An Ember In The Ashes follows Laia who is a Scholar, people who live under the rule of The Martial Empire. She disguises herself as a slave in order to save her brother from a crime he has committed. The other focus is Elias, who is one of the top soldiers in The Martial Empire. The catch is, he doesn't want to be a part of this place anymore, and he plans on deserting. Two people from completely different walks of life. Their stories intertwine through the hardships they both face and the choices each of the must make.
I received this book as an ARC a couple weeks before its release on April 28th,2015. I let it sit for a little while before I picked it up.
First of all, the cover is BEAUTIFUL. I mean.. LOOK AT IT! It means so much to the novel looking back after reading it, it makes it better once you've read the book, but on its own it is still gorgeous.
Second of all, Tahir's writing is phenomenal. Sabaa Tahir has created a world in which we never want to leave. She has taken Laia and motivates her with her brother being stripped from her life and she is forced to endure unspeakable things to attempt and save him. She is a prime example of female strength and everybody can take tips from her. I admire her strength and willpower. The other main character is Elias Veturius and he is very interesting. What sets him apart from most other fantasy novels is the fact that he isn't a prince or someone of high standard, well he is, but in a very different way. Elias doesn't like where he is in life, because he has to deal with his mother who he very much dislikes because she is a very strict person. He has heart and its admirable.
Usually,I have a hard time saying that a book is really good, or that it's really bad because I strongly believe that there are at least a couple good qualities in each book, or in the case of this one, some bad ones. Sabaa Tahir writes strongly. The fault that I find with this book is that there is a love triangle threat looming from the very beginning. It's one of the very few predictable things about this book, which can be compared to a lot of YA fiction that has been released in the past few years such as Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or Splintered by A. G. Howard. I always find it sad when an author slips into a love triangle for their characters. Usually this makes me dislike the novel to some extent, and although I did find it annoying in a few places, IT WASN'T AS BAD AS I WAS EXPECTING. She finds a way to write it without killing you with the characters being so indecisive about who they love. It was there, but it wasn't shoved down your throats or anything, which is a plus.
The side character like Helene and Spiro are so incredibly important. So are Chef and Kitchen-girl. Everyone plays such a pivotal role in the plot-line and it is incredibly difficult for an author to do that and it is fantastic that she managed it! Usually I find that authors throw in character just to throw them in, just to fill the dead space that can be created at times. I don't believe she has fallen into this trap.
I do not say this lightly when I say that this is the best book of 2015. There is no question at this point, it is exquisitely well written, the plot continually moves and rarely has a dry spot, and the characters are flawed enough and relateable enough that it is very easy to fall in love with them and immerse yourself into their problems and into their world.
The plot is very fast-paced and it will definitely keep the attention of any Young Adult reader and of anyone who reads fantasy novels, period. Even if you usually only enjoy adult fantasy. The style of the writing isn't like anything I have read before and that makes this story even more appealing to me
. This is a wonderful novel that leaves you begging for more. As of right now it is a standalone novel, and after reading it, I NEED A SEQUEL. Go ahead and read it yourself and you will understand why a sequel is a necessity. We need more Sabaa Tahir and her wonderful writing.
I love this book. Everything about it is great. I definitely recommend this one. Tahir is an author that could very well reach the super stardom of J. K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and all of the other YA writers of this time. She could easily surpass them in years to come. This was a fantastic debut novel. Great job Sabaa!
- I will post below links to the authors website and ways you can purchase this book.
Tahir and EMBER http://sabaatahir.com/
anemberintheashesbook.com Places to purchase: