Book Review-An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

an-ember-in-the-ashes-cover  This novel tells the story of two very unlikely friends and how their world’s collide.

Laia, a poor Scholar, is set out to save her brother who was captured in her own home by the cruel soldiers trained to be swift, silent assassins. She couldn’t do anything then. She refuses to do nothing now. Her only option to save her brother is to disguise herself as a slave, which is sure to end in death.

On the other hand, Elais, though he may not have taken Laia’s brother, is an assassin, also known as Mask, in training. They are known by the term Masks because of the silver adhesive, nearly permanent, masks they are forced to wear. He is top of his class, nevertheless he does not fit in as he should. Elais has always felt out of place, and has hopes of ending that, when he is drafted into a series of Trials to become the Emperor of a regime he hates.

A story of love, friendship, and family, with the incorporation of some dark circumstances, Sabaa Tahir creates a beautiful and cruel world known only to be thrilling and enrapturing to any and all of it’s readers.


     Can I rant? I mean, is that acceptable here? Well, I’m gonna do it anyway, so you might as well get your artillery headphones out.

*Fangirl Alert*


This book was absolutely amazing! It had the perfect balance of action, adventure, suspense, and heartbreak, along with the teeniest bit of romance so that you weren’t overwhelmed. You know, sometimes when you read YA and its all angsty and stuff and when you finish it you feel like you gotta go take a shower to scrub all the romance off you that you know you will never have? Yah, it was NOTHING like that.

One of my favorite things about this novel was how each and every action had a motivation for each and every character, and they were actually mature decisions that were explained. There was, of course, acting on impulse, but that is what makes a story better and not drag on for like 30 years. But when any character acted impulsively, they had their reasons and it wasn’t just like, “I’m gonna go jump off a bridge because I love him,” pooy.

The female protagonist, Laia, was not whiny or pushy or complained when she didn’t get her way like many of the Young Adult protagonists we know and love-hate. She knew when to shut her mouth (mainly because being silent was one of the few ways to stay alive, but still), she didn’t let anyone push her around that wasn’t a necessity.

The male protagonist, Elais, was…yummy. He was just so real and understood that he was not in a place that was gonna make him in anyway happy, so he took charge and was gonna change that. Yah, it would be hard, but he didn’t care if it meant being free of a mask  (literally and figuratively). Plus, he was just an overall very respectful person to the staff/salves that were about the training facility and anyone he ran into really.

In short (too late), I would highly recommend this book to everyone and their mother, which I actually ended up doing this past weekend at Barnes and Nobel. I may have been eavesdropping, but this kid was trying to find a book and his mother was trying to help him and so I just kinda popped my head over and said how I would highly recommend this book and how much I loved it and yes he looked at me like a freak but that happens in most cases of my life so, whatcha gonna do?

I cannot WAIT for the sequel to come out! UGGGHHHH it is actually killing me. If you read the end you will know what I am talking about. Stupid somewhat cliff hangers. If you are interested in the sequel as well, “A Torch Against The Light,” is said to be coming out sometime around August 30, 2016.

But, please do keep in mind that some of the themes are a little darker than most Young Adult fiction.

Go, read, children of the corn, read and be free.




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