Double Review: An Ember in the Ashes #1 and #2

This is a double review for the first two books in Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes trilogy


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Genre: Young Adult, fantasy
Published by: Razorbill, 2015 and 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars for both
Re-readability: It’s tough to not just start re-reading these already.


Reviewed by Indiana
Spoiler free review

Okay, so I must admit something that now sounds like a crime.

I rolled my eyes at this book at first. I thought it sounded too much like The Hunger Games or another YA series I’ve read.

But I was delightfully wrong. So very wrong.

The series is set in a world divided: with the masks on one side and the scholars on another.

Laia is a scholar, whose family was heavily involved in the rebellion against the masks and they’ve paid dearly for it. Her brother, Darin (the only surviving member of her nuclear family), gets tangled in a different sort of rebellion and is hauled off to prison, leaving Laia to run for her life. She eventually turns to the rebellion in the hopes that they can her brother out of jail.

Meanwhile, Elias is stuck. He’s a mask, deadly, rugged, and meant to live his life solely to defend his people. But he’s conflicted. He hates killing people and the sort of cruelty that’s required of a mask. Unfortunately, the trials have arrived and the only way he can make it through and to escape is to win. Doubly unfortunately, that could mean killing his best friend (who might be something more), Helene. Oh! And his mother is trying to sabotage his every move.

There’s so much more to the series than that very bare-bones description but I’m afraid to ruin someone else’s experience by going into greater detail.

I will say that Sabaa Tahir has created an wonderfully intriguing and unique lore to the world that I really hope she gets to explore more in the next book (and I’m pretty sure she will). Although there is a love triangle or two in this series, it didn’t feel unnecessary and it feels like Tahir actually has a good plan for them.

Just like it seems like she has a plan for the whole series. Have you ever read some series and just felt like the plot was erratic? Like it didn’t matter how many details you picked up and thought were important because the author was probably just going to do something random with the storyline?

Tahir’s storylines are tightly woven together, well-thought out and entertaining.

When I started An Ember in the Ashes, I thought the third book was going to be out in April. Once again, I was wrong. But this time, the truth was much sadder than my assumptions.

The Reaper at the Gates comes out on June 12. Which sounds like a ridiculously long time to wait. But I’ll be the first in line at my local bookstore on that date.

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