An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Book Review

Review by: dancingonrain.


With Laia’s grandparents killed by The Masks and her brother captured for treason, she seeks the assistance of the resistance.  They agree to find and save her brother from certain torture and death if she agrees to go undercover as a slave and spy for them on the deadliest person of the Martial Empire’s greatest military academy.  The Commandant Keris Veturius.

Elias is one of the top Masks (soldiers)-in-training at the academy, but secretly he wants nothing to do with the life.  He wants freedom from the tyranny and training he was forced into at a young age.  He would desert, but he knows what happens to those who do.  Torture until death.

When these two meet, their lives and the fate of the Empire itself will change more than they ever thought possible.

I thought this book, in one word, was amazing!  It is the first in Tahir’s first series and the second book comes out in a few months.  I think it’s catered more to older teenagers rather than the younger ones and it was dark.  Darker than Marie Lu’s Legend and I’m a sucker for those stories.

There were many things I enjoyed about this book, one of which was that all the characters, even most of the minor ones, had a major part to play in the end.  Some books have minor characters there for no real purpose, but everyone eventually played their part, which was nice and fun to see how it unfolded.

Occasionally I wasn’t sure that some of the character’s motivations made sense, but it was never large enough for me to think it was ridiculous.  Sometimes even the characters mentioned that they weren’t sure why they were doing such and such or why they felt a certain way, but they still did.  If the characters were aware that what they were thinking may not be the natural feeling or reaction, then at least they knew their thoughts weren’t the norm.

I would have finished the book in one sitting if I hadn’t had other responsibilities such as work.  If you love fantasy novels, you’ll like this one.  To be honest, I think I enjoyed it more than The Hunger Games.  I’m not saying that trilogy wasn’t good, it was, but I loved An Ember in the Ashes more.  I would highly recommend this book.