Book Review | AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

Hello lovely strangers ❤

This is first review post of the month-actually my first ever post and i’m feeling so bad that it took about a week to actually post anything ://

But here I am! An Ember In the Ashes which was recommended to me a million of times, and I am a bit disappointed honestly.

Title: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Pages: 446 pages

Publication: April 28th 2015 by Razorbill

Source: Bought

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy


Ratings: Plot: 4/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Writing Style: 4.5/5
Total: 4 stars

Plot & World Building: The events that happened in this book was mostly set in a kingdom called “The Empire”, where there were racism between the scholars and the Martials (the one who won the war years ago). There was a school, military academy, in this world called Blackcliff which trained assassins or murderers, “The Masks”. Laia (a scholar), was sent into Blackcliffe to disguise as a slave and be a spy for the Resistance (Scholars rebels) in return to the Resistance saving her brother, her only living relative left, from prison. Elias, a Mask in training and soon to graduate, had always want to ‘desert‘ his status as a Mask because he felt not that different from all the slaves/scholars in his kingdom, having to serve the violence and brutal Commandment that is his mother, having to kill innocence, so he wanted freedom. But before Elias had left, Laia came to Blackcliff, and there was now trial which purpose was to find a new emperor for their kingdom. Elias decided to stay as someone promised him real freedom if he passed all the trials.
I think the plot and storyline was okay. What I don’t like was the world, during the trials, so many innocence and friends were killed for no reason. I hate that. I know it was supposed to show the readers how brutal and dangerous this world is but but but I see no reason why why why that third trial had to be like that. Ugh. Also The Commandment is like Umbridge’s twins, she’s just as horrible. Ugh.

And there’s sort of a twist in the end that made me very excited in the direction this book is heading.

Characters: As for the characters, I like both our main MC and the other supporting characters as well, I think they played their roles well, they were different distinctable characeters and so on. As I mentioned, I think Laia and Elias were great. Laia from a naive and coward girl to a strong, independant woman. I actually like that she was weak and scared at first, because who wouldn’t? If she just came out strong, I wouldn’t have liked her as much. And she and Elias both have humor which I love because it would have been sooo dull, I wouldn’t have finished.

“I’d rather die than live with no mercy, no honor, no soul.”

Elias, I already liked him because he had the sense of humor, he knew what he wanted but tho I hate that he couldn’t choose between Helene, his best friend who he sort of romantically involved with, and Laia. Helene, Elias‘s best friend, I think her characters was very well-developed, she was a great character tho the sticking to the rules part wasn’t fun, but I can’t wait to see more of her in the next novels when she has superpower like that.

“There are two kinds of guilt: the kind that
drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.”

Other than that, I didn’t really connect with the other characters, for instance, Izzi, I think she was okay? she was just there so? I forgot all the characters’ names ugh clearly this book wasn’t memorable enough. Iam trying to find the name of Laia’s other love interest. I didn’t connect or swoon over him either. And yep there were love triangles in this book, two set of them. I’ve never had a problem with love triangles, not a trope that I mind, tho I wish in this book it didn’t happen.

Writing Style: It was the best thing, I have no complaints. I am so glad this wasn’t in third person but rather dual-perspective, just perfect.

“Three thousand bodies swing forward, three thousand pairs of boots snap together, three thousand backs jerk as if yanked straight by a puppeteer’s hand. In the ensuing silence, you could hear a tear drop.”

Get what I mean? lol ❤

“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.”

Overall, I gave this book 4 stars, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I mean I don’t know what I expected but I don’t think this lives up to all the hypes. It wasn’t bad for sure but it kinda made me question if I read the same books as others because I really couldn’t see the “IT BLEW ME AWAY. THIS WAS SUPER GOOD WOW I NEED THE NEXT BOOK”. I am excited for the sequel tho 🙂

Thank you for reading and I’ll hopefully see you in my next post.

Happy Reading,




8 thoughts on “Book Review | AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

  1. I was also recommended to this book several times, but I wasn’t very willing… Now I am a little less, haha! It doesn’t sound bad, it just doesn’t sound me LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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