14 August 2015

Review: An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Reviewer: Kayla
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Pages: 446
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 8.5/10

Summary (thanks, Goodreads):

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

My Thoughts:
"You have a soul. It's damaged, but it's there. Don't let them take it from you, Elias."

Oh. Hot. Damn. For whatever reason, this book was far from what I was expecting. I seriously, seriously enjoyed this book, it was absolutely amazing and lived up to the endless amount of hype surrounding it since before it's release. Also HOW DID THE AUTHOR THINK SHE COULD GET AWAY WITH LEAVING THIS AS A STANDALONE? THAT IS SO NOT A STANDALONE ENDING? This story had so many twists and turns and it all fit perfectly together in the end. The questions and obscurities came through at full circle at the end, and I very much appreciated that almost all questions were answered by the last few pages. The last quarter of the book had my heart racing and my eyes swimming through the pages, not wanting to waste more time not knowing any longer. It was action-packed from the first page, and it was amazing how much Sabaa Tahir was able to jam so much within 446 pages without it being rushed in any way. I enjoyed the characters and their role to the story, and I appreciated how both Elias and Laia each had their own stories to tell that did not rely solely on the other person. I liked how it wasn't entirely romance based, and the romance that was included was done well. While it wasn't necessarily instalove, I did think the romance blossomed a little too quickly, but I feel like that's easily forgivable.

While this book really was a whirlwind of emotions and amazingness, I did have a few problems, which is why I could not make it a full five star book. While the world was unlike anything I've ever read, the storyline became repetitive to a lot of other YA fantasies, and though there were some unexpected turns, there was also things I saw from a mile away. My feelings about the characters changed constantly throughout the book, as well as the characters's dynamics with each other. At first, I liked the relationship between Elias and Helene, but then Helene became a lil bitch and then I hated her (blunt, I know). Still even after concluding the book and understanding why she did the things she did, I still hate her. I don't have a certain person I want Elias or Laia to end up with, which makes for a very confused Kayla because I usually have my pairing set by at least the middle of the book. I think Laia and Elias are a kick butt duo and I can't wait to see what the second book has in store for them, but I'm not sure if I necessarily like the idea of them as a "thing", you feel? 

Final Thoughts:
Looking past the nitty gritty details and taking the book in as a whole, it was completely captivating and I'm pretty pissed it took me so long to read it, and I AM EAGERLY AWAITING THE SECOND BOOK LIKE GIVE IT TO ME NOW PLEASE

1 comment:

  1. OOoh nice review! I still need to read this one as well! Hopefully soonish too! But I have about 5 books I need to read by a certain date in Sept and things about to get busy in my life, so it will be a struggle to get those done in time!

    This does sound really good though and I can't wait to read it! Great review!


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