Book Review: “An Ember In The Ashes” by Saaba Tahir

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I really wanted to love that book, but just ended up liking it.
This might not be a bad thing, it is after all a debut. Although it is only a 3 stars for me, I will be reading the sequel, as I was left intrigued enough to do so.
So, why was it only a 3*?

Putting it simply, as dystopian fantasy go, it was just not unique. It had all the ingredients of the tried and tested formula with no particular attributes to distinguished itself from the leading pack:

Oppressing regime- check!

Snow-like villain –check!

Battle and trials – check!

Hero/heroine with a rebel like trait – check!

Love triangle – check!

Sexual Tension – check!

embarashes The plot is reminiscent of most resistance led agenda fighting an all mighty political structure, with identified weaknesses and on the brink to be toppled.

Have I missed anything?

The main characters of course:
Let’s meet Laia, a Scholar turned spying-slave and used by the resistance to further the current agenda of taking down the empire. My lasting impression of her is that, she has been dealt with a very poor hand and is evidently not equipped to deal with what is to come, however she is fuelled by the only thing that seems to keep her alive through all her reckless choices…hope.

Elias, not meant to be, but he is here and one of the best soldiers in the empire. He hates all he represents so chooses a path to find his way. A path that leads him to Laia. However, is it one of his choice or is it one that The Augurs have laid out for him. Is Elias a pawn in The Augurs’ game/

The secondary characters, I found had more layers. The commandant for one, a woman and ruthless leader has a back story that is just waiting to be told. We do get a small preview, however I feel that this blood lusting villain is another book to herself.

And now, The Augurs, ancient and timeless beings, who seem to know all but never interferes, or so it seems. Their presence added a layer of spirituality that is not found in your typical dystopian piece, however it was not explored enough in my opinion. There is an obvious link between the Augurs and our main protagonists, but the author has only just scratched the surface and maybe we will know more in the sequel.



Thanking Team @HarperCollinsCh for providing me with a copy of this title.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I liked this book but I really, really liked the sequel; I definitely recommend persevering.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brittany says:

    I felt the same way… I want to read the sequel though, so hopefully I love that more than the first book!


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