An Ember in the Ashes: A Tale of Power, Love, and Sacrifices

Someone once told me “Don’t judge a book by its cover. ”And I questioned her, “Why?” She gave a long speech and made me convinced about it. But today when I finished “An Ember in the Ashes,” I said to myself I’ve proved her wrong. I purchased the book solely based on the cover, and it turned out to be an amazing read. 

An Ember in the Ashes tells the story of an empire that rules by fear; praise to it or get crushed, brutally. Scholars; the citizen of the empire, living under the fear of raids, of disappearance on a silent night, or of death by Martials (Empire Soldiers).

In a similar event, one of the Scholar got captured by Martial and his sister choose to become a spy to free her brother. On the other hand, at the academy, young men; and a woman, train to become the Martial, one of the trainees; Elias, who don’t want to be a Martial. But the circumstances created a mess and they all become the victim of it.

Sabaa combined the ancient Roman Empire with the Arab desert and created an environment that perfectly blends with the characters. Along with the brutality of the Empire and heat of the desert, it also has creatures like Ghouls and Jin which makes the read more interesting.

The best thing about the book is its twist. Sabaa makes it difficult to guess what the next page holds, and that kept you hooked. I’ve also liked how she uses the rhyme that tells about killing an Efrit:

Efrit, efrit of the wind, kill him with a star-steel pin.  

Efrit, efrit of the sea, light a fire to make him flee.

Efrit, efrit of the sand, a song is more than he can stand.

About the characters, Helen becomes my favourite character in the book and her complex relation with Elias seems a little intriguing. The only thing that I don’t like much about the book is its brutality. I guess even for an action-packed book that much violence is not required, especially when the book is under YA category.

As this is the first book of the series, it left so many questions at the end. And I hope the second book will uncover some mystery and will give the same reading pleasure.

At the end all I can say is the plot of the book makes it unique and I enjoyed every second of reading it. I’ve also seen some good use of words here.

Fear is only your enemy if you allow it to be. Too much fear and you’re paralyzed. Too little fear and you’re arrogant.

So don’t fear to read this book. It worth your time and every penny you pay for it. 

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