“An Ember in the Ashes”
An Ember in the Ashes #1
by Sabaa Tahir
Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary: In a world based on Ancient Rome, Laia a Scholar slave, finds herself at the mercy of the people responsible for the death of her family. Spying for the Resistance, a group of Scholar rebels, whose help Laia needs to rescue her brother, Laia infiltrates the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There she meets Elias, their best soldier, who, like Laia, is desperate to escape the clutches of the Empire and be free. But destiny has other plans.
Elias is dragged into a deadly competition against his best-friend Helene, who is secretly in love with him. The Resistance launches a devastating attack against the Empire. And Laia is caught in the middle of all of this, simply trying to save her last remaining family member from torture and death.
7 Enriching Things about Sabaa Tahir’s “An Ember in the Ashes”
(May Contain Spoilers)
1. Ancient Rome
While An Ember in the Ashes is no Historical Fiction, Tahir did base her fictional world on our Ancient Rome and this is one of my favorite places for a novel to take place!
Haunted, strong, handsome alpha male? Sign me up! But in all seriousness, I enjoy the complexity of Elias and how regardless of the way he was brought up and raised, he questions the Empire. I cannot get over who his mother is and I’m interested to see how that dynamic began. I’m hoping his story will not end up breaking my heart.
3. Down with the Status Quo!
Perhaps it fits with the way I’m feeling in our own political climate but stories about evil governments being taken down by rebels are very captivating for me and well, it’s a classic plot.
4. Keris, the Commandant
Fucking bitch. I have nothing else to say other than Tahir did an absolute amazing job of creating a very interesting villian who I just utterly hate and yet I want to know more about her and why she is the way she is.
Strong, capable female that constantly second-guesses herself, I can relate! I love Laia’s fire and drive, she is so spirited and her dedication to her brother is inspiring. I also appreciate that she has a very clear idea of what is wrong and right, she doesn’t do something that she believes to be wrong, sticks to her morals even when it is difficult to do so.
Another strong, independent female but damn this woman frustrates me so! Poor girl. I do feel for her; for her love for Elias and the pain of rejection by someone you love but it also maddens me how much she just blindly follows. I know this is slowly changing but I wanted to strangle her so many times throughout “An Ember in the Ashes”.
Overall, I’m intrigued. I NEED to know what happens to Elias, Helene, and Laia for my own sanity! Thank you Sabaa Tahir for creating such a beautiful world with very interesting characters and a dynamic storyline.