Review | An Ember In The Ashes Is Fantasy Gold

An Ember In The Ashes IMG954239

By: Sabaa Tahir

Overall Rating: ★★★★

Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother, Darrin. Darrin gets arrested for treason. After Laia runs away like a wimp, she decides to be strong like her mother and do whatever it takes to free her brother. ENTER: The rebels who promise to help her, but only if she helps them (*dun, dun, dun*).

She infiltrates an elite school for soldiers, posing as a slave, where she  meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier. They both endured some pretty horrific things, leading to the pair teaming up becoming unlikely allies. CUE: THIS IS WHEN THINGS GET CRAZY.

Theme Song


An Ember In The Ashes is Gladiator x Hunger Games with just enough mythical creatures to make this the fantasy series of my dreams. The characters are complex, sometimes annoying, but always interesting.  You won’t be able to put this book down. I highly recommend!

The Good

The Story

I’m so here for the no-happy-ending-for-you theme of this book. I was also really intrigued by the prophecies, the impending doom coming from all sides (literally I had no idea who was really the “bad guy” the entire time), and the history of the world. Throw in some soldier-on-soldier fight to the deaths, crazy magical priests (who remind me of Silent Brothers from Shadowhunters) and FAERIES and I’m 100% in. If you don’t like bloodshed or scenes that will hurt you in the heart, you might want to skip this.


The Characters

Darrin had me from page one. Elias was love at first sight. Laia was annoying AF. Helene was…complicated. What do they all have in common? They are complex, intriguing, and all had me screaming in irritation, scoffing in anger, or rolling my eyes in disbelief. The journeys these characters go through are so good. They aren’t perfect, and I love them just the way they are…yes, even you Laia.

Elias Veturius Gets His Own Section

ELIAS, SOLDIER BOY OF MY HEART. Yes, he gets his own section. He’s now officially my one f*ckboy I allow on my book boyfriend list (Sorry Tiberius Calore, you’ve been dumped). He’s groomed to kill and follow directions, but can’t seem to get past his adorable, caring, sweet cinnamon roll heart. Yeah, he may get distracted by Laia’s curves or Helene’s hair, and literally every other pretty girl who walks his way…but he gets stuff done. And I love him.


The Bad

I Have So Many Questions

Book one leaves you with A LOT of unresolved plot points. You learn a lot on this journey, but all the important bits don’t start filling in until the end. And even then, you’ll want to immediately start the sequel because you’ll be left wondering what’s happening to literally everyone. Couldn’t I get at least one major thing resolved? No…okay. I’ll just go binge the rest of the series now.


The Ugly Truth

I can’t believe I didn’t start this series sooner! I loved almost everything about An Ember In The Ashes. It had morally grey characters, hot soldier boys, magic, battle scenes, and I can’t wait for more. (Literally I couldn’t wait. I binged the second and third book before even writing this.)

Talk To Me

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? Are you adding this to your TBR?