Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Cups of Tea

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Summary: Laia lives in a world run by people who hate her people, the Scholars. Her parents, once part of a rebel group, were killed long ago, and now, she is faced with their legacy as she becomes part of the rebel group they lead in order to save her brother’s life. Sent on a secret mission to Blackcliff Academy, a school that trains children to become killers for the empire, Laia meet Elias, a reluctant student at Blackcliff with dark secrets of his own. What happens while these two share the halls of Blackcliff changes their worlds forever, from making and breaking friendships and romances, to putting lives in danger.

Things I Loved:

  1. Each character was beautifully crafted. The perfect mix of flaws, desires, and emotional backstories, kept me loving each new development in the character’s lives and actions.
  2. This story makes you understand what it means to be human in the best, most raw way. I left this book with eyes wide in wonder and heart open to extraordinary hope in humanity.
  3. Tahir knows how to craft a fantasy world, you guys. The shifting perspectives between Elias and Laia helped to make the world clearer and give it more dimensionality.
  4. This novel left me thinking about it for days after. That doesn’t happen often for me, so I knew it meant I had stumbled upon something special.

Things I Disliked:

  1. The amount of violence sometimes felt like a little too much for me to handle. For those who don’t mind a good bit of violence, this was probably a great read, but for me, some chapters were hard to get through because of the killing sprees happening.
  2. Love triangle? Try love square. I have no idea who to ship, you guys. I need someone to root for and I just don’t know at this point. Hopefully time will tell.

Recommend to: fantasy lovers looking for something a little different, for those who like well-crafted stories that will leave you thinking about it for days, and for those who like their romance on the side and not the main point or focus of the novel.

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