This is how I felt each time I picked up this book to read…
Every second of reading this was pure indulgence time.
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I’m reviewing AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, by Sabaa Tahir. I bought this book myself, as I received the second one to review via Amazon Vine. Here are my thoughts:
^^ O.M.G! I cannot believe some people didn’t like this series, but I loved it!!!
^^ After seeing her grandparents killed, her village destroyed and her brother taken away by the Empire for treason, Laia had no choice than to team ask the rebels for help, in order to save her brother from slow torture and eventual death. But to gain the trust of the rebels, Laia must first become a Blackcliff slave in order to spy on Blackcliff’s Military Academy’s leader, the Commander, and discover a way in for the rebels to enter a the heavily guarded prision in which her brother is held captive. Being a slave is a dangerous mission and one I don’t think the rebels ever expected this girl to take on, let alone survive. But she does, and with the thought of saving her brother — the only surviving family member of her family spurring her on — she unleashes a newfound strength and determination she didn’t know she was capable of, despite her internal doubts and fears.
^^ When I first picked up this book, I had no idea what it was about, or what to expect, or even if it’d like it, other than it’s a high fantasy, young adult adventure. Well, I was blown away with what I read, I can tell you! This is one massive, exciting and dark, fantasy adventure. Pure escapism at its best! If I could give this six stars, I would.
^^ Told from both the point of views of Laia, a scholar girl and Elias, an elite Blackcliff warrior in training we get to see how the world works from two very different people living in two very different parts of the same world. Both Laia and Elias are thrown together, and their strength of character is tested to the limit. With Elias he faces a certain moral dilemma to stand up with what he feels is right, but to do this he must go against the very essence of his Blackcliff and Mask warrior training in order to succeed.
^^ Sabaa Tahir transported me into an amazing, intricate world and I loved every minute of following Laia’s journey as she does everything and anything she can to save her brother from certain death. In many ways it’s a dark (and sometimes violent) fantasy of war and survival. But there also calmer moments filled with love, friendship and emotional conflict, which add to this exceptional read.
^^ The author has fantasic storytelling skills to write a fantasy like this, and make it look effortless takes a lot of work. There is also a love triangle here, and before you throw your hands up in the air and go ‘I hate love triangles’, this one is different. Romance does feature in the book, but it’s not the main story, although it does move the storyline forward in an intriguing way.
^^ In addition, I adored the parts the secondary characters played, particularly Izzi and Cook. Even Keenan had a great role! Honestly, if you haven’t already read this, you must! I want to tell you so much, but I also don’t want to spoil it for you!
^^ This story ended in a way that wraps up a large part of the questions raised, but also leaves the storyline open for more. Think one really big book, and that’s the style of this. Usually I’m not so keen on this style of ending, but the way this was cleverly written left me both satisfied and hungering for more. Luckily I had the second book to hand, so this didn’t bother me. I was offered the second book in this series (A Torch Against The Night) to review first, so I went and bought this one, as it was recommended to me to start from the beginning of the adventure for the full story and a much better experience. I’m so glad I did this, as both the storyline and the world created is so in depth, I feel I wouldn’t have enjoyed the second one as much if I hadn’t of read this one first.
Overall: I’m very happy to have discovered this writer, and the fantastic world she has created. Every second of reading this was pure indulgence time. Stay tuned for my review of the next book in this series, ‘A Torch Against The Night’ and Ember in the Ashes, Book 2. It’s also a magical, engrossing read!
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