An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | Weaving Pages: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Friday, 30 October 2015

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Hello Everyone!

I received this book from the publisher so thank you to them for  allowing me to review it! Of course, this does not affect my opinion in anyway!

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: June 4th 2015
No. of Pages: 450

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. -(Goodreads)
3.5 stars: Page thinks this book was good, but didn't
make him fly.
Once I heard of An Ember in the Ashes, I knew I had to read it. Not only was the cover gorgeous, but it was a fantasy book and I've been in love with those lately. I did like this book, but part of me feels like the next book will be so much better, which is not what usually happens. Yet I do feel that this book has left off in a place that is very exciting in terms of what could happen next, so I'm excited to see what happens!

In all honesty, I felt the beginning was slow. Until you overcame part one of the story, I didn't feel it was particularly interesting except for establishing why everything was happening. Once that bit is over, things get a lot more engaging, especially as you come into contact with more of the world and the characters. On that subject, the world is very interesting since it's inspired by ancient Rome and it's empire, which I've never see before in a YA book, I think. Greek Mythology tends to be very popular, but the Roman inspiration for this book is very unique and different in my opinion, which makes the world building fabulous, of course! 
I do have to admit I was expecting more from the book, even though I did enjoy it. I think everything needs to be developed more, and I'm hoping the next book gives room for that. Watch this space!

The romance was one of those things that would benefit a little more development, even though I did really love Elias and Laia's relationships. Whilst I genuinely believe they make such a cute couple, I don't feel like there is a plausible relationship between any of the possible romances really. Amidst the whole bloodthirsty empire storyline, it's kind of hard for characters to get to know each other in a way that makes you feel like the romance is real. Instead, I felt like we might me edging into insta-love territory which I do not like. At all.

The other relationship I enjoyed was the friendship between Elias and Helena, who was a brilliant character. I think she is truly good at heart, and it was essentially deeply saddening to see how utterly devoted she was to such a corrupt society. She had literally been brain-washed, and whilst I completely condemn the things she was willing to do, I feel a lot of pity for the cruelty in the fact she's been made to live this life.
However, I think it's a shame that she had the role she did: She's the only woman warrior ever, and though she is a badass fighter she still gives up a lot for Elias, instead of focusing on her goals. Helena you don't need no man!
Plus, I have the kind of sneaky feeling she was kind of 'punished' by her need to succeed. Yes, nothing anyone does at Blackcliff is right, but in terms of what they've been brainwashed to see as 'Success' Helena wasn't allowed to achieve that and was criticised for wanting it too. Of course, I wouldn't view becoming emperor to a bloodthirsty nation and killing a load of people as something to be proud of, but that is all Helena knew that she could achieve. Yet Elias constantly compared her to Laia, and I felt he never understood or tried to understand Helena's point of view.

If You Like An Ember in the Ashes, Try:
-Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
-Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

rita xo

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