Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
This book was PHENOMENAL! An Ember in the Ashes has been passed around and mentioned on Booktube so much since it came out but more so with the third book in the quartet having been just released. I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon and see what the hype was all about. I was not disappointed.
The world building in this series is outstanding, I felt like I was part of the world, part of these people’s lives. The writing style made the story jump off the page and come to life. Sabaa Tahir did such an amazing job writing this book and executing the idea that I completely understand and encourage the time it takes to produce such an amazing tale. I have both the 2nd and 3rd books; however, I haven’t read them yet because I don’t want to torture myself with the wait, so I am savoring each of these books.
Tahir’s characters are extremely easy to relate to in one way or another. These characters are the trifecta of fantasy characters. Tahir’s female characters are badass and while her male characters are strong and chivalrous.
Laia is a young woman who is thrown into slavery at a military school to obtain information for the resistance who will in turn help rescue her brother from prison.
Elias is one of the top students at the military school and the way his path crosses with Laia’s is simply perfect.
Helene is a student soldier at the school and Elias’ best friend. She lives her life by the book and isn’t very flexible with her beliefs and feelings.
I don’t want to give any of the story away because this is truly a book you need to experience yourself. Go and read this book. The hype is everything it is and more.