An Ember in the Ashes Review
Fear is only your enemy if you allow it to be.
Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes, #1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, SciFi, Dystopia
Date Published: February 9, 2016
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
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 read this book for an english assignment, not thinking I would enjoy it, but I actually liked it. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too fond of Laia until the end. I was so intrigued by her willingness to sacrifice herself for her family and those she loves. The relationship between Laia and Elias was almost nonexistent to me but I did understand the idea of the forbidden romance between them.
I loved the tension and action that was happening during the Trials. It was fantastic. Action is something that makes a dystopian book interesting and that element was definitely there.
I was hesitant about this book because I am very over the dystopian craze (Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.). To me, this was similar to other dystopian novels in the aspect of there being a government needing to be changed. Other than that, I found it different from the others.
One thing that I absolutely hated was the love triangle. I normally am not a fan of love triangles (except in certain occasions) and this book was not one of those special occasions. This was the reason that I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5. Overall, I liked this book a lot and I think it is a good read for someone looking for a book more focused on action and adventure rather than romance.
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