An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (2016 TBR Challenge) | Book Review

Hey, beautiful! Today, I’m back with another book review! As you can see from the title, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

This book also counts into my 2016 TBR challenge book of the month. This month’s theme was recommended read (a book that was recommended to you), and this book has come up so many times on my goodreads recommendations and in youtube videos, that I just decided to give it a shot.

I didn’t know how I’d like it, but I ended up really surprised at the end!

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Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count:
 464 pages
Series: A
n Ember in the Ashes (#1)


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.



download (1)I went into this book with absolutely no information about what it was about, and came out just mind blown!

I recommend that you go in knowing nothing, or as little as you can, because by doing that, you’re just discoing this whole world with rich, beautiful characters, without other people’s opinions interfering with yours. 

This was one of those books that you know you can finish in a matter of hours, but you just hold back so you can enjoy it for longer. 

Fun Fact: This is Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel, and will have a sequel coming out soon.

One of the things that I just loved was the way Sabaa describes her surroundings and characters. Her writing in general was just beautiful! It just pulls you into this world, and you can’t help but keep turning the pages. It just makes you feel that you’re in the world with them.

One thing that I didn’t enjoy very much, was the point of view switching at the action part. I know its supposed to be intriguing, but sometimes it just pissed me of so much. I still liked seeing both character’s POVs, but not when they switch them at the last minute.

You do get to see a lot of what goes on in the character’s minds and what they’d do when they’re pushed to their limits, which was very very entertaining. 

There are some scenes which show a lot of violence and abuse, so if you’re sensitive to those topics, then I don’t really  recommend this book to you.

Now I really want to talk about my favourite scenes!

One of my favourite scenes is the one where Elias meets Laia for the first time, nothing really happens because he’s an aspirant and she’s a slave, but when you read Elias’s point of view, you do get to know that he has a bit of an interest in the new slave. *wink* *wink*

I also love that Elias cares for Laia even though the Commandant is against it. He sacrifices himself, to protect a scholar slave which he can’t ever be with, or so he thinks.

I also really like that we get to see Laia’s past bit by bit, and not all at once, because that just created a whole ambiance for the book which I just adored!

Throughout this whole book, you get to follow Laia go to a horrid school and spy on the Commandant, fall for a boy she cannot be with, get tortured; all to save her brother, who was taken by a mask for interrogation. That is the simplest way I could describe this book. But its so much more. 

I gave this a 5/5 on goodreads, and can’t wait to pick up the sequel when it comes out!

5 stars

Much love, Rawan <3…