An Ember in the Ashes by: Sabaa Tahir
Published : April 2015
Version Read : Hardback
Read More about it here.
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.
I didn’t know much about this book when I read it. All it took for me to buy it was to see that it’s “inspired by ancient Rome” for me to hand over my money. And it was not a waste of time or money.
I really enjoyed 95% of this book. We all know that I like to complain about the romance so lets start with that. I don’t like love triangles. Not much anyway. No matter how well they are written you always know who the girl is going to pick in the end. The exception would be with the Infernal Devices books. While I don’t like the triangle in this book, I am interested and hopeful that something will come out of the blue and she’ll end up with the guy we least expect her to.
I really enjoyed the world building in this book. As much as I know about ancient Rome, this book was harsher and more cruel that I could have imagined. And I’m not ashamed to say that I loved it. The world was probably one of my favorite things about this book. I cannot wait to read the second book just to get more of this world I cannot stop thinking about.
The other thing I really love about this book was the duel point of views. I know that I haven’t been a fan of this in most of the books I read, but I really enjoyed both of the characters. I also enjoyed that Laia wasn’t the kind of girl who knew everything suddenly. She really had to learn and grow into a girl who could get things done.
I try not to give away spoilers in my review so I can’t say much more. I would and have recommended this book to everyone I know. I cannot wait to get the next book and I’m happy that there will be a second one.
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