An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Write on: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 by  in Kat's Reviews Read 4496

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

“The field of battle is my temple. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.”

One word.



Dear Book Gods,

I beg you to forgive me for not reading this masterpiece sooner. I will graciously accept any punishment you deem appropriate. I would also like to thank you for bringing this book into my life. You guys rock!

Sincerely, Sabaa Tahir's new stalker fan

The story

“You are full, Laia. Full of life and dark and strength and spirit. You are in our dreams. You will burn, for you are an ember in the ashes.”

The Scholars are enslaved by the Martial Empire and they live under horrible conditions. Laia and her family try not to stick out, until her brother is arrested for treason and the only way to make the Resistance set him free is to become their spy within Blackcliff, the infamous military academy that breeds human weapons, the Masks, whose only purpose is death and destruction.

“You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

Even though he is the most promising Blackcliff student, Elias plans his escape from this living hell. Until he is informed that the only way to become truly free is to participate in the Trials that will determine the next Emperor, Trials so harsh and brutal that their cost might be too great. His soul.


Have you ever wished that you could forget a book only to experience reading it for the first time once more? An Ember in the Ashes is one of those books. It is special. While I turned the pages, while I inhaled Sabaa Tahir's words, everything around me ceased to exist. Everything was frozen and the only thing I could hear was my heart. Thump, thump, thump. Sometimes it beat incredibly fast. Sometimes it stopped. Some others it was flooded with a warmth that spread through my veins into every inch of my body. It was beautiful and ugly, sweet and brutal, heartbreaking and heartmending.

“I look up at the stars hanging low in a sky that makes me think I'm seeing the infinite. But beneath their cold gaze, I feel small. All the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.”

There was no reprieve from action and suspense in An Ember in the Ashes. War, battles, trials, espionage, rebels, slaves, ruthless villains, ancient creatures of immense powers, ghouls and wraiths, unbreakable swords, all of them woven together resulted in a story that kept you on the edge, that made you hold your breath and pray that your heroes will be spared the agony and the pain that was about to come. But it wouldn't happen. They suffered, and you suffered with them. They hurt and you hurt. They were broken and you tried in vain to glue them back together. There was raw brutality that made you cringe, and strength and dedication and courage and harsh decisions that gave you goosebumps. There was hope in despair, light in darkness, life in death. And I loved every single moment.

The characters 

“Look at us”, he says. “Scholar slave and Mask, each trying to persuade the other that they're not evil.”

Two enemies that were never meant to cross paths, let alone find a kindred spirit in each other, Elias and Laia were two rare characters. They were driven by their passion for freedom, they felt guilty for their actions, they blamed themselves for everything that was wrong in the world. Elias was a controlled chaos, lethal but noble, while Laia was weak and scared but she recognized her fear and she tried to tame it for the sake of the people she loved. You may have heard that there is a love square in this book, but things are a little more complicated. You see, Elias and Laia don't have many scenes together. Both of them have another love interest that makes them confused, but I strongly believe they are mere distactions, a way to show that Elias and Laia come from different worlds and there are people who are more suitable for them, but the attraction and connection between them is off the charts and simply, they belong together. Which is unfortunate for me because I have a huge I want to have your babies crush on Elias.

If you were patient enough to read this review,then you understand you have to drop everything you're doing and grab An Ember in the Ashes as fast as you can. Pretty pretty please?

Last modified on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:51

There are two things Katerina can't live without; books and chocolate. And since she needs money to acquire them, she decided to become a lawyer (and she still wonders whether this was a good idea). When she's not reading, she keeps wishing she was reading, about wars, wizards, dark princes and great romances. Her favorite genres are Fantasy (both YA and Adult) and Contemporary Romance.