Title: An Ember In The Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir (Texas Teen Book Festival Author)
Release Date:4/28/15
Reviewed by: Aurora

      This series is practically indescribable because it’s that astonishing, but I’ll try my best.

      The story starts with a young man named Elias in his last year of training at Blackcliff Academy. Blackcliff is vicious and trains boys for 14 years to become elite, emotionless soldiers, Silver Masks, for the Empire. Laia has been living with her grandparents for many years since her parents’ deaths. When Silver Masks come to their house, kills her grandparents, and arrests her brother for treason, Laia runs. In order to break her brother out of prison, Laia makes a deal with the rebellion and poses as slave to spy on Blackcliff.

      The first book switched back and forth between the point of views of Elias and Laia. In the second book, Helene (Elias’ best friend at Blackcliff) was also thrown into the mix. I originally wasn’t thrilled that Helene narrated part for the story, but she grew on me.

      The second book had less constant action than the first, but not in a bad way. I’m trying not to give anything away, so I’ll just say that there was more traveling. Even so, both were hard to put down once I started reading.

      I think most of all, I love how subtle the romance between Elias and Laia is. It’s not too much and they don’t move very fast, which is the beauty in it. Instead of their romance being the focus of the story, it’s closer to a side note. They have their own challenges and goals, but occasionally that attraction interferes just a bit (well, maybe more than a bit at times…). I love that with these two, even though they have chemistry, more than anything seem like friends and get along. However, of course there’s a second live interest for Laia (whom I won’t mention so you can figure it out for yourself). I love both of them, but obviously I still have a favorite…

      If you haven’t caught on yet, I absolutely adored the books in this series so far.

      This series was right up my alley since it is a fantasy world (and I’m a sucker for fantasy). I especially loved how other creatures (besides humans) were brought in as well. However, I don’t believe you have to like fantasy to love this story. It has everything one could want such as spies, soldiers, battles, mystery, romance, friendship, rebellion, and more (just to name a few).

      Sabaa Tahir really knows how to write with the way her words can capture your attention so well. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next. Sabaa Tahir will also be at the Texas Teen Book Festival 2016!!!

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