Status: Read from Oct 22 to Oct 25, 2015
My rating: /5
Author: Sabba Tahir
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told. LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier– and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. Vow your blood and body to the empire. Keep your heart for yourself.
Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.
What should I write? Amazing and Incredible. Oh, I don’t have words to describe. This is a book which will evoke your emotions. You can feel the characters. You will cry with them, laugh with them, and feel their joy, their sadness, and their sufferings. You will be anxious with the every step the characters take towards their goal. And you cannot stop worrying about their future. That good the characters have developed in this book.
Laia and Elias are the two main characters narrating the story.
Laia’s grandparents are killed and her brother Darin is taken into custody by the Martials. Now Laia has no one in this world except for her brother. So, she decides to bring her brother back. For this she needs help. She cannot fight the ruthless masks by herself. She seeks help from the Resistance, the group of Scholars fighting against the Martials. The Resistance are ready to bring back her brother but on one condition. Laia has spy for them at the Blackcliff Acadamy. For which she has to work as a slave at the house of the Commandant. In a world where slaves are brutally beaten and raped with no consequences to the offender and the Commandant will happily flay you or remove body parts for being a second late.
Elias is a Martial who has spent his fourteen years trained as an soldier and now is a Mask, Deathly and ruthless. He is also the son of the Commandant, ruthless and psychopath Commandant at whose house Laia is working as a slave. Elias hates the rules of Blackcliff Acadamy and has secretly planned to run away. But he was declared as one of the candidates for the new Emperor.
Then there are people whom Laia can trust. Izzi, cook, Keenan Sana. But involving these people means risking their lives. There is Helen, best friend of Elias. But she is also loyal to Blackcliff Acadamy.
The characters are not perfect and they hate their situations. But the characters develop eventually and are determined to change their lives. Laia is a weak, shy girl. But as the situation demands, she takes a decision and goes against her will and risk her life to save her brother. Elias is brave and strong. He has power, but he hates the strict ruthless rules.
There are love triangles. Elias and Helen are good friends until, Helen starts falling for him. Keenan has feeling for Laia. He does not want Laia to take the risk at the very first instance and is very rude to Laia. But after Laia’s decision, he is very concerned about her. There is something between Laia and Elias, even they are not sure. Elias saves Laia more than once from the Commandant’s wart. There are sparks of love and sympathy in their relation. The love triangle is complicated. But I cannot hate it.
Then there are characters that will make you fear for your life, for instance the Commandant herself. She is ruthless and psychopath. She is the perfect villain in this story. She hates her own son and takes aids of illegal modes to eliminate her own son from the competition.
There are also mythological creatures like the nightbringer, ghuls and the jinns which seems so real. You can feel them like real persons.
Love all the quotes:
There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It’s damaged but it’s there. Don’t let them take it from you.
All and all this book is perfect. It’s just Wow. Sabaa Tahir is simply Wow. Please, please, please go ahead and read this book. It is completely addictive. The book is planned well with all the details and maps of Blackcliff Acadamy. The sequel of this book is coming next year. Impatiently waiting for the book to release.