Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Razorbill Published April 28, 2015 446 Pages
Published April 28, 2015
446 Pages

After losing her grandparents and with her only brother sent to jail for treason, Laia does the unthinkable . . . become a slave in order to spy on the Empire’s military academy and in return her brother will be freed. 

Freedom is something Elias, an unwilling but finest soldier of the Empire, wants more than anything.  When Elias and Laia realize that their fates are joined, the two begin to change the empire as they know it.

This was a long read. But I stayed up til 2 a.m. to finish it. It was worth it but by the skin of its teeth.

Laia has no common sense and for most of the book she is this fragile girl and then when she realized she was completely screwed over it was like a switch went off and she became a slight bad ass. My issue with this is there was no progress in her character. Yea, she can take some pain and yes that made her mentally strong but she wasn’t the brightest thing in the shop. Also for the most part she was boring. If it wasn’t for the fact that everyone wanted a piece of her she would have lost my interest sooner.

Elias was a interesting character because he really wasn’t sure what role should he play. Should he kick everyone’s ass in order to become the emperor in order to make change or should he complain and try to leave or should he fall for his best friend? I understood the dilemma and I applaud the author for his complexity but it went on for way too long in the 446 pages.  But I did like Elias better than Laia.

Another issue I had with this book . . . the love triangle. . . . . not necessary; not even close.

There was predictability in this book.

There was too much downtime and too much whining in this book.

However, I finished and liked this book. Tahir (the author) has a way of captivation. Not the ‘I can’t turn my face away from a train wreck’ but she weaves the words in a way that is almost like television. I love and appreciate that so much.  The imagery in this book was wonderful and it is what tied everything together.

Finally, although I liked this book something isn’t fully clicking with me and I can’t be sure if I will read book two (duh there is a book two). It took me a day after reading this book to process it and something still isn’t generating in my heart with this book. Not because there isn’t passion, not because there isn’t love. Maybe its the characters? *shrugs* I will give it time.


3 Pickles


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