An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

It was okay. I enjoyed the word-building, the characters, and the story. But with all the hype surrounding this book, I just expected, something, well, something a bit more.

With everything that I heard about this book this year, I expected some completely original, epic fantasy.

It’s not.

The story is pretty standard in the fantasy genre, nothing special, just okay.

The Martials conquered Scholar lands five hundred years ago, and since then, they’ve done nothing but oppress and enslave us. Once, the Scholar Empire was home to the finest universities and libraries in the world. Now, most of our people can’t tell a school from an armory.

Laia is a Scholar, Scholars have been defeated by the Martials, and a big amount of the population has been enslaved. Born free, she joins the Rebels in order to save her brother, who was captured by the empire.

One of the empire’s most deadly weapons, are the Masks: deadly trained assassins. Elias has been training to become a Mask since he was a small child, but he only ever wanted to be free, since he doesn’t agree with this harsh and cruel world.

Both Laia and Elias are pulled into the world’s struggle without really wanting to, they are both interesting characters, the characterization is well done, and they have character growth.

But…Brace yourselves…We have a love triangle (actually it's more of a love square - because love triangles aren't annoying and overused enough).


Like I said, it’s pretty standard fantasy fare. There is a big, unknown evil encroaching upon the world, the heroes struggle with the burdens they never wanted, and they don’t want to change the world, just live in peace and freedom.

Don’t expect this book to blow your mind. 3.5 stars.