Brand : Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes

Robin landry |


If you're looking for a fast-paced, suspenseful, fantasy, love-story that combines game of thrones(for the family drama) with the hunger games(for one of the best female warriors since katniss) you've found your novel. that this is a first time novel speaks volumes for the career of sabaa tahir(a name that's cool and fun to say). my only criticism is that she hasn't released the sequel to this amazing story. fantasy but not a story that couldn't be our own history shrouded in the mists of time, an ember in the ashes is a very human story. the world is divided into groups of people who are labeled by what they do. one of the main female characters, laia, is a scholar, the group of people who are basically slaves to the martials, which are the military group who enslaved the scholars and trade with the other groups. the main male character(elias) in the novel is with the martials, a deadly warrior who wears a quicksilver makes that molds to his face giving him an emotionless aura of death. laia lives with her grandparents and her older brother, until the masks come one night, kill her grandparents and take her brother prisoner. laia joins the resistance to rescue her brother. sounds like a straight up novel, except that the tahir takes her characters to the next level by making them complex to the point that even they don't know what motivates them sometimes, but find out as the story moves along, along with the reader. the action is non-stop, the danger is real and anyone can die, and no one is all-good or all-bad, but shades of grey. each has a story to tell, with the villains being the most complex of all. even after 400+ pages, i still barely understand all of the motivations of the characters, but i love them and want to follow them on their journey so i can find out the secrets that mold them into who and what they've become. built into the story are decisions that the characters must make that have no clear answers. tests of loyalty, strength of mind, and body, and tests of love coupled with morality, fill the pages as the story moves between laia and elias at breakneck speed. i would recommend this book highly to young adults, and to older adults of which i am. i saw this book recommended by amazon as one of the best young adult novels of the year and i totally agree. i loved it and can't wait to read the sequel which i've already ordered.

What sarah read book reviews |

A stunning debut novel!!

I’m just gonna say it…an ember in the ashes is the newest superstar on the young adult fantasy stage. it should be given all the awards and everyone should go out and get their own copy to devour! i’m borderline obsessed with this book and am not quite sure how i’m supposed to wait for book two. i mean…a second book hasn’t even been annoucned yet. so be sure to get those pre-orders in and if someone could send me some coping mechanisms in the meantime that would be great, because i’m going to need all the help i can get! this book is epic! oh my….this book gave me a lot of feelings. as i read i had such a strong mix of emotions. fear, confusion, sadness, hope, longing…it was all there. an ember in the ashes is the story of laia and, at its core, her search for purpose in life. at the beginning of the book she’s lost virtually everything and is faced with the monumental task of crawling out of a horrible situation. in a desperate attempt to make things right, she finds herself thrust into an even darker and more miserable fate. to me, the mark of a great book and great author, is when i can completely relate to a character even though their situation is so far removed from anything i’ve ever experienced. i really felt for laia and was rooting for her the entire book, even when i felt like she was trusting the wrong people or making the wrong decisions. there was a strong theme of loyalty and betrayal throughout this book, and it comes at you from both sides so fast that it makes for a breath-taking read. there are a lot of characters in this book…a lot! i usually have a hard time with so many characters in one book, but it worked for me this time because tahir did such a fabulous job of fleshing out each character and giving them individual motivation. speaking of motivation, everyone has their own agenda and most of them conflicted with each other. there’s so much drama and intrigue between every character, that i couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how they would affect the other. we have the terrifying commandant who brutally rules over blackcliff military academy; elias the dark and tortured soul trying to find meaning from his dark life; his classmate helene is a conflicted woman with secrets of her own and keenan…ohhh keenan…you red-haired smoldering hunk of a man. oh, and i can’t forget about the augurs, those creepy magical creatures really creeped me out. in a way this book reminded me a lot of game of thrones which, as it turns out, is a comparison that is being made quite often by many people. in an ember in the ashes, tahir creates such a vast and complex world that to me translated as a fascinating mix of ancient greece and middle eastern culture. there are so many layers to this world, from colorful and vibrant marketplaces, to an endless desert to a dark and terrifying fortress filled with danger. just as in game of thrones, this world seems so vast and endless, and i was totally swept away by the mythology of it all. what i loved most about an ember in the ashes, were the quiet moments that tahir weaved throughout the action and drama. these moments were some of the most touching and emotional throughout the book. they help to create fully developed story that touches on very real feelings of mortality and the search for meaning that we all deal with in our own daily lives.

Jcw2 |


An amazing story, told eloquently! cannot wait for next book. i love the people and humanity, and love for others.