An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


LAIA is a Scholar living under the brutal 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 vow 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 will find that their destinies are more intertwined that 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.

I cannot pinpoint any solid location for this book in my head. Usually when I read a book, once the setting is laid, there’ll be countries and places popping in my head on where I imagine the story to take place. This book is definitely different. It created a world of its own. Most of the things are alien to me, which is a good thing because my curiosity was piqued!

But this book is dark, man! So dark I have to take ample amounts of break because I was so scared of what would happen next. I didn’t like the rape thing in this book, and thank heavens it was all just threats and no rape actually happened ‘cause I might have just put this book down then and there. I’m squeamish and a scaredy-cat so the punishments and those injury scenes were such a battle to read through.

I think the best character is Helene. I love that in the end I was proved wrong about my thoughts of her. She is not like any other Masks. She’s far from a selfish character, she was actually the most giving in the story. Of course he’s the hero so Elias has to be good at everything, typical. I hate his choice to kill but also feel for him when regrets and guilt chew on him. Laia has been nothing but frustrating, but yeah, she is brave but always acts too late or by a hair.

Oh gawd… the love angle was totally unnecessary! I don’t even want to think about it now… smh
So I keep hearing that it’s a stand-alone book. No way! There’s definitely something more.

3.5 stars

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