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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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471 Reviews

Gender: Male
Points: 125
Reviews: 471
Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:06 pm
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Lightsong says...

Ember in the Ashes is a novel that requires two PoVs; the first from Laia, a Scholar turned to slave, and Elias, a soldier that defied the totalitarianism practiced by the Martial Empire.

The concept is taken from Rome, which is famous for its tendency to violence, shown by the use of fighting to death in an amphitheater. Martial Empire represented it.

The Scholars, who ruled before they Empire, were based on Arabic people, which was indicated by words like Nur, which meant Light. Their tendency in learning mirrored early Muslim scholars such as al-Khawarizmi.

The characters are pretty diverse. The main cast are balanced on both genders; Cook, Laia's mother, and a chieftain of a Tribe group are examples for strong female characters. Laia's father, brother, and Elias's grandfather represented strong male characters.

Regarding plot, this one is definitely not for children. It is honest in portraying violence as well as sexual intimacy, which gives it more substances and interesting.

There are twists in the story and everyone is more than what he shows. Laia herself was not a character equipped to the challenges she faced, but grew more resilient and competent as the story progressed. The same went to Elias, who upon meeting Laia, rediscovered himself and took a stand against the cruelty of the Empire.

Despite the positives in the novel, there were also the negative. Its pacing were slow in the beginning and some readers might lose interest if they're not patient before the pacing increases. Laia's occasional failures might also annoy readers.

All in all, I give this four stars.
"Writing, though, belongs first to the writer, and then to the reader, to the world.

The subject is a catalyst, a character, but our responsibility is, has to be, to the work."

- David L. Ulin

Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything's different?
— C.S. Lewis