An Ember in the Ashes Review

An Ember in the Ashes
Sabaa Tahir
Penguin Random House
April 28, 2015
446 pages
Rating- 5/5

This book was an emotional roller coaster. I often had to set the book down for a few seconds, regroup, and pick it up again. I even had to stand up and jump around a couple times before continuing. There were other times where I had trouble breathing. This is what this book does to you.

In An Ember in the Ashes, I really liked the dual perspectives. I normally don’t like the multiple perspectives because I find myself choosing which point of view I like better and counting pages until I get back to that chapter. In this story that was not the case. I really loved to read from both perspectives.

I really liked Laia. She isn’t your typical female YA protagonist. She is nervous. She thinks she’s a coward. She thinks she is weak. But, I must say by the end of this story she was inspiring me. Most female protagonists have there little “It is my turn to help others,” and “I am powerful” speech in the beginning of the story. And I feel empowered by those, but Laia’s little moments at the end made me feel powerful and inspired.

The other main character was Elias. I really enjoyed his story too. His fight to not give in to the evil of Blackcliff, also made me feel good. Him admitting to himself that he was a monster for killing his friends, and the first trial scene on the battlefield were both elements that I liked about him. Also when he told his mother he wasn’t going to lose his soul like her was one of my favorite scenes.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the love square/triangle. There should be no triangle. Elias obviously loves Laia more than Helene(he was willing to kill Helene but not Laia), and Laia barely knows Keenan. I also think that the romance is an aspect that this book does not need. The romance is not to overwhelming though, so I’m not to bothered by it.

The Commandent was a character that terrified me. I kept comparing her to Queen Levana(Lunar Chronicles), The Assassin King(Throne of Glass), and Commander Jameson(Legend). Almost every time she comes up, she continues to surprise me with her wickedness. But she is pretty smart. I want to know more about her, and why she is so terrible. I thought it was really smart for the Sabaa Tahir to make the Commandent a big part in the book before Laia comes. That way, when everyone is telling her how terrible she is we believe them, and when she first gets the mission we feel sorry for her.

I really hope Sabaa Tahir writes novellas for these books. I would really like to learn more about Elias as a Tribal or a Yearling or a Fiver. I think those would be interesting.

Overall I really liked this roller coaster of a book I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy. Please check out my review for A Torch Against the Night. I hope you enjoyed this book! Let me know all of your thoughts.

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