Book It: An Ember in the Ashes

Cindy Ho, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

  If you have read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or enjoy Roman fantasy novels, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir might be the book for you.

“Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.” This book is written from two perspectives, alternating between Laia and Elias. Set in a fantasized Roman world, readers are exposed to the brutal reality that is the Martial Empire. Under the Martial Empire, those who rebel face consequences from torture to death. Anyone who does not dedicate themselves to the Empire will deal with consequences inflicted upon the people they hold dear.  

Laia, a scholar living with her grandparents and brother, is obedient to the Empire as anyone else would be. Scholars are at the bottom of the hierarchy, and any act of disobedience could lead to all sorts of punishments. But when Laia’s home is raided and her brother Darin is arrested for treason, she will do anything in her power to save what’s left of her family. Left helpless and without any choice, Laia goes to the resistance for help. Undercover as a slave, Laia will spy in the Empire’s top military academy to assist in the rescue of her brother.

Elias is one of Blackcliff Academy’s best soldiers-in-training. He seems ruthless and intimidating like his peers, but lacks the determination that pushes them forward. His only wish is to be free from the totalitarian rules under which he lives. When Laia and Elias cross paths, they come to realize that their lives are entwined. Any decision, any mistake they make, could change the future of the Empire.

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