An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary from GoodReads
I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.
THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL COUNTLESS TIMES. I HAVE DISCOVERED IT EVERY TIME.
IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE RESISTANCE, IF YOU CONTACT THEM, IF YOU THINK OF CONTACTING THEM, I WILL KNOW
AND I WILL DESTROY YOU.
Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.
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
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.
BUY ON AMAZON (click the cover)
After seeing the hiatus over "An Ember in the Ashes" I decided to give the book a chance. As a history geek (especially if you follow my stories on Wattpad) i was intrigued by the roman-like historical setting and the eerie add of something Eastern "Arabian-like" style.
Laia lives in the lowest parts of what used to be "he Scholar Empire". Ruled by the Martials and terrified by the Masks, warriors deadly just like their name, she loses her family and her brother. As she tries to find him, she must endure the torture of the Commandant who rules the Martial Academy.
What no one knows? She has become a spy.
Elias hates his life and training as a Mask. Seeking to escape life and live free, he will have to deal with the Trials and even his fears.
When the two of them meet, destiny will bring them close. Although I enjoyed the bouble POV and the way everything was described in detail, from the Roman names to the myths and legends of Sabba's world, my only concern was the romance. From a point it became lost to the plot and the action and only towards the ending did I get a peek on what could happen between Laila and Elias. The world building was the strong point as also the deep fears and secrets Elias had to face.
The general plot was a good escape from the ordinary and I was very pleased to see that there would be a sequel. I only hope that we will see more of Elias and Laia as a pair into their way on their new adventure.
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