Ember In The Ashes – Sabaa Tahir – Razorbill – Published 28 April 2015
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.
This book was already on my to-read list, but when I saw a sample preview up for review I leapt at the chance to read it. Unfortunately it was only 20 pages long, which gave me just enough of a preview to be intrigued, slightly confused and needing more. It wasn’t really enough time to judge this book, but I can say that the characters sound intriguing. Told in two points of view, Laia seems like a confused and scared girl whose life is changed in one night and who must learn to be brave and clever to survive, while Elias is planning to risk his secure life for something in which he believes. I think the world building will be quite detailed, based on what is covered in those first few chapters. I’m not sure I understand much of it yet, but I guess it will be clarified as the story progresses.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction
Age guide: 14 and up.
Themes: Fantasy and magic.
Published: 28 April 2015 by Razorbill
Format: Hardcover, ebook, paperback. 443 pages.
Author’s website: Sabaa Tahir