Tuesday, 27 September 2016

An Ember In The Ashes Book Review

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

“You are full, Laia. Full of life and dark and strength and spirit. You are in our dreams. You will burn, for you are an ember in the ashes.”

this book is one of the most complex stories I’ve read lately, the plot , the world building and characters . Even from the very first chapter it was mind-blowing , breath taking and exquisitely beautiful . I've read it in two sittings separated by an exam i dont know how i managed to take that i studied near to nothing for it .
this was so addictive , i stayed up to the wee small hours of the morning reading it , i hardly managed to breath while reading and i am sure i forgot how to do several times .
the writing was fast paced yet graceful
and the world building , the setting it was beautifully carved into the story line , a mix of some Roman and Indo-Persian settings.
i enjoyed the details and the stories of the past , the magic and the use of folklore .
it was all spectacular .

The plot is told from two POVs , Elias veturius's and Laia's , in their unique dark world with danger at every turn
Laia is a scholar girl living with her grandparents and brother Darian , till the day they were raided , grandparents dead and brother imprisoned
she is s a very dynamic character. To her, family is everything. so she changes , she faces every curve that could be thrown at her to save the life of her brother . she faces torture disguised as a slave spying on a woman who seems to take pleasure in disfiguring people , mutilating her slaves , taking an eye or scarring a face for a simple mistake as to forget dusting .
Elias on the other hand is a martial mask , a tool well trained for slitting throats and burning houses
yet his biggest fears is to hunt souls and then to be hunted back by them , he doesn't want to kill , in his bleak and disturbing world he seeks a place to hide his soul for the darkness of his world would not mutilate it .
because Elias is not a monster , he is utterly , hopelessly , helplessly and winningly Human .

” Sometimes, I talk to those I’ve killed. In my head, I hear them whisper back—not accusations, but their hopes, their wants. I wish they would curse me instead. It’s worse, somehow, to hear all that would have been had I not killed them. "

These two characters are stark contrast , they are two different opinions, two different forms of hope , two different fears and regrets then you watch this story unfold and at the end of the day, they seem to have a similar goal . Freedom .

another character displayed here is Helene , the mask girl "they always underestimate me " she would say. and they infact always did , is Elias comarade . she is loyal to blackcliff yet she is not , she has her own personal conflicts that we didn’t know much about as we didn’t read from her POV but she is as admirable , when elias and laia are fighting for their freedom , when laia is fighting for her brother , Helene is fighting for her unrequited love .

The side characters are well developed and even the smallest actions speak volumes through the story. Izzi , she is just as strong and brave as Laia. keenan and sana and the cook
I don’t even want to call them side characters , its just the fact that the book is not written from their perspectives
the villains here are perfectly fleshed out and they leave an imprint on the paths of our leading characters. And an imprint in our reading thinking minds .

The theme of this book was the prevalence of hope through oppression , and it does not shy away from showing the brutality of a dictatorship, one in which power is kept through fear and terrifying punishments
It tells its message frankly , never give up, regardless of what life throws at you , rise and fight

"Where there is life , There is hope."


I am happy I've read this book when its already clear that it has a squel otherwise I don’t know how I would have felt if it was a standalone .
A Torch Against the Night , that’s a beautiful name and I've seen the cover , its pretty !
I can't wait to get the book and to read what happened next.

There are a lot of questions left unanswered
who is Cook? Whats her story ?
are the Argus playing a game for their own cause ? what are they really and with whom they side ?
Who betrayed Laia's parents ? who was the spy ? whats all with that Nightbringer ?
Who is Elias' father?
Whats the commandants story ?
I'd really like to read the commandant's and the cook's stories in separated novellas of their own POVs .

i really liked this book and I highly recommend it .. for all Ya , dystopian novels lovers , it’s a Masterpiece .

"War comes. And it must come. For a great wrong must be righted, a wrong that grows greater with every life destroyed. The war is the only way. And you must be ready.”

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