’s paths cross, their lives are forever changed.

It was really easy to like Laia from the very beginning. She feels so real with her strength and insecurities working in tandem. She was very believable especially once she starts spying for the rebels. Coming from a sheltered life and being thrown into the thick of things, she handles things both emotionally and practically. She is in no way an ace spy, but she makes it believable for the readers. She grows continuously as a character. Elias is an interesting character. His convictions and his personality endear him to the readers slowly. The side characters are interesting and well developed as well; especially Helene and Cain.

Sabaa Tahir has created an interesting world in this book. It is awe and fear inspiring at the same time. The politics of the world really interested me. The narration was seamless and the language simple. Yet they combine to create something much more. With that ending, I am excited for book two already. I have to know what Laia and Elias does next and also how Helene will deal with conflicting interests.

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