Monday, 24 October 2016

Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
5 Stars
Verdict: Beautiful. Brutal, but brilliant.



Laia is a slave, spying on behalf of the resistance in order to rescue her brother. Elias is a soldier, facing trials to become the next emperor in a broken kingdom.

I’d heard a lot about this book beforehand, but I never thought it could live up to the hype. Maybe that helped manage my expectations, as I absolutely loved it.

The writing style is beautiful, igniting imagery from sentence to sentence. It opens on a life-changing moment for Laia where her family is ripped apart, and the pace doesn’t let up after that. When the POV flipped to Elias, the reluctant solider set on escaping his villainous fate, I was hooked. Tahir managed to keep both Laia and Elias' perspectives taut at all times so that each chapter left me longing for the next.

The characters are likable, and so are the love interests, which makes room for a sticky love square. I have no idea who to back, but I can't wait to see how it unravels across the series.

The trials reminded me a lot of the triwizard tournament from you-know-where, except there's less puzzle to them and more emotional turmoil. One of the trials in particular will stay with me long after I finish this review. I didn’t think the writer would go there, but they did…It made me feel that anything could happen – even terrible things that I wish wouldn’t, but that’s what made it more exciting.

This book made me feel loss and sacrifice, hope and victory - so many feels. The brutal commandant made me fear for both the characters at all times. Sometimes I read books and think I could survive that terror, but not the commandant. Usually, books tend to build up a horrible character and they turn out to be redeeming in some way, but not the commandant.

It ends on a high, managing to both grant closure and entice me to read on. I can't wait to get hold of the sequel!

Source: Bought it.