Saturday, August 8, 2015

Read & Read

So in less than 24 hours I DEVOURED An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Holy moly.. The story is told through two points of view: Laia and Elias.  


Laia and her family are Scholars, slaves under the Martial Empire.  Some Scholars are lucky enough to have a trade, the others do the grunt work.  Laia can make jam, press clothing and hair, mend clothes, cook, clean, etc.  Slaves are supposed to be able to barter at the market but are not supposed to be able to read; luckily, Laia can. Laia's family bond are the foundation for her side of the story - all of her adventures come out of her trying to save her brother from his impending fate.  Where there is suppression, there is typically a rebellion. 

Elias is a solider, a Mask (in training), the most elite form of solider/assassin in the Martial Empire.  He is about to graduate, with his best friend Helene, from the infamous Blackcliff Military Academy, a feat he has been training almost his entire life for.  Described as a slave in another sense, Elias knows that there is nothing free about finally graduating the academy.  At Blackcliff Academy, the children are selected, their fates already decided, the punishments are brutal, and only the strong survive.

Without giving too much away:

500 years ago, a prophecy was seen, Blackcliff was built, and the training began.  Now, the prophecy is coming true  the players are in place and the battle begins.  In the book, Laia and Elias's stories are intertwined though they are separate for a while.  I loved the points where Elias was the narrator; nothing against the points with Laia because her story was amazing as well.  There are a few love triangles in the book: A majority of the senior class and Helene; Helene, Elias, and Laia; Laia, Elias, and a rebel.  The romantic relationships get a bit complicated and they constantly have you change who you're rooting for; at one point its Laia, then it's Helene, then something else happens and you really can't pick sides and it goes on and on.  You get frustrated with the characters when they feel like secrets are being kept and no one has all of the information, you get sucked into the book and there is never really a good time to put it down. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I do highly suggest giving this book a shot.  It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the book simply because I was confusing the story lines and it was hard to learn all of the lingo.  Once you get who the people are down and the story becomes more intertwined, it gets much simpler to follow.  The thing about having two narrators is that there is obvious overlap but it also feels like two different stories which was amazing. You sometimes get to see both points of view of a specific occasion so no more wondering what was actually going through the other character's head.

I highly recommend this read and I am going to be extremely upset if another story does not follow this one.


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