I’ve been “collecting”, let’s say, my thoughts on this book over the past couple of days, because if I hadn’t, this review would consist of way too many “Ahhh”‘s and “OMG”‘s instead of actual sentences. But, let’s all face it, it’s me, so it’ll probably happen anyway! Sorry in advance for how long this blog may or may not be.
(I will be refering to An Ember In The Ashes as “AEITA”, because I am really lazy today!)
LAIA IS A SLAVE. ELIAS IS A SOLDIER. NEITHER IS FREE.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
My Thoughts (No Spoilers):
I had litttle to no idea what to expect from this book, and I was overjoyed when I was completely thrown into the middle of Laia and Elias’ (still figuring out how to pronounce their names! Oh welllllll…) worlds, both so different, but also the same? I loved them both, and I think that Sabaa did an amazing job with Elias’ PoV as it really felt as though a guy was narrating, where as before, when I’ve read a dual PoV book, the opposite gender of the character to the author’s just doesn’t sound convincing. Did I phrase that right? I don’t know… Moving on…
I think that she is one of the bravest characters that I have ever… Read? Met? She is just amazing, she isn’t fearless, but she doesn’t let her fear get in the way of her. And, my, oh, my, is she determined! I loved her determination, and spirt, which seemed to waver at times, but never broke.
He is the best, literally the best soldier in the school, yet I didn’t find him stuck up, as that’s who he is. He does want the grand life that everyother Mask gets, he wants to be free. Like Laia, he wont let things get in his way, and is determined to get the life that he wants. This could be seen a a tad cliché to some, though I don’t find that.
Overall Dual PoV:
The two points of view, were great, as I mentions briefly above, the chapters were short(ish) which kept the tension up and rising as the book went on. I don’t think that I preferred one point of view more than the other in particular, as they were both brilliantly written and made my heart want to burst with emotion! This book definitely puts you through all the feels possible, making you want to cry with joy and sadness!
The overall book:
The pace was brilliant, quick in the beginning to grab you in and staying that way, yet still descriptive and comprehendible. I love the world that Sabaa has created, it’s so intriguing and wonderful! It really lets your imagination go wild, it’s amazing, and jf I could ever vistit a world in a book, I would totally pick this one–dispite how dangerous, scary, and action packed it is!
I cannot waot for A Torch Against The Night, to see what happens woth their story,