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Adventurous,
Fantastic,
Addictive

2 reviews

An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir

Published: 2015-04-28
Hardcover : 464 pages
5 members reading this now
9 clubs reading this now
0 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER

“This novel is a harrowing, haunting reminder of what it means to be human — and how hope might be kindled in the midst of oppression and fear.”The Washington Post

An Ember in the Ashes could launch Sabaa Tahir into JK Rowling territory…It ...

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Introduction

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER

“This novel is a harrowing, haunting reminder of what it means to be human — and how hope might be kindled in the midst of oppression and fear.”The Washington Post

An Ember in the Ashes could launch Sabaa Tahir into JK Rowling territory…It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.”—Public Radio International

"An Ember in the Ashes glows, burns, and smolders—as beautiful and radiant as it is searing."Huffington Post 
 
“A worthy novel – and one as brave as its characters.”The New York Times Book Review
 

A “deft, polished debut”  (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Sabaa Tahir‘s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

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.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of May 2015: If the test of a good novel is how badly you want to drop everything to finish it, then Sabaa Tahir’s debut An Ember in the Ashes gets an A . The world she creates is rich in fantasy, coupled with echoes of a historical saga, all vividly rendered on the page. Tyrannical leaders and a building rebellion set the stage for dual narrators, Elias, one of the elite, trained from a young age to become a skilled assassin for the Commandant at Blackcliff Military Academy, and Laia, one of the oppressed, forced into the role of spy and saboteur in order to save her only remaining family member. Though diametrically opposed within their society, both Laia and Elias are wracked by internal conflict and driven to great lengths by shame and a desire to escape the bonds of their present lives. A complex relationship between them ensues, and while there is a romantic thread to the story, it is ancillary to the larger forces of political power, crippling deceit, and an undistinguished hope that endures in even the darkest corners of their brutal world. Potent action and liquid language whisk the chapters along all too quickly and while this has not been released as part of a series (yet), there can only be great things in store for author Sabaa Tahir, her Martial Empire, and her readers. -- Seira Wilson

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by [email protected] (see profile) 11/24/18

3.5 stars

This book was a fun, fast ride. I enjoyed reading it, but I didnâ??t care for the love square that was happening and it felt like it took over 1/3 of the plot. I also didnâ??t ca

... (read more)

 
  "Lots to discuss!"by Kwizgiver (see profile) 05/14/17

Finding out that this is a four-part series gave us pause, but we enjoyed this book and there was much to discuss.

 
by Sheila512 (see profile) 07/28/15

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