Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: June 4th 2015
Synopsis: What if you were the spark that could ignite a revolution?
For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice.
For Elias it’s the opposite. He has seen too much on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite soldiers. With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands, all in the name of power.
When Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commandant, ruthless overseer of Blackcliff Academy. Blackcliff is the training ground for Masks and the very place that Elias is planning to escape. If he succeeds, he will be named deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.
But once Laia and Elias meet, they will find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high and this time that price might demand everything, even life itself.
Review: I thought I'd found my favourite book of the year, but this book shoots right up there vying for prime position. As is the way when a book is really hyped I tend to worry that I wont like it and it wont live up to my expectations and it won't be what I thought it was. And indeed it wasn't what I thought it was...it was better. I'm glad I didn't know too much about it and went into with a blank opinion, it made it so much better!
Let's make the obligatory fire references and get it over and done with! The spark lit in the first few pages, the fire grew and grew and only went out at the end and I now I have to wait who knows how long to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!?!!?!? Because I really want to know, and I think when you have a pull like that it can onllllllly be a good thing.
I loved everything about this book. The setting. The characters. The plot....and dare I say it, for once I actually enjoyed the love interest elements. I also strangely want a mask, and I don't know why, because I don't want to be a Mask...and if you haven't read the book and don't know what that means I'm sorry but you will soon enough.
I think the duel narrative worked really well. They could exist as their own separate stories and still be really good, but here they intertwine really well so at the end of every chapter I was like nooo don't go I want to know what's next, but also wanting to come. There were a lot of elements, or rather inspirations drawn into this from different books, but it was its own fantastic novel. There were typical elements of rebellion and revolution, but what makes it different is the writing. It probably sounds weird, but you know when a book feels like a light read, and others feel like they have depth to them, that's what I felt with this, the writing draws you in, the setting gives you some great visual images and the characters really make it come alive. You ran with Laia, you fought with Elias, Helene, and you wanted to smack so many people in equal measure it was great. There's always at least one in a book, but here I've got a LEAST three...which makes sense being set in a military school.
I've just finished this book...and I sort of want to go back and read it again. I hope everyone loves this book as much as I have, I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks and see what team your on!
I also wanted to include some of the international covers, because I think they all say something different, and give a completely different atmosphere to the book which is great, and I love a good book cover!