An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)

Read from 9-10th June, 2015

Author: Sabaa Tahir


5 Stars

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A debut novel realeased just over a month ago, An Ember in the Ashes has already got its own book trailer, been optioned for a film and is surrounded by a whole lot of hype in both the
blogosphere and on BookTube – deservingly so. However, with such hype I feel that everything’s already been said about this novel, but I’ll give it my best shot anyway.

An epic high fantasy with brilliant world building (but no information dumping!), characters you either love dearly or despise, beautiful writing, a romantic sub-plot (it is not at all the main focus), friendships, a resistance movement that will surprise you, and gruesome yet realistic tasks and punishments (Sabaa spares no expense on our characters), An Ember in the Ashes is a truly brilliant story with a fantastic plot and just a great, solid read.

I’m honestly no sure what else to say – you know those books that are so good but you can’t really put it into words? That’s where I’m coming from. However, I will say this: if you think you’re going to like this – maybe even love it – you probably will. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the book, because it reads really fast. I highly, highly recommend picking up An Ember in the Ashes and giving it a read.


Please let me know if you’ve read this book and what your thoughts were in the comments below. I love hearing your opinions 😉

31 thoughts on “An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)

  1. I completely understand what you mean about how some books just make you speechless. I actually find it harder to write reviews for 5 star reviews; they tend to be my shortest ones! 😛 I haven’t read An Ember in the Ashes yet, but hopefully I will soon! As always, nice review, Lissa! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! That makes sense – there’s less to critique (mine are usually just fangirl gush haha). It’s definitely worth it! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Aww, thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to read this book so bad! I am currently reading te knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness and I couldn’t write a review for it. It’s just so awesome but describing it is impossible for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I absolutely loved this book!!! Totally agree with everything you said. ❤ But wait, a movie with EMMA WATSON?!! I heard there will be a movie, but with Emma Watson?! Yesss omg so excited. 😀 Anyway, great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma Watson? I thought she was tied to the movie of ‘The Queen of the Tearling’. I absolutely adooored this book, it is one of my favorites of the year! The story was very rich and the characters were amazing. I can’t wait for the sequel! Great review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t tried it yet but I totally want to!! It’s gotten SO MUCH HYPE. Squee!! These kind of books always intrigue me so much, although I am a bit curious about the Roman vibe, because I feel like sooo many books have roman vibes these days. BUT STILL. I shall not doubt until I’ve tried it!! Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Been wanting to pick this up since forever XD, but I’ve got other 100 books on my to-be-purchased shelf, but gotta move this one to the top 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I recently read this and I loved it!!!! I hate The Commandant so much and also Marcus. I swear if I had the chance I would take out the Commandant’s eyes and I will crush Marcus balls. (sorry, too morbid?) but I will. Just really hate them. The hype is truly deserved! So glad there will be a book 2. Cause I need some Elias and Laia action. I liked Keenan but Elias… how about you? Who do you ship? Didn’t this book just give you Game of Thrones feels?! My favorite part of this book has to be The Trials, they were too intense especially the last one!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for commenting!! I’m so glad that you love this too!! Haha I TOTALLY AGREE. Me too! Luckily, I read it knowing that there was going to be a book 2. However, for a moment I thought that the end of part 3 (I think that’s right) was the end of the book and being devastated. But then I flipped over the page and went MWAHAHAHAHA. I can’t help it – although I wouldn’t mind if Elias got together with Helen, I do like Elias/Laia. I’m also hopeful of Keenan/Izzy feels in the next book! I actually haven’t read/watched GoT… But I can kind of see where you’re coming from. I KNOW! They were crazy intense… Thanks for fangirling with me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could just imagine your reaction when you thought it was the end but it wasn’t. lol I know right! I’m rooting for Keenan and Izzy. At first I was like, I didn’t get why Elias was hesitating to tell her his feelings. Because they’re best friends?! But I was thinking isn’t it the best thing ever if your boyfie was your best friend??? When you do watch Got, tell me!!!! I’m sure you will need a buddy. Too intense!!!!!! Of course, I’m always here to fangirl when you need me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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