An Ember in the Ashes Review

  • Author: Sabaa Tahir
  • Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
  • Genre: Fantasy/Romance
  • No. of pages: 464
  • Dates read: 29.08.21 – 05.09.21
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Challenge: Physical TBR

Plot: Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels. But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk . . . Laia’s very life is at stake. There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But 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.

First of all, sorry this was super late. Yesterday I was super busy as I have recently started a new job so I was finalising all of the details with my new company.

So I had heard loads, and I mean loads, of amazing things about this series and as per usual, when it comes to me, I am always super late on the popular books but I finally got round to reading the first novel and I loved it! Going into it I did have high expectations due to the hype but thankfully it met all my expectations and I was happy as well, as despite me hearing the hype I didn’t actually know too much about the story so I still went in pretty blindly.

The writing itself was super easy to read. It was the kind of writing where you can easily just jump into the book and the story. It wasn’t dense or overly flowery so I found it super easy to start reading and reading a lot in one sitting. The pacing of the book on the whole was super quick, there were moments in the middle where it slowed down bit but nothing too slow where it was a detriment to the book as a whole.

The plot itself was super super interesting. Part of it is a spy novel which I find exciting, tense and nerve-wracking all at the same time and the other part follows a student in an elite military academy and Tahir did not disappoint when it came to these individual plot lines. In this novel, we follow two POV’s Laia and Elias and with these two POVs it allowed us to see so much of the world and the story. I felt the story was really enhanced by seeing these two different perspectives it really opened up the world to the reader.

Laia and Elias in general were really great characters. My personal favourite was Elias. I love how juxtaposed each part of his life and his personality is. I can’t go into too much detail due to spoilers but he was such an interesting and layered character and I loved reading from his POV. Laia’s determination was a highlight of the novel, she overcomes so much and accomplishes so much in this book and I think she is a great example of a strong female character!

The world building itself wasn’t too detailed as the focus was on the events that happen in the Academy so we only learn things here and there about the world the story is set in. What I did read and get to learn about, I loved wholeheartedly. I am excited to learn more about the world in book 2!

The next book I will be reviewing is Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

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