Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabba Tahir
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Score: 4.5 stars
Page Count: 446
Stand Alone Novel
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: April 28, 2015
AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.
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.
1. I was super excited about this book months before it came out because it sounded like a really complex story set in a really cool and unique world that you don't really see a lot of in YA fiction. The cover was obviously why it first caught my eye and when I bought it, I couldn't wait to read it. A friend of mine (@bibliophilically) recently messaged me on Instagram about wanting to discuss it with me and seeing as I hadn't yet read it, I just had to drop everything else and hurry up and read this book! My friend was raving about it and I just had to see what the hype was about. Here's the review!
2. The first thing that really wowed me about the book was the world it was set in. It was a very historical world that consisted of ancient buildings and architecture and also had warriors, an Empire, slavery, magic, old-school sword fights and lots of war. It was a pretty complex world and I would've loved to know more about it's history and how the Empire and its workings came to be. I loved how it was all described and how beautifully detailed everything was and how Sabaa Tahir was able to build everything up and make the surroundings very visual. Needless to say, I want to visit it!
3. The characters in this book were also really interesting. I loved Laia's character because of how weak she thought of herself and I really liked how much she grew and how much courage she gathered as the story played out. Elias was also a really fun character to follow. I liked that he wasn't cruel like the rest of the Masks but he was also dedicated to his friends even though the Empire was something he wanted nothing to do with. His loyalty lied only with what he believed was right. Other side characters such as Laia's friends and even the Commandant, were really interesting to get to know and I would've loved to see more background to all of them too. I can only imagine for now what their stories are and I really hope I get to know them in a sequel.
4. Lastly, I was just amazed at the writing style of Sabaa Tahir. She was able to build an amazing and complex story and the way she worded everything was so beautiful and I'm seriously jealous of how her mind was able to come up with the storyline, characters and the world. The book wasn't too complicated to understand even though there were a lot more details that weren't explained to save time for the rest of plot. I seriously hope this amazing author writes a sequel for this book because I can't stand not knowing what happens next!
I didn't give this book a five-star rating because there were a lot of questions unanswered and a few loose strings that weren't tied up at the end of the book. It ended in a huge cliffhanger and even though this was meant to be a stand-alone, it was written in a way of a second book still to come and I really hope that rings true!
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I hope you guys enjoyed this book review! If you have any other book requests you would like me to review, just leave a comment or send me an email! Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

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