Review Detail

An Ember in the Ashes FeaturedHot
Young Adult Fiction 5911
A Dark Tale
(Updated: May 26, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is the first book of the series. Although there are no substantial evidence that this will be a trilogy, one can certainly hope. The second book is apparently being picked up by the publisher, and it seems we'll be getting more of Laia and Elias. The book is a somewhat mixture of Rome (yes, Ancient Rome) and the supernatural. So, let's dig in!

Love triangles. Normally, love triangles tick me off, but Tahir puts them together so well that they are greatly enjoyable to read. (Skip this paragraph because of minor spoilers.) The major romance is between Laia and Elias. However, there are some minor ones. Laia and Keenan (a rebel) makes an interesting couple, and the idea of Helene (a Mask like Elias) and Elias being together isn't a far stretch. Each pairing is great, and it is incredibly hard to pick a favorite. Sabaa Tahir makes it a very, very difficult choice. I admit that I like all three ships. (Polygamy and polyandry, I guess? That might work.)

The world of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is absolutely horrifying. Implied that women are treated as inferior to men, the Rome-inspired world has a scary military of "Mask." The Mask is actually a soldier who wears a silver mask. There are some gladiator-like scenes, and the supernatural elements of the story gives an incredible suspenseful subplot. Tahir puts mythological creatures, bringing a fairy tale touch to the book.

One of the two narrators, Laia is desperate to save her brother. Making a deal with the shady resistance, she goes to the nest of her parent's murderer and spies on her (Elias' crazy and heartless mother). A Scholar with an intriguing family history, Laia is interesting and a very motivated character. Her feats are grand, and she is a strong-minded character with a naive touch.

The other narrator, Elias is a soldier in the army. He is a Mask, but he doesn't fit well in the army. He is an outsider, though he is surrounded by friends. He is the son of Laia's parents' murderer, but for him, the apple falls far from the tree. He wishes to run away, but it is only fate (and an old friend, Cain) who brings him back. He is a greatly fascinating character, whose complicity serves to protect him from his enemies.

In conclusion, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a great start to this supernatural and suspenseful series with a Rome-inspired world. It is gritty and dark, not for the faint of heart. Laia and Elias are wonderful narrators, and they bring out the best in each other (so I ship them). The ending is absolutely satisfying with promises for more. I definitely can't wait for the sequel. I would recommend this to any reader with a fondness for love triangles, magic, schemes, and the supernatural/paranormal.

Rating: Five out of Five

Source: Library
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange...
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* ...
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel to...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters...
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The incredible conclusion to the Empirium Trilogy that started...
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices &...
Hush (Hush, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Graceling meets Red Queen in this exciting debut novel...
Twisted Pines
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Where have all the children gone? At rustic summer...
Beyond the Ruby Veil (The Walls in the Ruby Sky, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A dark, queer YA fantasy that's perfect for fans...
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rosa's group of friends want to learn all about growing...
That Dog!
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
This brilliant second picture book from Emma Lazell--a rising star...
In the Study with the Wrench
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the aftermath of Headmaster Boddy’s murder, Blackbrook Academy...

Latest Member Reviews

The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
"BROKEN WISH is a beautifully composed fairytale. The book begins with the story of Mathilda and Agnes, neighbors who have..."
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GILDED WOLVES is a fantastic YA fantasy. Although given a year in the 1800s and a historical setting, the..."
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
"That ending!!! THE SILVERED SERPENTS is an engaging YA historical fantasy that picks up after the first book ended, and..."
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
"WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME is an intriguing conclusion to a YA fantasy duology about sisterhood. This book picks up..."
Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
 
3.7
"SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is an intriguing YA fantasy that focuses on the love between sisters. Zuhra has lived..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
"FORESHADOW is a fantastic collection of short stories with a focus on discussion and writing. Each story is undeniably well-composed..."
A Cloud of Outrageous Blue
 
4.3
"A CLOUD OF OUTRAGEOUS BLUE is a historical fiction read that takes the reader to 1348-1349. Edyth grew up with..."
Slingshot
 
4.7
"SLINGSHOT by Mercedes Helnwein is a firecracker of a debut. This YA contemporary is set inside a shoddy boarding school..."
Raybearer (Raybearer, #1)
 
5.0
"RAYBEARER is a lush and imaginative YA fantasy that had me captivated from the start. The book follows Tarisai, who..."
A Golden Fury
 
4.0
"When I started A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A historical fantasy? A..."
Beyond the Ruby Veil (The Walls in the Ruby Sky, #1)
 
4.3
"BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL is a very dark YA fantasy that features a ruthless anti-heroine and a mysterious other world...."
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
"LIGHTBRINGER is a truly epic finale to the Empirium trilogy. Rielle and Eliana are mother and daughter, separated by thousands..."
Dating Makes Perfect
 
4.3
" The story: Just like her sisters before her, Winnie isn’t allowed to date in high school. With..."
A Golden Fury
 
3.3
"A GOLDEN FURY is a YA historical fantasy that entrenches the reader in the life of Thea. Thea is a..."
Miss Meteor
 
5.0
"Meteor, New Mexico is the site where a meteor crashed years ago. It's also the site of the Miss Meteor..."
In the Study with the Wrench
 
3.0
"After the death of the headmaster and the storm in the first book, Blackbrook Academy is barely functioning. Half the..."
Five Total Strangers
 
5.0
"FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS is a thrilling ride that kept me guessing. Mira is on her way to her mother's house..."
Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl, #2)
 
4.7
"KINGDOM OF SEA AND STONE continues an engaging YA fantasy series with another book about sisterhood, magic, and political power...."
Hush (Hush, #1)
 
4.3
"HUSH is an enthralling YA fantasy that kept me guessing all the way through. In Montane, words have particular power,..."
The Code for Love and Heartbreak
 
4.7
"The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor is a witty, contemporary take on Jane Austen’s classic Emma. It’s..."