by Sabaa Tahir
Published April 28, 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Ya Lit/Dystopia
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥1/2
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 finished reading An Ember in the Ashes the other day, and my immediate reaction was:
AMAZING!! I absolutely LOVED this book! It was well written, well plotted, and absolutely gripping. It reminded me a lot of Ancient Rome (and I think it was supposed to), so I got a feel for how this world was supposed to be, and how brutal.
Laia is a Scholar, a people that are the slaves of the Martial Empire. After witnessing her grandparents be murdered by a Mask, and her brother charged with being in league with rebels, she goes to beg the rebels to free her brother. I loved Laia’s courage. During the whole book, she felt like a coward for running when her brother was taken, but time after time she shows how courageous she is in the decisions that she makes.
Then there was Elias, a Mask, one of the people that she hates simply for who he is. But Elias is struggling with who he is, and wanting to escape what is expected of him. He’s another one to be added to my list of fictional crushes.
I cannot wait for the sequel! I need it! I need to know what happens next!