Friday, October 06, 2017

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes is primarily fantasy, but it has the elements of a dystopian book too…all those one word titles and such. So if both those genres interest you, this is the book for you.

After watching her grandparents be murdered, and her brother get taken off to prison, Laia seeks out the rebels against the Martial Empire and ends up regretting her decision. In exchange for helping her brother, the rebels install Laia at an elite military academy as a servant/spy. Elias is one the best soldiers at this academy, but also wishes he was anywhere but at the academy. Unfortunately for him, he is picked to compete for a chance to be the new Emperor for the people he hates.

It, of course, is expected that Laia and Elias would run into each other. I wish I could say I was rooting for their relationship, but I found it rather boring. Fortunately, I liked just about everything else in the book. And I liked it enough to want to read the sequels. The competition in Ember in the Ashes is more interesting than most dystopian-style games. The politics behind the series were pretty interesting, and the villains were terrifying and difficult to predict.

I’m not sure where this series is going with its plot; it feels like there is something bigger at hand that hasn’t been revealed yet. I look forward to finding out about the overarching plot in the sequel. Try The Winner’s Curse for a similar dystopian-feeling fantasy series.

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