Debbie's World of Books
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Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

April 27th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Source: Picked up at NCIBA

Publication date: April 28, 2015

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book:

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted 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 claim that they will help 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 find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

My Review:

First off I have to say I am so in love with this cover and it was what first drew my attention so I had to pick it up. The premise also sounded intriguing and so I had to add it to my to read pile. I will admit it wasn’t a book that immediately grabbed me and pulled me in. In fact, after starting it I ended up putting it down and reading maybe 3 or 4 other books because it never held my attention. I can’t recall at what point it really ensnared me but I will say once it did I practically read the rest in one sitting. After the slow start it picks up nicely and while not a ton of action during most of the book I never felt it lagged. There are some pretty brutal parts that made my heart break for Elias and his mother is one heck of a villain that you are going to love to hate. The Augurs were an interesting group. Initially I was just meh about then and then slowly Sabaa Tahir reveals their true abilities and secret plans. Then I was thinking “Woah, they’re really fascinating.”

Other than the beginning the biggest drawback of the story was the love triangle/square going on between Laia, Elias, Helene and Keenan. I really don’t get why Elias was so fascinated by Laia other than it was needed to move the plot along. I wish there was some building up to it where Laia stops being so weak and does things to earn Elias’s interest. Then there’s the whole thing with Keenan. Maybe it’s because he wasn’t around for much of the book but I don’t see that connection at all either. I did feel bad for Helene who was so in love with Elias and it’s obvious from the start but Elias is such a dufus and doesn’t realize it until someone shoves it in his face. Either way, the romance aspects really didn’t work for me.

In the end I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough so definitely push through the slow start and you won’t regret picking this one up.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

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