Tuesday, October 13, 2015

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Review

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.
5/5 Stars
"Her eyes are a dark jolt. I should look away. I should leave. She'll figure out who I am if she stares long enough. But I can't bring myself to move. For a heavy, heated moment, we are immobile, content to watch each other. Skies, she's beautiful. I smile at her, and the blush that rises on her face makes me feel oddly triumphant."
I think every book I've rated 5 stars has been able to pull deep emotion from my soul... This one did just that. I felt hopeless and at the mercy of the words. One page my heart was filled with heartwarming joy and others it was wracked with deep rooted sorrow. The character's stories were able to touch my heart like no other. As I fell deeper into the magical, dark world, I became more detached from reality.
An Ember in the Ashes was similar to other books, but in a league of it's own. It brought fantasy, magic, and romance. There was suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat and twists that I never saw coming. The vividness of each word captured my attention and made me more invested in the outcome of the trials. Speaking of which... If you think the Hunger Games was brutal, you have seen nothing yet. These trials were gut wrenching and quite difficult to read. The little cliffhangers at the end of each chapter were genius. They kept the story fresh in my mind and had me begging for more.
Elias is a mask... He should be thrilled with his status, but instead is tormented by his past and his present. Laia is a slave, but she was just a scholar that escaped a raid that captured her loved ones. She sets her sights on rescuing her brother and ends up in the pits of her own hell. She is beat by the Commander and gets caught up in a web of secrets. Elias and her have things in common and hesitantly become fond of one another. They are the reason for each other's undoing and in the end, the reason for each other's new beginning.
Overall, I couldn't be more impressed by this read. It was able to pull raw emotion from me and for that I am thankful. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book...

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