Review Time: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This is not a new novel, as it was released in 2015, but I have only just discovered it for myself. My best friend has said it’s amazing, so I decided to give it a go. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is an amazing fantasy novel that sucks you in from the very first page.

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.”

– An Ember in the Ashes

The story follows Laia, a scholar, whose world is turned upside down when her brother is arrested due to an association with the Resistance. Her story becomes intertwined with Elias, who is the finest solider in the empire.

Both Laia and Elias are captive by their situations and dream of being free. Their destinies become entwined and they begin to fight for their ultimate goals. Laia becomes a slave while Elias is a solider – they have such different lives and personalities and that is what makes them so compelling.

Laia faces disbelief in herself and finds it hard to come to terms with her inability to help those she loves. Elias is seen as the complete opposite to her – strong and courageous. But their interactions throughout the novel tests both of them and their own weaknesses are shown, and strengths grow.

The story is intense and hard to put down. Other characters are brought to the front of the novel and bring a new diversity in. The main characters are fighting for their freedom and it becomes a powerful book from start to finish.

“There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It’s damaged but it’s there. Don’t let them take it from you.”

– An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir doesn’t shy away from brutality and violence. It is set in a military world, so I expected some violence, but Sabaa Tahir makes you feel like you are right there with how she portrays the violent and dangerous world.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing it in one long setting. It’s a powerful novel with incredible characters that go through so many trials and still fight on. Their strength and faith are tested throughout the entire novel and it brings so much intensity to the story.

I am looking forward to reading the sequel now, and I definitely recommend this novel to anyone to read! It’s an amazing fantasy novel that draws you in right from the start.

“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.”

– An Ember in the Ashes